Why is safe sleep important?
Every year in Scotland one baby dies suddenly and unexpectedly every 9 days. 97% of these deaths happen to babies where known risk factors that increase the likelihood of a cot death are present. Often more than one risk factor is present. By ensuring babies sleep in the safest way, some of these babies’ deaths could be prevented.
Safe sleep messages are not complicated, but there can be many reasons why parents are confused by mixed messages they hear, or why they may choose different baby care practices which may go against the advice they have been given. Often these reasons are more complex.
Each day this week we will share the important messages with you and explore some of the issues around these topics.
Where do you get your information?
All parents in Scotland should receive a leaflet called Reduce the risk of Cot Death just before baby is born or before going home from the hospital.
If you are a new parent and have not had this leaflet, please do let us know! It should be given to you by a health professional and they should spend time talking through the advice given within the leaflet. These are made available to each NHS Board in Scotland so that parents of each new baby have the resource. Whilst many people do like reading information and having a copy to keep and look at, many people find someone talking with them about how their baby sleeps is more meaningful and they are more likely to remember the information. It also allows them to discuss their personal feelings around baby sleep and what their own routines at home are like.
The Scottish Cot Death Trust easy read resource can be used to supplement the above leaflets and shows clearly, without too much text, the simple measures parents and care givers can take to reduce the risks. Please contact the office to request this resource by telephoning 0141 357 3946 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Copies are available to health professionals and parents. Check with stores in your NHS Board whether they hold copies.
Remember though that safe sleep messages should apply to all baby’s sleep times not just night time. There are very many sources of information available online, in books and magazines and advice from family and friends. Some of this may be evidence based and accurate but much of what is provided may not be and might be opinion based. If you are not sure about any safe sleep information you have been given, get in touch and we can discuss it with you and provide you with evidence based resources.