New parents get safe sleeping tips

Tags: Birth , Pregnancy

Health officials have called for new parents to be taught 'safe sleeping practices' for newborns.

The suggestions comes from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) in a bid to reduce the number of babies who die form cot death, also known as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Throughout the UK, roughly 300 babies die form SIDS every year.

SIDS is more common in boys than girls, and is also more prevalent in babies born prematurely or with a low birth weight.

Nice  has also identified certain behaviours that increase the risk of SIDS, including babies being allowed to get too hot. A mother smoking during or after a pregnancy also increases the risk of a cot death, as does the baby sleeping in the same bed as its parents, especially if the parents have been drinking or taking drugs.
Studies have claimed that 120 SIDS each year could be prevented if parents stopped sharing their bed with their children. Infants who are breastfed and sleep in their parents' beds are five times more at risk of cot death.

The Nice guidance says: "There are specific behaviours that increase a baby's risk of sudden infant death. Safer infant sleeping practices should be regularly discussed with women, their partner or the main carer, to help to identify and support them and the wider family to establish safe sleeping habits for baby, and reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome."

One way of reducing the risk is to place a baby down to sleep on its back.

Copyright Press Association 2013


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