Safeguarding Children Partnership promotes safer sleep for babies during national Safer Sleep Week
As part of their Keep Baby Safe campaign, Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Partnership (RBSCP) and partners have joined forces to promote safer sleep for babies during Safer Sleep Week (15 – 21 March).
Safer Sleep Week is a national awareness campaign by the Lullaby Trust targeting anyone looking after a young baby. It aims to raise awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and equip parents and carers with information about how to reduce the risk.
Sadly in the UK more than 200 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly every year. SIDS usually occurs when a baby is asleep, but it can occur at any sleep episode at any time of day.
Although the exact cause of SIDS is not known, experts do know that if all parents and carers followed safer sleep advice many lives could be saved. Giving this advice to families has resulted in the number of babies dying from SIDS reducing by 85% in the last 30 years.
Other factors that can increase the risk of SIDS, include smoking and if parents or carers have taken drugs or alcohol. Babies that are born prematurely or with low birth weight can also be disproportionately affected.
Dr Sarah Purlackee, Clinical Lead for Women and Children, NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale CCG said: “We know that the Covid-19 pandemic has made things difficult for new parents and carers who haven’t been able to rely on their usual support networks, such as access to Children Centres, Child Health Clinics and wider family members.
“We understand that isolating at home and/or working from home can put additional pressures on parents and carers, however it is really important that a baby has a safe space to sleep.”
Joanne Hodgkinson, Designated Nurse Safeguarding Children and Cared for Children, NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale CCG added: “Sadly, there have been some recent deaths in Rochdale and as a result, professionals have been working together to review how we support and get the messages across to parents.
“We encourage anyone caring for a new baby to follow safer sleep advice and seek help from their midwife, health visitor or GP. We want parents to know that advice and support is still available. Parents can follow the steps below to ensure safer sleep.”
- Every sleep needs to be a safe sleep. Have an infant sleep plan and routine
- Always place your baby to sleep on their back, on a firm, flat, waterproof mattress
- Always sleep your baby in a moses basket, crib or cot for every sleep episode, day or night, in the same room as parent / carer for the first six months
- Never leave your baby to sleep on a sofa chair or bed
- Do not cover your baby’s head, face or use loose bedding
- Smoking in pregnancy or during the first 12 months after your baby is born increases the risk of sudden infant death
- Avoid letting your baby get too hot. The ideal room temperature is between 16 and 20 degrees centigrade
- Babies who are unwell need fewer bed clothes, not more
Further support and information can be found on the RBSCP webpage: https://www.rbscp.org/parents-carers/safe-sleeping/, the Lullaby Trust website: https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/ and on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sudden-infant-death-syndrome-sids/