Today, there are five times fewer sudden infant deaths in Belgium than there were 20 years ago. The Flemish Agency for Care and Health recently published statistics on causes of death which showed that 19 children died from “Sudden infant death syndrome” in 2012, reported Het Laatste Nieuws on Thursday. “It will be impossible to completely eradicate this cause of death, but sudden infant death figures in Flanders were five times higher 20 years ago than they are now,” said Gunnar Naulaers of UZ Leuven.
According to the professor, this positive trend is down to the precautions more and more parents are taking, such as laying the baby on its back when it sleeps and abstaining from smoking during and after pregnancy.
Monitoring devices to prevent sudden deaths, which are sold in stores have not contributed to the lower figures. Professor Naulaers says “These devices are inventions from the 80s which didn’t prove effective and which have since found their way into retail.”