Kadman fears abuse in some crib deaths

Head of the National Council for the Child expresses "doubts" all the cases of baby deaths that are recognized as "sudden infant death syndrome" (SIDS).

October 30, 2008 22:36
1 minute read.
Kadman fears abuse in some crib deaths

dead baby 88 generic. (photo credit: )

The head of the National Council for the Child expressed his "doubts" on Thursday that all the cases of baby deaths that are recognized as "sudden infant death syndrome" (SIDS) were in fact natural occurrences rather than intentional violence or negligence. Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, a veteran social worker who has headed the council for more than two decades, was commenting on a report earlier this week by Magen David Adom that in September through December of 2007, there were about 15 recognized SIDS cases. This was almost four times the number of crib deaths during the same period in 2006. Kadman demanded that the death of every child under the age of five be investigated, as almost no autopsies are performed on SIDS victims. They are defined as crib death victims on the basis of ruling out unnatural circumstances such as violence or disease. He said "shaken baby syndrome" - intentional shaking of infants by parents or others to quiet them down - is significantly underdiagnosed in Israel compared to other Western countries. In many cases, this abuse does not leave signs. The council chairman criticized the state for failing to legislate supervision on day-care and other childminding centers and setting minimum requirements for staffers, including passing a basic first-aid course. Kadman said his organization initiated legislation seven years ago that would license and supervise institutions caring for babies and toddlers, but it was still stuck in committee. A five-month-old baby girl found dead in her crib in a Holon day care center on Tuesday was the latest crib death victim. According to MDA, SIDS - which occurs in babies aged one month to one year - was responsible for 35 percent to 55% of all deaths in this age group. The number of cases dropped significantly since the official policy of putting babies to sleep on their backs was implemented by parents and caregivers, instead of putting them to sleep on their stomachs or sides. To reduce the risk of SIDS, besides observing the rules on sleeping positions, parents and caregivers should avoid warning the baby's room over 23º Celsius. Do not overdress the baby. Prefer layers of light clothing when it is cold. Do not smoke in the home, and especially do not expose the baby to tobacco smoke. The baby's mattress must be solid and not soft, as this could prevent air from reaching the nose.

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