Councils back campaign on safer sleeping for babies

Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County councils have teamed up to support national Safer Sleep Week 2016.

The campaign, organised by the Lullaby Trust and running this week, aims to highlight the importance of safer sleeping for babies.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) claims the lives of around five babies a week in the UK and the Trust is seeking to more than halve that figure by 2020. In Nottingham and across the county since 2009, 35 infants have died where unsafe sleeping has been a factor.

The two authorities are reminding families how important it is to follow safe sleeping advice – both overnight and for daytime naps.

To make sure that babies have a safer sleep, parents are reminded of the following information:

  • Always place your baby on their back to sleep
  • Keep your baby smokefree 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
  • Make sure there are no pillows, soft or bulky bedding, or toys in the cot or Moses basket
  • Breastfeed your baby if you can

Things you should do:

  • Use a flat, firm, 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, take drugs or are extremely tired, or of 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 put toys or teddies in the cot where a baby is sleeping

Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years, said: “Babies have very specific requirements when it comes to where, when and how they sleep. The advice from the Lullaby Trust is vital, and it’s also important to remember that it applies not only to bedtime but also daytime naps as well.

“It’s not just for parents either. Grandparents and other family members need to understand about safe sleep because many youngsters spend the night away from home.

“We need to work together to make sure that everyone is armed with the potentially life-saving knowledge to keep their baby safe at bedtime.”

Councillor Joyce Bosnjak, chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “It is crucial that parents, grandparents and other carers are following the advice from the Lullaby Trust to make sure their babies sleep safely. Young babies have particular needs and we are working to make sure that this advice is shared as widely as possible. For example advice cards are being made available at children’s centres, doctors’ surgeries and from health visitors.

“We want to work with the Trust and our partners locally to make sure that, as far as possible, we can reduce the chances these tragic circumstances occurring in the future.”

Francine Bates, Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust “We greatly appreciate the support of Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County councils for our national awareness campaign Safer Sleep Week.

“Local councils have a crucial role to play in communicating the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome to parents in their communities and emphasising the importance of safe sleep routines.”

For more information about safe sleep for babies, parents and carers can visit: http://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep

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