> New Zealand SIDS Death Rate Decreases
> New statistics released by the New Zealand Ministry of
> Health show that the national rate of Sudden Infant
> Death Syndrome (SIDS) fell by 70% after an educational
> campaign in wrapping mattresses with special
> polyethelene covers was begun. The program began after
> research by a NZ scientist showed a link between SIDS
> and the toxic fumes emitted by mattresses.
> According to the statistics, NZ Maori babies are 10
> times more likely than NZ European (Pakeha) babies to
> die of SIDS.(2) Following the implementation of
> mattress-wrapping by the Pakeha community over the
> last eleven years (with an 85% reduction in their SIDS
> rate), New Zealand has the highest inter-ethnic SIDS
> disparity of any country in the world.
> In contrast to the US and UK, where back sleeping has
> been adopted as a method to prevent crib death, New
> Zealand began to publicize mattress-wrapping in 1994,
> with the practice widely adopted. Since then, the rate
> of deaths on unwrapped mattresses has continued to
> increase, while no deaths have been reported for
> babies sleeping on wrapped mattresses. Another
> advantage to this solution is that babies can sleep in
> a variety of positions and not suffer from
> plagiocephaly, or flattened heads.
> The results of the New Zealand mattress-wrapping
> program have been published in two peer-reviewed
> journals of environmental medicine(3) and far exceed
> the results of any other SIDS prevention program in
> the world.
> Source of statistics: New Zealand Ministry of Health
> (final statistics to 2001; provisional statistics for
> 2002 and 2003; progress counts for 2004 and 2005).
> NZ Maori SIDS rate: 2.0 deaths per 1000 live births;
> NZ European/Pakeha SIDS rate: 0.2 deaths per 1000 live
> Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine
> 2004;14(3): 221-232. Zeitschrift fuer Umweltmedizin
> 2002; 44: 18-22.
> For further information, see: www.cotlife2000.co.nz