Keep babies safe this Christmas

Published Wednesday, 21st December 2016
a baby
A baby

Parents in Rotherham are being reminded to remember the importance of safe sleeping for babies this Christmas time.

Officials at Rotherham Council are reminding families about potential risks to new babies which can increase at this time of the year as routines change.

Tragically nearly 300 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly every year across the country. Now public health leaders at the council are urging parents to follow safe sleeping advice in order to prevent any avoidable infant deaths in Rotherham.

Cllr David Roche, Cabinet Member for Public Health said: “We want people to heed public health advice about safe sleeping for babies so infant deaths can be avoided.

“Often people go away for Christmas and stay with relatives or friends, and their babies are sleeping in different arrangements. We just want to make sure people are aware of risks around incorrect sleeping positions and the effects of overheating.

Coupled with this is the risk alcohol can have on people co-sleeping with their babies. People need to follow safe sleeping advice for babies during all nap times, not just night time.”

He added Christmas is a time many people want to go out and celebrate, so it is also really important that if people are using a baby-sitter they are confident they know the Do’s and Don’ts of safer sleeping for babies.

“If we can educate people about the dangers of poor sleeping conditions, and prevent just one more tragic death, the campaign will be worth it,” he added.

Babies, both newborns and older infants, need lots of sleep during their first few months and it’s important to ensure that they’re sleeping safely at all times – either overnight or daytime naps.

To help make sure that babies have a safer sleep, parents are reminded of the following information:

  • Always place your baby on their back to sleep
  • Keep your baby smoke-free during pregnancy and after birth
  • Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first six months
  • Make sure there are no pillows, heavy duvets or toys in the cot or Moses basket
  • Breastfeed your baby if you can

Things to avoid:

  • Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby
  • Don’t sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, drink or take drugs or are extremely tired, or if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth-weight
  • Avoid letting your baby get too hot
  • Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping or use loose bedding