Parents urged to follow safe sleep advice

Parents are being urged to make sure their babies have a ‘safe’ night’s sleep by following a few golden rules.

Stacey Pope

Stacy Pope, safeguarding and sudden unexpected deaths in infancy and childhood specialist nurse at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, is calling on people to be aware of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) as part of Safer Sleep Week which runs between March 11 and 17.

Stacy said: “The syndrome is rare, but it can still happen and there are steps parents can take to help reduce the chance of this tragedy happening.”

She said people should do the following for all sleep periods where possible, not just at night:

• 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 separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first six months
• Use a firm, flat and waterproof mattress in good condition.
Things to avoid include:

• Sleeping in the same bed as your baby
• Sleep in an armchair or on a sofa with your baby
• Letting your baby get too hot
• Not covering your baby’s face while sleeping or use loose bedding
• Avoiding accidents remove all pillows, cot bumpers and soft toys from the cot.
Stacy, who provides help and support to people whose child dies, said: “SIDS is the unexpected death of a baby for no obvious reason and although we don’t know yet how to completely prevent it, it is possible to significantly lower the chances of it happening by following the above advice.

“As part of this week I want to raise awareness of the simple do’s and don’ts that can save lives. I have been doing this job for the last three years and during that time there have been a small number of babies who have died due to unsafe sleeping practices.

“One baby death is too many, so parents just need to be aware of the potential dangers.”

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