Britain’s Parliament met Tuesday to discuss an issue it has never addressed before: why previously healthy infants, toddlers, and even some school-age children are dropping dead.
“The issue of children dying unexpectedly and without any known cause has been debated in Parliament for the first time,” the BBC reported.
MPs from all sides of the political divide discussed the issue in the debate, with some arguing that more research must be done to determine the cause of the condition, known as Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood, or SUDC.
SUDC is one of the leading causes of death for children under age 5, the BBC reported.
Tory MP Kwasi Kwarteng, who led the debate, called for more awareness to be brought to the tragic medical mystery, according to the report.
“Imagine a death of a child, who has all his or her life in front of them, suddenly ended,” Kwarteng said.
“If you can imagine that and if you can imagine that for one of your own children, you can get a sense of how tragic and how difficult that occurrence is.”
Other lawmakers recounted the experiences that their constituents had dealt with.
“It clouds everything you do, feel and breathe. I hate that it happened to him and not me,” said Liberal Democrat Tim Farron, quoting a mother who has contacted him.
“It’s such an uncomfortable issue but it is important to grasp uncomfortable issues to [honor] those who had died and prevent future deaths.”
As many know, our lovely 3 year old son Alexander died on Boxing Day 2021. He had mild tummy bug symptoms over Christmas but otherwise seemed a little under the weather, nothing more. He danced to the Masked Singer with Freddie on Christmas Day night. One of my treasured memories pic.twitter.com/sGnn5BB1N8
— Dr Emily Cooper (@criminographer) December 1, 2022
What makes SUDC unique is that “the cause of death remains unexplained after a thorough investigation,” according to SUDC UK, a national charity focused on research and helping families affected by the tragedies.
About 40 children die in SUDC incidents annually in England and Wales alone.
“This is more than young deaths due to traffic accidents, fires or drowning.”
Since 2011, the group said, SUDC deaths have ranged from 27-55 per year — comparable to 1-2 children dying every two weeks.
The group reported that SUDC is the fourth leading category of death for children between 1 and 4.
The group said SUDC victims are most often males between age 1 and 2 years who die in their sleep, almost always while sleeping on their stomachs.
“Approximately half have an illness or … fever which cannot explain the death,” the group explained.
“The child’s development is usually within normal limits and vaccinations are up to date
“There is also published evidence to suggest an association between febrile seizures and SUDC,” the group reported.
“There is limited awareness and research to understand SUDC and currently, no-one can predict or prevent these deaths,” the group’s website said. “They continue to devastate families year on year.”
“I’d heard of cot death … but I had never heard of the case of an older child just dropping dead.” Leading @HPUKParents today is a heartbreaking but important #MyStory from Emily (@criminographer) who wants more research into sudden unexplained death in childhood #sudc pic.twitter.com/dUMHy37NFs
— Tasha Hinde (@tashahinde) December 22, 2022
At Tuesday’s Parliamentary debate, the British MPs agreed that more studies should be funded.
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