CSCP 5 Minute Briefing - Safer Sleeping

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CSCP 5 minute briefing

Safer Sleeping

safer sleep for baby

There is evidence from many long term studies of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) that some of the infant deaths associated with bed-sharing, co-sleeping and other factors associated with SIDS can be prevented. There is no advice that guarantees the prevention of SIDS but parents should be informed that by following the advice in this briefing, it is possible to reduce the likelihood of SIDS occurring.

Why it matters?

  • SIDS claims the lives of 230 babies per year (4 per week)
  • Around 80% of SIDS occur in first 6 months of baby’s life
  • A baby placed on their front is 6 times more at risk than a baby placed on their back
  • Sleeping on a sofa with a baby increases risk by 50 times
  • In 2018 rate of SIDS was noted to be 4 times higher among mothers under 20 years old compared to other age groups
  • Sharing a room with baby can halve the risk
  • Babies with low birth weight at 5 times greater risk
  • Boys more at risk than girls - 58% of unexplained infant deaths were boys in 2018
  • Over a 1/3 of SIDs deaths could have been avoided if no women smoked during pregnancy

 (Source Lullaby Trust)

Protective Factors

  • Placing baby on back to sleep
  • Keeping baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth
  • Placing baby in separate cot or Moses basket to sleep
  • Ensure baby in same room as parent/ carer for first six months
  • Breastfeeding baby
  • Use of firm, flat, waterproof mattress, in good condition

Risk Factors

  • Sleeping on sofa/ armchair
  • Baby overheating. Keep room temperature 16-20°C
  • Covering baby’s face or head while sleeping/ use of loose bedding
  • Cuddly toy in cot/ Moses basket
  • Sleeping in a car seat
  • Use of pillow, cushion or beanbag
  • Change in sleep circumstances e.g. routine
  • Bed sharing increases the chance of SIDS and is particularly dangerous/ should not occur if:
    • Either parent/ carer smokes (even if not smoking in the bedroom)
    • Either parent/ carer has drunk alcohol or taken drugs (including medications that may make you drowsy)
  • Parent/ carer are extremely tired
  • Baby was born prematurely (37 weeks or less)
  • Baby was born at a low weight (2.5kg or 5½ lbs or less)