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The ‘Back to Sleep’ campaign in the early 1990s dramatically reduced the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), but the problem has not gone away. There have always been familial clusters, some of which have led to parents being convicted of serial infanticide. In these legal cases the defence has been some genetic predisposition to SIDS, but this has been difficult to prove. A popular theory is that SIDS only occurs when three factors are present: a high-risk environment, a critical phase of development and a genetic vulnerability. It therefore seems …
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