'It is horrible not knowing, but we now know we did nothing wrong'

Caleb Riley Kear.
Caleb Riley Kear.
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The family of a baby boy who died aged just 13 weeks have been told that his death was not their fault.

The family of a baby boy who died aged just 13 weeks have been told that his death was not their fault.

Caleb Riley Kear died in hospital on January 16, after being found pale and unresponsive at his home on Hazelbarrow Drive, in Jordanthorpe.

At an inquest into his death yesterday, senior coroner for South Yorkshire West Christopher Dorries recorded the cause as sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS.

Dr Marta Cohen, a senior paediatric consultant pathologist from Sheffield Children’s Hospital, told the inquest that the post-mortem she had conducted on Caleb’s body produced a ‘negative result’ – meaning no cause of death could be established.

Dr Cohen said that there were ‘risk factors’ present in Caleb’s case which meant he could have been more susceptible to SIDS, although none could be considered the cause of his death.

These included the fact he had been born premature at 35 weeks, had suffered from an infection in the week before he died and had a parent who smoked.

However, she added that the most common risk factor – babies sleeping in the same bed as their parents, had not been present in this case.

Rather than a formal cause of death, SIDS is a syndrome which describes infant deaths where no obvious reason can be found and is the number one cause of death of babies in the UK.

After the hearing, Caleb’s family spoke of their relief at the outcome.

Mum Kelly said: “It is horrible not knowing but it is confirmed that we did nothing wrong.

“I panicked about if he had turned over but the hospital told us that there were seven of these cases in South Yorkshire in the same week Caleb died.”

Dad Sam added: “It wasn’t our fault and it is just one of those unfortunate things. Hopefully there will be more awareness about it in the future.”

Dr Cohen also spoke about the lack of support available to the families of children whose lose young children.

She said: “Caleb’s family were very well looked after by the Children’s Hospital, by the mortuary and by the police but there is minimal access for bereavement support for parents in these circumstances.

“In the mortuary we do the best we can but we cannot offer continued support. Parents will still struggle to cope and at the moment there is a vacuum.”