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Safer Sleep Week

Baby sleeping on their back - Safer sleep campaign
11 - 17 March 2024
Safer Sleep Week is an annual national campaign which this year runs from 11 - 17 March 2024. The theme this year is “The Safest Place”.

The aim of the campaign

Safer Sleep Week is The Lullaby Trust’s national awareness campaign targeting anyone looking after a young baby. It aims to raise awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and the simple advice that reduces the risk of it occurring.
We know that greater awareness of safer sleep leads to a decrease in the numbers of babies dying. Sadly around 3 babies a week still die from SIDS and if all parents were aware of safer sleep advice many lives could be saved. Around 700,000 babies are born every year in the UK, and we need to continue to reach out to all new parents with our life-saving messages.

The aim is to give parents/carers advice on ways that they can ensure they follow current safer sleeping guidance. It is something that no one should ever have to go through but unfortunately incidents of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) happen. It is heart-breaking and devastating for any family to cope with.

What you can do to support safer sleeping

The Lullaby Trust offers some top tips for a safer sleep. Here are just a few:

  1. Babies’ airways are vulnerable, particularly in the first few months of life, so it is important that parents and carers are aware of this and actions they can take to protect them. The simplest way to do this is by sleeping a baby on their back on a firm, flat surface with no padded or cushioned areas. This will help to keep their airway open and reduce the risk of suffocation and SIDS. A cot, Moses basket, bassinet, carry cot or crib all fulfil these criteria.

  1. Don’t cover baby’s face or head whilst they are sleeping, and don’t use loose bedding. Smoke, and second-hand smoke can significantly increase the chance of SIDS. If you’re expecting, a new parent or want to quit smoking now a new baby has entered your life, Leicestershire County Council’s Quit Ready team can help, visit:

  1. It is recommended that baby sleeps in the same room as you, in their own sleep space (like a cot or Moses basket) for at least the first six months.

  1. It isn’t safe for baby to sleep on an armchair or sofa either alone or in a co-sleep.

  1. Remember ABC. Always make sure baby is asleep on their Back, in a Clear cot or sleep space.

  1. Baby’s sleeping space should be clear and clutter-free, flat, with a firm waterproof mattress and with a temperature between 16° to 20° celsius.

  1. Safer sleep advice should be followed for all sleep, anywhere. If baby is sleeping in a car, stop for breaks and make sure they are kept in sight. When sleeping away from home, check that the new area is set up for safe sleep.

Did you know?  

  • That incidents of SIDS occur typically when baby is 2-3 months old, not immediately after birth  

  • There are some factors that can increase the risk of SIDS such as smoking during and after pregnancy, pre-term, low weight babies and multiple births  

  • Boys have been shown to be of a higher risk  

  • Sharing a bed with a baby under the influence of a substance such as alcohol and drugs can increase the risk  

  • Those who are experiencing directly or indirectly from any type of abuse or neglect are deemed at higher risk  

  • Parenting styles and behaviours adopted through different cultures may increase the risk of SUDI’s  

Further information

For more information, advice and support.

 Lullaby Trust

 0808 802 6869

Expectant or new families can also speak to their midwife or health visitor for support on how to keep their baby safe when sleeping. 

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