Safer Sleep Week messages vital as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome rises

Latest figures, published in August last year, reveal that for the first time in 3 years Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) has increased by 11%.

Figures show that nationally the number of deaths in infants rose from 195 in 2015 to 219 in 2016 across England and Wales.

Tragically, trends in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome reveal that the rates are worse in disadvantaged communities. Causes include smoking, co-sleeping unsafely and misinformation about safer sleep.

During this week messages will be promoted informing new and expectant parents what is best for their babies when sleeping during both day time naps and at night. This important advice is based on hard facts and evidence for all families to help protect their littles ones through the most vulnerable years.

Safer Sleep Week is supported by the Lullaby Trust whose website shares vital information such as the best position for babies to sleep in, how to co-sleep correctly and other information that can reduce the risk of SIDS.

Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, Cllr Jackie Drayton said:

“I cannot stress how important it is that all parents can access the information they need to keep their babies safe.

“To make sure we are promoting the messages across all communities in Sheffield we have asked people to become Baby Safe Champions, I have signed up as a champion myself.

“The Baby Safe Champions are volunteers from different walks of life all committed to helping make sure parents know how to keep their babies safe and how to access the services they need.

“As well as sleeping safe we are encouraging mums to access antenatal advice at an early stage, point parents to the right services they need to stop smoking, help mums to breast feed, and asking that children’s vaccinations are up to date. Our job is to promote messages far and wide to help keep babies safe in all areas of the city.”

‘Baby Safe Champions’ is a new drive led by Sheffield City Council in partnership with the NHS asking new and expectant parents to keep their babies safe. The messages are delivered by Baby Safe Champions who are volunteers passionate about spreading the word.

Henrietta Mlalazi, mum of two, is a Baby Safe Champion, who felt like she didn’t know enough about safe sleep when she became a mum.

Henrietta said: “After I had my first baby I felt like I didn’t know enough about safe sleep.

“My midwife gave me some advice but I didn’t realise there was so much information available about safe sleep and once I realised, I knew it would be the same for other new mums like me.

“After looking into safe sleeping I came across the Little Lullaby Trust based in London, which helps raise awareness around safe sleep with young parents.

“I knew there was a need to raise awareness, especially with younger mums, and I wanted what they did to have an impact in Sheffield, so I worked with them to bring the Little Lullaby Trust here.

“When I heard about the council’s Baby Safe Champions I knew immediately I wanted to be involved as I am passionate about raising awareness around safer sleep. I would have definitely appreciated it as a new mum.”

For more information about Safer Sleep Week visit www.lullabytrust.org.uk. For more information about Baby Safe visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/babysafe.

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