Celebrating Safer Sleep Week

Somerset parents, carers and families are urged to practice the A.B.C of Safer Sleep to keep babies safe from harm every time they go to sleep.

The advice is offered as part of the annual ‘Safer Sleep Week’, organised by the Lullaby Trust which takes place from 11th-17th March 2019.

The awareness week aims to raise awareness of SIDS and equip parents with information on how they can reduce the risk.

SIDS is the sudden and unexplained death of a baby. Sadly, around 4 babies a week still die from SIDS and if all parents were aware of safer sleep advice many lives could be saved.

There are many practical steps everyone can take to ensure babies get a safer sleep and prevent tragedy. The advice is based on strong scientific evidence and should be followed for all sleep periods, not just at night.

Please follow the advice for every sleep.
• Always place your baby alone 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.
• 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.
• Avoid letting your sleeping baby get too hot
• Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping

Cllr. Christine Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing at Somerset County Council said: “We know that greater awareness of safer sleep leads to a decrease in the numbers of babies dying. We would encourage all professionals working with parents during pregnancy, parents and their families to make sure they are aware of this safer sleep for babies advice.”

Alison Bell, Consultant in Public Health at Somerset County Council said: “As part of Safer Sleep Week we are promoting the ABC of Safer Sleep, reminding you that the safest place for a baby to sleep during the first six months is A – always alone, B – on their back and C – in their own cot.”

She added: “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. Every sleep matters.”

Families with young babies and children under five may also be eligible to take part in the county’s ‘Safer Homes’ scheme. We are working with Somerset and Devon Fire and Rescue Service and looking for families with young children who may be eligible to have stair gates and other equipment fitted to help keep babies and young children safe. The check will also provide families with a safety and fire assessment and free equipment including stairgates, cupboard locks and smoke alarms.

If this sounds like your family or you know someone who may benefit then just speak to your local Health Visitor.

Contact The Lullaby Trust, for any questions about SIDS or safer sleep, please call their information line on 0808 802 6869 (lines open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm).

ENDS

For more information, please contact the Press Office on 01823 355020 or email pressoffice@somerset.gov.uk.
Notes to editors