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New guidelines released to help babies sleep safe

Guidance aimed at helping parents and guardians to protect their babies from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) has been updated and released.

The guidance has been updated to coincide with National Safer Sleep Week, which runs from the 14 – 20 March 2016. This awareness campaign, organised by national charity The Lullaby Trust, aims to encourage parents to follow a number of simple steps which can help babies while they sleep and reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Every year, 300 babies in the UK die suddenly and unexpectedly in their sleep as a result of SIDS, with the North West having the highest death rate in England and Wales. As such, Salford Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) has worked with Bolton and Wigan LSCB’s to reduce this figure across the three areas.

Within the guidance are a number of simple tips, which include:

• Place your baby on their back to sleep, in cot in the same room as you for their first six months
• Don’t smoke during pregnancy or breastfeeding and don’t let anybody else smoke around them
• Don’t share a bed with your baby if you’ve been drinking, taking drugs or you’re a smoker
• Never sleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair
• Don’t let your baby get too hot or cold
• Keep your baby’s head uncovered. Their blanket should be tucked in no higher than their shoulders
• Place your baby in the ‘feet to toe’ position (with their feet at the end of the cot or Moses basket)
• Breastfeeding your baby

Andrea Patel, designated nurse for safeguarding children and looked after children at NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“The early days when a baby arrives into the world can be daunting for parents and guardians as they adjust to their new world and learn how to look after their child.

“Tragically, a small but significant number of babies in the region die through SIDS. This updated guidance will give new parents and guardians the tips that they need to ensure that their baby is sleeping safely.”

Mick Lay, independent chair of the Bolton, Salford and Wigan Child Death Overview Panel said:

“Research has shown that these simple steps really can make a difference in making sleep time safer for new born children and infants.

“It is intended that that this information will ensure that parents and carers are better informed and make babies’ sleep safer.”

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Editor at large, SalfordOnline.com