19 Aug 2012

Unsafe sleeping arrangements killed 30 babies: Coroner

6:49 am on 19 August 2012

A report by the Chief Coroner shows that in the past five years 30 babies have died of asphyxiation due to unsafe sleeping arrangements.

The Coroner's office has begun issuing a quarterly summary of coroners' findings.

The first edition looks at sudden unexpected death in infancy.

Chief Coroner Neil Maclean says since July 2007, there have been 163 cases where a coroner has found that to be the cause of an infant's death.

He says in another 30 cases, a coroner found that babies died from asphyxiation while sleeping on their stomach or in bed with someone else.

In another 19 cases, babies died in an environment of unsafe sleeping arrangements.

Mr Maclean says in many cases, the babies would still be alive if people had followed established safe sleeping practices.