Every sleep matters - safer sleep for babies

Release Date: 06/03/2017

Richmond parents and carers are being reminded of the steps they need to take 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 (13-19 March 2017) 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 that are more common among babies who die of SIDS and the Council, along with the Local Safeguarding Children Board want to support parents and carers to avoid the factors that increase the risk of SIDS and keep their babies safe from harm.

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
  • Do not smoke in pregnancy or in the same room as your baby
  • Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months
  • Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition
  • 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
  • Don’t use loose bedding to cover your babies face or head while sleeping

Cllr Lisa Blakemore, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Public Health, said:

"Losing a baby is a tragedy and we have every sympathy for families who experience this. We would urge parents to follow the best available advice on safe sleeping whenever they put their baby to sleep.

"This campaign will help raise awareness of the danger of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and provides a valuable opportunity to let families know there is advice and support available."

Richmond and Kingston LSCB Chairman, Deborah Lightfoot added;

"These are simple steps for parents to remember to keep their children safe when sleeping, whether at home or staying away. It's especially important when children might be unwell and parents have broken nights."

Updated: 6 March 2017