Parents across Merseyside are being reminded about the importance of ‘Safer Sleeping for Baby’ during Safer Sleep Week from 13-19 March.
Each year, up to 300 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly in their sleep as a result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – and the north west has the highest rate in England and Wales.
The Lullaby Trust and Merseyside Safeguarding Childrens Boards will be heightening awareness of the issue and letting people know how to reduce the chance of it occurring.
It builds on a campaign commissioned last year by Merseyside Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) to tackle an issue which has caused an average of five deaths each year for the last five years across the region.
‘Safer Sleep for Baby’ is based around six simple steps, that will help parents and carers keep their baby safe:
- Keep baby away from smoke, before and after birth.
- Put baby in a cot, crib or Moses basket to sleep – never fall asleep with them on a sofa or chair.
- Never fall asleep with baby after drinking or taking drugs/medication.
- Put baby to sleep on their back with their feet to the foot of the cot.
- Keep baby’s head and face uncovered and make sure they don’t get too hot.
- Breastfeed your baby – support is available if you need it.
Debbie Hammersley, Designated Nurse for Safeguarding Children and Chair of the Safe Sleep group, said: “There are a few very simple steps that parents can take which dramatically reduce the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
“Safer Sleep Week offers an opportunity to remind people what they can do and the support that is out there to give them assistance.”
The week will see promotional activities at Children’s Centres, staff awareness raising, social media messages and special workshops.
Safer sleep messages are also available from midwives, health visitors and children’s centre staff in a variety of forms such as cot cards, room thermometers, bookmarks, postcards and posters.
More information is available online at www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep-week or by searching for the hash tag #safersleepweek on Twitter.