Table 5

Quotes concerning understanding risk factors

ThemeReference numberQuote
Understanding risk factors5.1If they say that nine out of ten cot deaths are in families where family members smoke, whether you do it around the baby or not…But I was thinking to myself ‘I can't see how that makes any difference’ and I mean, I fell asleep with him by accident that night when it happened but the amount of times I'd put him in bed with me…(mother, SIDS case)
5.2She clearly understands and I mean she did say to me when she was pregnant with the [next] baby…she said ‘I'm going to be really, really, really clear this time, that this baby will be sleeping in their own crib and that as much as I might be tempted, I will not be co-sleeping’. (nurse, SIDS case)
5.3Basically that…pretty much what that Prof Kinney says, he must have been a vulnerable baby put into an unsafe environment. (mother, SIDS case)
Pain of acknowledging actions5.4Yes because my wife sort of listened to it [the paediatrician talking about risk factors] and thought ‘well he was in our bed at the time when he died and should I have put him in there…had I put him in his cot, would things have turned out differently?’ (father, SIDS case)
Understanding and downplaying5.5In a way it's made me open my eyes a lot more as well because you don't realise what it could do like with co-sleeping but I weren't actually right next to him like I usually…I can understand what they are saying about it…obviously he didn't want me to wake up next to him, he knew [he was going to die]. That's how I've got to look at it. (mother, SIDS case)[baby found in co-sleeping situation in corner of small sofa with head covered by bedding, baby normally slept next to mother on this sofa]
Fear of parents self-blaming when risk factors discussed5.6…So once the death has happened, we don't…I don't think we dwell on the risk factors because I think, that's right, we're not trying…we don't want to apportion blame to parents. (paediatrician, SIDS case)
  • SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome.