21st June 2018

Make every sleep safe for babies

Somerset parents, grandparents and carers are advised to take steps to keep babies safe from harm every time they go to sleep.

The advice is offered as part of the annual ‘Safer Sleep Week’, organised by the Lullaby Trust (12th-18th March 2018).  The awareness week aims to make sure people know the importance of safer sleep and how to reduce the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

SIDS is the sudden and unexplained death of a baby. Around 232 babies and toddlers still die every year of SIDS in the UK.  Since the risk reduction advice was first promoted in the early 1990s, the number of infants dying has fallen significantly.

There are many practical steps everyone can take to ensure babies get a safer sleep and also to prevent tragedy. The advice is based on strong scientific evidence and should be followed for all sleep periods, not just at night.

Please follow the advice for every sleep.

·         Always place your baby on their back to sleep.

·         Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth.

·         Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first six months.

·         Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition.

·         Breastfeed your baby.

·         When you finish travelling by car, take your baby out of their car seat, even if they are asleep. Then put them into a cot or Moses basket.

Things to avoid:

·         Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby.

·         Don’t sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, drink or take drugs or are extremely tired.

·         Avoid letting your sleeping baby get too hot

·         Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping

Cllr. Christine Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing at Somerset County Council said:  “We work with professionals and agencies to ensure our children get the very best start in life.  I would encourage all professionals working with parents during pregnancy to make them aware of this safer sleep for babies advice.”

Alison Bell, Consultant in Public Health at Somerset County Council said:  “As part of Safer Sleep Week we are promoting the ABC of Safer Sleep, reminding you that the safest place for a baby to sleep during the first six months is A –  always alone, B – on their back and C-  in their own cot.”

She added: “Babies need a lot of sleep during the first few months of their lives so it’s important to ensure that they are sleeping as safely as possible.   Every sleep matters.”

Take a look at Somerset’s new digital support for families …

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Somersetbreastfeeding/

Website https://www.healthysomerset.co.uk/breastfeeding/

For full information, including a downloadable leaflet, visit http://www.lullabytrust.org.uk