17 March 2017

Is your child sleeping as safely as possible? It’s Safer Sleep Week and parents are reminded of the ABCs of safer sleep for their babies and toddlers.

From 13-19 March 2017, The Lullaby Trust and partners want to reach as many new and expectant parents in the UK as possible to raise awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and the advice on how parents and carers can reduce the risk of it occurring.

Research shows that greater awareness of safer sleep leads to a decrease in the numbers of babies dying.
Around 700,000 babies are born every year in the UK and sadly around 4 babies a week die from SIDS in the United Kingdom.

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families said: “It’s devastating that sudden infant deaths do still happen. In Safer Sleep Week there are various organisations on hand with strategies to help babies sleep safely.”

In Sheffield, the Council in partnership with charity The Lullaby Trust, have been working hard to reduce the incidence of SIDS to below the national average by 2020. The incidence of SIDS has reduced to below the national average already but there is no room for complacency.

The latest figures of SIDS in Sheffield (2014) were 0.27 per 1000 live births, where the national rate is 0.3 per 100 births.

Professionals have worked hard with families to make sure that they understand the Safer Sleep messages and promote these with mothers, fathers and carers with babies.

Safer Sleep Champions are available for guidance and support from our children centres. These Champions have received training from the Lullaby Trust Regional Coordinator and are fully equipped to deliver training sessions to staff and make sure that they have resources to spread the Safer Sleep messages to parents at every opportunity possible.

The Safer Sleep messages are:

  • Always place your baby on their back to sleep.
  • Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth.
  • Breastfeed your baby, if you can.
  • Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room
    as you for the first 6 months.
  • Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition

Things to avoid:

  • Never sleep on a bed, 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 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 or use loose bedding

Leaflets, advice and other resources on Safer Sleep are available at https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/