Every sleep matters – safer sleep for babies

Somerset parents and carers are being asked to take steps to keep their babies safe from harm every time they go to sleep.

The advice is part of ‘Safer Sleep Week’, organised by the Lullaby Trust (14-20 March 2016) which aims to ensure parents and carers know the importance of safer sleep, and are aware of how to reduce the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

SIDS is the sudden and unexplained death of a baby, where no cause is found after a detailed post mortem. Research has found that there are several factors more common with babies who die of SIDS than those who do not. 1

We want Somerset parents and carers to avoid the factors that increase the risk of SIDS and keep babies safe from harm.

Alison Bell, Consultant in Public Health, Somerset County Council said:

“Babies need a lot of sleep during the first few months of their lives so it’s important to ensure that they are sleeping as safely as possible, not just at night time, but day time naps are just as important. Every sleep matters.”

There are many practical steps you can take to help prevent tragedy and ensure a safer sleep:

• 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, waterproof mattress in good condition.
• Breastfeed your baby.
• When you finish travelling by car, take your baby out of their car seat, even if they are asleep. Then put them into a cot or Moses basket.

Things to avoid:
• Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby.
• Don’t sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, drink or take drugs or are extremely tired, if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth-weight.
• Avoid letting your baby get too hot.

Councillor Anna Groskop, Cabinet Member with responsibility for public health, Somerset County Council said: “Our vision for Somerset is to work towards better health for our children and families. As part of ‘Safer Sleep Week’ we are promoting the ABC of Safer Sleep, reminding you that babies should always sleep in the same room as you, and please make sure that they are A – Alone; B – on their Back; C – in their own Cot.”

For full information, including a downloadable leaflet parents can visit http://www.lullabytrust.org.uk and you can follow #safersleep.

Please contact the Press Office on 01823 355020 or email pressoffice@somerset.gov.uk

To view all of our news releases, please visit http://www.somersetnewsroom.com

Notes to Editors:

  1. Fleming PJ, Bacon C, Blair PS, Berry PJ, (eds), Sudden unexpected deaths in infancy. The CESDI SUDI studies 1993-1996. London: The Stationery Office. 2000