Every year, 300 babies in the UK die suddenly and unexpectedly in their sleep as a result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
There are more baby deaths in the North West than any other part of England and Wales, with Wigan’s rate double the national average.
NHS Ashton, Leigh and Wigan and Wigan Council are working to reduce the number of sudden infant deaths. As well as publicity, hundreds of health and social care workers are being given training on how to advise parents and look out for signs that babies might be at risk.
Parents can reduce the risk to their newborn by ensuring baby sleeps on its back in the parents’ room and by keeping the temperature down to between
60-64° Fahrenheit or 16-20° Centigrade. Falling asleep with a baby significantly increases the risk of sudden infant deaths if the parent is a smoker, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or just very tired.
Cllr Susan Loudon, Wigan Council’s cabinet champion for children, says: “I sincerely hope that the result is a fall in the rates of sudden infant deaths and the resultant heartache for families.”
Sleep Safe checklist:
- The safest place for a baby to sleep for the first six months is on their back in a cot, Moses basket or crib in their parents’ room.
- It is dangerous for a baby to sleep in a normal bed or on a sofa or armchair.
- Babies should be placed on their back on a firm mattress, with their feet at the end of the cot.
- They should also not be allowed to get too hot. An ideal room temperature between 60-64° Fahrenheit (16–20° Centigrade.)
- Babies should be protected from second hand smoke – mothers should not smoke during pregnancy or smoke inside the house.
Learn more and download handy checklists: Safe Sleeping (external link) and FSID (external link)