One in four child deaths in a London borough were because their parents were related, a figure that suggests a decline in such deaths, a council report revealed.
Redbridge Council’s health and wellbeing board found deaths of children from parents who were known interfamily couples accounted for 31 of cases of the 124 that were reviewed between 2008-2016.
However, the council reported since 2009/10 they have seen a decline in deaths of children from interfamily parents, the lowest record being in 2014/15 .
A council spokesperson described the downward trend as ‘encouraging’ and attributed it to ‘raising awareness’ in the community.
‘Genetic disorders are found in every community, however, communities where cousin marriage is common tend to have more children with recessive disorders,’ the spokesperson said.
‘Although numbers are small, we have been talking with community members and they have told us that people want better information and services to support families in understanding the issues around cousin marriages and genetic risk.
‘In response we have made information available which aims to answer some of the most common questions.’