New survey shows 68% of parents do NOT know correct protocol to ensure safe sleep
A recent survey by the Lullaby Trust charity, which raises funds and awareness to prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) has uncovered that 68% of parents are unsure of the basic steps they can take to help protect their baby and lower the risk of SIDS.
SIDS is often referred to as cot death and occurs when a baby dies suddenly and unexpectedly, with the cause of death being unclear even after a postmortem has been carried out.
The Lullaby Trust released the shocking statistics in order to give parents better advice and to bring the matter to the attention of the public as even today, around 250 babies die from SIDS per year in the UK. The charity have since released a series of top tips as a result of this research and Asian Express have shared them for you to learn:
1: ALWAYS place your baby to sleep on their back
This advice should be followed unless your doctor has advised you of a medical reason to do otherwise. Babies should be sleeping on their back until they have the strength to turn themselves back over should they end up on their side or front. Once they can move themselves, they can be left to find a comfortable position, until that point if your baby rolls onto their side, they should be place back into the correct position.
2: Don’t let your baby sleep on your bed, or fall asleep on a sofa or armchair with you.
Sofa/bed sharing with your baby greatly increases the chance of SIDS. Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby either next to you or on your chest, even during the day. Your baby should sleep in a cot or moses basket in the same room as your for 6 months, after which, they can be moved into their own room.
3: Don’t let your baby get too hot or cold.
You need to check your baby regularly to see if he or she is too hot. Look for sweating or feel the baby’s tummy – your baby’s hands and feet will usually be cooler, which is normal. If your baby is hot, remove one or more layers of bedclothes. Babies who are unwell need fewer, not more bedclothes. Babies do not need to wear hats indoors unless medically recommended. A room temperature of 16-20o C, with light bedding or a lightweight well-fitting baby sleep bag, is comfortable and safe for sleeping babies.
4: Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress.
You should avoid using soft or bulky bedding (such as quilts, pillows and duvets) as these increase the chance of SIDS. You should sleep your baby on a firm, flat mattress that is clean and in good condition. A mattress with a waterproof cover will help you keep it clean and dry. Your baby should be sleeping on their back in the ‘feet to foot’ position – this is where the baby’s feet are placed at the foot of the cot – so they can’t wriggle down under the blanket.
5: Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping or use loose bedding
The use of loose bedding which can cover your baby’s face or head can be dangerous and can increase the chance of SIDS. Use blankets which are firmly tucked in, no higher than the baby’s shoulders or baby sleeping bag.