Bolton, Salford and Wigan public health and safeguarding leads have teamed up to remind new parents of the best ways to keep babies safe during Safer Sleep week.
The week, which runs from March 14 to 20 and is organised by The Lullaby Trust, encourages parents to follow simple steps which can help to protect babies while they sleep and reduce the risk of cot death. There are some simple steps for baby’s sleep times, day or night:
• Place your baby on their back to sleep, in a cot in the same room as you for the first six months.
• Don't smoke during pregnancy or breastfeeding and don't let anyone smoke in the same room as your baby.
• Don't share a bed with your baby if you've been drinking alcohol, if you take drugs or you're a smoker.
• Never sleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair.
• Don't let your baby get too hot or cold.
• Keep your baby's head uncovered. Their blanket should be tucked in no higher than their shoulders.
• Place your baby in the "feet to foot" position (with their feet at the end of the cot or Moses basket).
• Breastfeed your baby.
New guidelines for health professionals have been issued, which give more detail, so every pregnant woman and new family can talk to their midwife or health visitor about baby sleep.
“Research has shown that these simple steps really can make a difference in making sleep time safer for new born children and infants”, says Mick Lay Independent Chair of the Bolton, Salford and Wigan Child Death Overview Panel. “It is intended that this information will ensure parents and carers are better informed and make babies’ sleep safer.”
Deputy Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Linda Thomas, said: “Although Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is relatively rare, there are still more than 300 babies who die suddenly and unexpectedly in the UK each year and the effects are devastating on those families concerned. Sadly, there is no advice that will guarantee the prevention of SIDS but there are a number of things parents can do to help reduce the risks.
“Bolton, Wigan and Salford local authorities work in collaboration to ensure the correct advice is available for both health professionals and new parents. Together we have recently updated our official guidance for professionals working with new mums, including health visitors, family nurses and people working in nursery settings, and we are taking the opportunity to remind them of the importance of safe sleeping during The Lullaby Trust’s Safer Sleep Week.
“Pregnant and new mums will in turn receive this advice as part of their regular check-ups and health visits and can also access the most up to date information via the Bolton Safeguarding Children website.”