Parents of babies in Wolverhampton are being urged to follow simple sleep safety advice to help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
This week is The Lullaby Trust's annual Safer Sleep Week, a national awareness campaign targeting anyone looking after a young baby.
A recent survey found the greatest fear among new mums was that their baby would die in its sleep; despite this many parents are not following sleep safety advice.
Parents are advised to put their babies on their back to sleep, and to ensure they do not get too hot or allow their heads to become covered.
The safest place for babies to sleep is in a cot in a room with their parents for the first six months. Parents should never sleep with their baby on a sofa or in an armchair. Babies should also be breastfed wherever possible.
Most importantly, parents are urged to give up smoking – both in pregnancy and after the birth – and create a smokefree environment for their little one.
Councillor Sandra Samuels, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “Evidence suggests that babies are at much greater risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome if their parents don't follow simple sleep safety advice.
“Sleeping with your baby on a sofa or armchair increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome by 50 times, while it is 10 times higher if your baby sleeps on its front.
“At the same time, smoking can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and it is very worrying that around 16% of mothers to be in Wolverhampton still smoke during pregnancy. This figure is falling, but is far too high – as is the percentage of new mums who still smoke."
The Lullaby Trust took part in a special seminar on Monday (14 March, 2016) highlighting the work taking place in Wolverhampton to tackle infant mortality through the city’s Infant Mortality Action Plan, which focuses on addressing the main causes, particularly smoking during pregnancy, low birth weights and poor nutrition.
For more information about safer sleep for babies, please visit www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep.