A reminder about the importance of safe sleep for babies
The Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Safer Sleep Steering Group is reminding professionals and parents about the importance of safe sleep for babies. The Lullaby Trust holds an annual Safer Sleep Week awareness campaign targeting anyone looking after a young baby. It aims to raise awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) also known as cot death and the safer sleep advice that reduces the risk of it occurring. A spokesperson for The Lullaby Trust said: “We know that greater awareness of safer sleep leads to a decrease in the numbers of babies dying. Sadly around 4 babies a week die from SIDS. If all parents were aware of safer sleep advice many lives could be saved.”
This year’s campaign focused on dads. The Trust states: “Dads often have a key role in the care of their baby, in some cases they are the primary carer. It is therefore crucial they understand how to reduce the risk of SIDS and sleep their baby safely.”
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Key safer sleep messages for all parents are:
- 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 cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months
- Breastfeed your baby
- Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition.
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 medication that make you drowsy, or if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth-weight
- Avoid letting your baby get too hot
- Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping or use loose bedding
- Don’t sleep your baby on a pod or nest or give them a pillow. Babies should not have anything soft around their heads while sleeping.
In Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, we have a Safer Sleep multi agency Steering Group that meets quarterly. The group oversees an action plan focusing on our strategic response, workforce development, information/tools on safer sleep and working with families. In April 2021 the group is sharing a survey that it has developed around safer sleep with parents. This will inform the group’s next steps in terms of getting feedback from parents to help shape its advice, information and training around safer sleep.
Birmingham Safeguarding Children Partnership in partnership with Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has produced a set of short films as part of an alcohol awareness campaign, urging parents to consider the dangers of drinking while looking after infants. You can find out more and view the films.