Letter: Cot death advice

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The Independent Online
Sir: Virginia Bottomley, the Secretary of State for Health, spoke on lunchtime television news today (29 March) advising that cot deaths had been halved since small babies were not laid face downwards to sleep. She spoke as if this was a wonderful new piece of advice that had only just been confirmed.

When my two children were born more than 40 years ago I was told: never lay a small baby on his face as he might suffocate; never lay him on his back, because if he was sick he could inhale his vomit and asphyxiate; always lay him on his side, pulling out the underarm slightly to prevent him from rolling on to his face, and changing sides to prevent him becoming addicted to one side or the other.

Doctors, nurses, midwives and so-called child 'experts' who advised differently, thus flying in the face of all common sense, are, in my opinion, guilty of criminal stupidity.

Yours faithfully,


Welwyn Garden City,


29 March