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The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust has been supporting The Lullaby Trust’s Safer Sleep Week throughout this week with the aim of raising awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and the advice which reduces the risk of it occurring.
The Lullaby Trust reports that around three babies die from SIDS per week in the UK and if all parents were aware of the dangers of bed sharing and co-sleeping, many lives could be saved.
Dr Anne-Marie Henshaw, Director of Midwifery & Women’s Health, said: “With as many as 6,000 births across our Trust every year and around 700,000 babies born each year in the UK, it’s vital that we continue to educate all new parents on the risks associated with bed sharing and co-sleeping.
“We know that greater awareness of safer sleep leads to a decrease in the numbers of babies dying which is why we have supported this important week, striving to achieve maximum impact in its exposure.
“We would encourage parents of young children, mums-to-be, and those planning a family to follow us on Facebook at @MYMidYorksMaternity where, as well as sharing safer sleep advice across the week, we continue to publish health related information for families.”
Advice for parents and carers is not to put themselves in a position where they could fall asleep with their baby on a sofa or armchair as the risk of SIDS is reported to be 50 times higher. They are also at risk of accidental death as they can easily slip into a position where they are trapped and can’t breathe.
It is not recommended to bed share or co-sleep where; a parent smokes or the mother has smoked in pregnancy, anyone in the bed is extremely tired or has recently consumed alcohol or taken drugs (including medications that could make them drowsy), a parent is extremely tired, baby was born prematurely (37 weeks or less) or weighed under 2.5kg or 5½ lbs when they were born.
The safest place for a baby to sleep is in their own flat, separate sleep space such as a cot or Moses basket, clear of any items such as bumpers, toys and loose bedding.
For more information about safer sleeping, parents and carers can talk to their midwife or visit The Lullaby Trust’s website at: www.lullabytrust.org.uk