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Local News

Mystery surrounds baby’s tragic cot death at six months old

today16/07/2021

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An inquest has concluded into the tragic death of a six-month-old baby who was found face down and unresponsive in his cot on Christmas Eve.

Louie Houghton was rushed to hospital on December 24, 2020, after his parents Tom Houghton and Carly Bonaito, who live in Woodhouse, Sheffield, found him unresponsive and rushed him to hospital.

However, doctors were not able to revive him, meaning his grieving parents and distraught family had to prepare for a Christmas without Louie.

READ MORE: Fit and active Sheffield man, 25, endures terrifying week in hospital with ‘every Covid symptom’

Two separate inquest hearings have been heard at Sheffield Coroners Court into baby Louie’s death which heard that he was “fit, well and healthy” before his death.

A previous hearing heard that there were some “risk factors” in his sleeping arrangements including the room being 30C and items in his cot.

A pathologist said that Louie died as a result of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

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Coroner Abigail Combes heard at a hearing today, July 16, that it was believed that the family received the correct amount of support from the health visitor team.

Keeley Tong, who is a service manager for Sheffield Children’s Trust said that a robust assessment was completed on the family and all services had continued despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Louie and family had received a first face to face health visit at six to eight weeks and no concerns were raised and advice was given on sleeping situations for babies.

The service were aware of other children in the household being taken to A&E for multiple burns and a fracture – however it was deemed that there were no safeguarding concerns.

The family have since been re-assessed since Louie’s death, after having another baby, and are now receiving a fuller package of support from the health visitor team and social services.

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Also giving evidence in court was Charity Muzondo, an advanced social work practitioner in Sheffield.

She said that the service were not aware of the previous children’s admissions to hospital until they became involved on December 24 2020.

Coroner Abigail Combes said that it could never be known if social care were aware of the injuries if it could have lead to more robust support for the family when Louis was born.

She said: “No one is saying that these injuries were anything other than accidental but had social care been aware would that have informed a more robust support system for the family?

What is SIDS?

SIDS is an acronym for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which is more commonly known as ‘cot death’.

According to the NHS website, it is the sudden sudden, unexpected and unexplained death of an apparently healthy baby.

In the UK, more than 200 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly every year. SIDS is rare and the risk of your baby dying from it is low.

Most deaths attributed to SIDS happen during the first 6 months of a baby’s life. Infants born prematurely or with a low birthweight are at greater risk.

SIDS is also slightly more common in baby boys.

“We heard from the pathologist that the cause of death was SIDS and what was clear from evidence was that this is a naturally occurring condition, the cause of that will unfortunately never be known.

“But we do know that some of those risk factors were present, he was in a hot room and there were items in his cot.”

Reading out a narrative conclusion the coroner said: “Louie Houghton died at Sheffield Children’s Hospital on December 24 2020.

“He was found unresponsive in his cot at home, the exact cause of his death is unknown. There were a number of risk factors associated with SIDS including a Vitamin D deficiency.”

The coroner also requested more information from the Trust to consider a regulation 28, prevention of future deaths report.

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Written by: Rother Radio News


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today16/07/2021