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Local health, care and children’s services come together to promote Safer Sleep Week

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Safer Sleep Week is an annual awareness event ran by The Lullaby Trust, to raise awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and to equip parents with information on how they can reduce the risk.

This year, the event occurs from 13 – 19 March. The focus of the Lullaby Trust campaign is co-sleeping. The safest place for a baby to sleep is in their own clear, flat, separate sleep space, such as a cot or Moses basket.

However, we know that many parents find themselves co-sleeping whether they mean to or not. As highlighted by the recent NCMD report many SIDS deaths occur in unplanned hazardous co-sleeping situations and sadly, in the UK around three babies a week die from SIDS.

Open, non-judgmental and sometimes difficult conversations are crucial to reducing hazardous co-sleeping. Resources and information on safer co-sleeping allow parents to prepare a safer space for planned co-sleeping or if they fall asleep without intending to.

The Welcome to the World card, developed collaboratively by Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust with East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Hull City Council and our partner organisations has been reprinted following feedback from a local safer sleep survey.

The purpose of the survey was to understand whether safer sleep information was universally known to all family members, and not just the main caregiver/s, including partners, relatives and grandparents who may be supporting or responsible for placing a baby to sleep, especially in the early days.

This information has allowed us to target family members who may not have access to the same appointments and information as the parents

The updated Welcome to the World card will be provided to families at their first health visitor post-birth appointment across Hull and the East Riding. The card allows safer sleep advice to be left in the home and will act as a tool to bridge gaps in knowledge and keep all caregivers updated information of safer sleep good practices.

Sarah Clapham, Modern Matron for the East Riding, stated: “As a group of local organisations we are always trying to find innovative ways to spread key safer sleep messages, as parents following simple guidelines can greatly reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The Welcome to the World card allows services the opportunity to congratulate new parents on the birth of their baby, promote key safer sleep messages for their newborn, and act as a tool to educate other caregivers on safer sleep practices”.

Jason Goforth, Programme Lead for Children, Young People and Families at Hull City Council, said: “Safer Sleep Week is a chance to bring together key partners who work with new parents or carers to encourage safer sleeping practices for their baby, following safer sleep guidance will ensure parents, carers, and grandparents can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Although the levels of SIDS has fallen significantly, it’s important that we continue to promote the key safer sleep messages to families, carers and grandparents.”

East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s public health nurse consultant Zoe Stevens, added: “From a public health perspective and our work with children’s centres and the 0-19 service it is really important that all parents and caregivers understand the current advice for safe sleeping. The ‘Welcome to the World’ card is a great conversation starter for our health and community partners and gives parents the confidence to inform relatives who might not be aware of changes since they had a baby or looked after a child, for example, making sure the mattress is flat and the child is placed on their back to sleep. Having clear information from a trusted voice in the home will give all caregivers that reassurance at what can be an overwhelming time.”

Safer sleep information will be shared on information screens in GP surgeries throughout Hull and East Yorkshire across the week. Organisations are hosting a number of events, some specifically targeting fathers, partners and grandparents across the region. These include:

Activities and dates listed below:

Throughout the week:

Safer sleep displays at Health Visitor Child Health Clinics and Children’s Centres across the East Riding Children’s Centres and Hull.

East Riding and Hull Children’s Centres to share safer sleep messages throughout the week in Early Days, Infant Massage and Baby Days sessions.

Monday 13 March: Buggy Walk with Us Mums in East Park, Hull,1.30pm-2.30pm; Manned display boards at St Stephens, Hull from 09:30 onwards

Tuesday 14 March: Information stand at Tesco, Hall Road, Hull,10am-12pm

Wednesday 15 March: Babbling Babies session – Lemon Tree Children’s Centre, 10am-11am; Information stand at Venn Nursery at Boulevard Academy 3pm-4pm

Thursday 16 March: Midwife Clinic and 3-4 Month Group at Macmillan Children’s Centre, Hull, 9am-11.30am

Friday 17 March: Baby Bounce session, Freedom Centre Library, Hull 9.30am-10.30am, Toddler Tunes, Freedom Centre Library, 10.30am-11.15am, Hull Truck production Mumsy from 11:00

Throughout the week, the teams will also share social media posts with a “you said, we did” theme following feedback from the local survey to provide advice and support for parents and their wider families and circulate national resources to help parents stay up to date with the latest guidance.

Visit the Integrated Specialist Public Health Nursing Service Twitter. If you’re interested in finding out more about our Safer Sleep work, visit our dedicated webpage here.

Learn more about how you can get involved this Safer Sleep Week, download resources and join the mission to stop all unexpected deaths of babies and young children, here.

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