A SUDI Risk calculator is a practical tool to help professionals have informed person centred conversations about safe sleep for babies. It allows any midwife or health visitor to approach the subject with each family they support using an evidence base and to explore any known risk factors for an individual baby and what the family can do to reduce risk of SUDI. Importantly it helps to reinforce the positive steps that families are already making to keep baby safe for every sleep – this gives reassurance to new parents that they are doing a great job!
Here’s what we are doing.
We are funding a project at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, led by Professor James Carpenter. Professor Carpenter and his team are working on a risk calculator developed in the UK. They are busy working through the many variable factors that can exist when a baby is sleeping such as position, place of sleep and the room environment. It will also include factors which we know affect risk for sudden unexpected death in infancy, such as whether parents smoke tobacco now and if mum smoked during pregnancy, any drug use (prescribed or illicit), alcohol use, birth weight and gestation as well as the age and gender of baby. All of these factors, taken from the best available global evidence will inform how the tool calculates risk for an individual baby. This can help inform positive conversations with a family and provide health professionals with an easy to use ‘go to’.
We are really excited by this piece of work and are looking forward to seeing the final results soon. We will keep you posted.