Current Affairs

Decrease in unexplained infant deaths

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has released information on the number of unexplained infant deaths in 2014. It refers to mortality rates among children of under a year in age, often called ‘cot deaths’ and deaths for which the cause remained unascertained after a full investigation.

Unexplained infant deaths accounted for 212 (or 8 percent) of all infant deaths occurring in 2014. 60 percent were recorded as sudden infant deaths and 40 percent as unascertained (where no other cause of death is recorded).

The rate of infant deaths rose for mothers aged 20 to 24 and 25 to 29 in 2014 and fell for all other age groups. The ONS described the reduction in unexplained infant deaths as following the decreasing trend that has generally been seen over the last decade.

Rosie Amery from ONS’s Health Analysis and Life Events team, said: “Unexplained infant deaths in 2014 were the lowest on record, driven by a decrease in sudden infant deaths. A number of factors may have contributed to the fall including warmer than average temperatures throughout the year, fewer women smoking at the time of delivery and greater awareness of safer sleeping practices.”

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