INDEPENDENT NEWS

Sprott Attacks Shipley For Hypocrisy On Cot Death

Published: Mon 15 Nov 1999 11:16 AM
Dr Jim Sprott has today slated the Prime Minister over the Government's stance on cot death prevention. Statistics released last Friday show that since the introduction of Dr Sprott's mattress-wrapping campaign in late 1994, the New Zealand cot death rate has fallen by 48%.
In a recent TVNZ Holmes debate Mrs Shipley drew attention to the recent reduction in cot death. "That reduction has little to do with Government policies," said Dr Sprott. "Their cot death prevention advice hasn't changed since 1992. The recent huge reduction clearly coincides with the 100% successful mattress- wrapping campaign. Yet mattress-wrapping is the item of advice which the Government stubbornly refuses to endorse."
Since 1994 over 350 cot deaths have occurred in New Zealand, but there has been no reported cot death on any mattress wrapped to Dr Sprott's specifications.
"The Government's stance on cot death prevention is sad," said Dr Sprott. "All those 350 cot deaths occurred on the Govern- ment's side of the street, and none on mine. They were all preventable. Yet the Government refuses to tell parents how to stop cot death."
Before the introduction of mattress-wrapping, New Zealand had the highest cot death rate in the world.* However, following the introduction of mattress-wrapping, the Pakeha cot death rate is now one of the lowest in the world.**
The Ministry of Health has confirmed that mattress-wrapping is more common among the Pakeha community than in other ethnic groups.
"It is shameful that Mrs Shipley tried to score a political point out of cot death prevention. She keeps on telling us she's a mother. Why, as a mother, doesn't she tell parents how to stop cot death?"
* * * * * * *
2.1 deaths per 1000 live births (1994)
** 0.5 deaths per 1000 live births (1998)

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