Thursday 13 December 2018

Popular products could be putting babies at risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), charity warns

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Sarah Young

Popular sleeping products sold on the high street could be putting babies at risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), a cot death charity has warned.

The UK's Lullaby Trust has revealed that items such as cushioned sleeping pods, nests, cot bumpers, pillows, duvets and anything that wedges a baby in place do not conform to safer sleep guidelines and could pose a risk to infants under 12 months of age.

This is because they can lead to overheating or potentially obstruct a baby’s airway if they roll or their face becomes covered by loose bedding.

However, with many of these products sold by trusted brands on the high street it can be difficult for parents to know which ones are safe.

Despite evidence suggesting that lying a baby on anything other than a firm, flat surface can increase the risk of SIDS, a survey by the charity found that two out of five (41 per cent) new parents said they had bought or were planning to buy a baby sleep nest or pod.

As such, The Lullaby Trust has issued guidance supported by Public Health England (PHE) to help parents make more informed choices when it comes to sleeping products for their baby.

“As a SIDS charity, we have watched with concern as products that go against safer sleep advice gain popularity,” said Francine Bates, chief executive of The Lullaby Trust.

”It is hard for parents when they are trying to choose from the overwhelming number of baby products on offer and many people make the reasonable assumption that if an item is sold on the high street or made by a recognised brand it is safe for their baby.“

Professor Viv Bennett, director of nursing at PHE, added: ”Ensuring parents have the correct information to keep their baby safe is crucial, this resource will help parents when choosing equipment or products for their baby.

“We would always encourage parents to discuss any concerns or queries with their midwife or health visitor who can offer advice and signpost to information about safer sleeping."

As part of its safer sleep advice, The Lullaby Trust has issued a series of “Do’s and Don’ts” for how you can sleep your baby to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Do –

Always place your baby on their back to sleep

Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth

Breastfeed your baby if you can

Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first six months

Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition

Don’t –

Sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby

Sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, have drunk alcohol, have taken drugs, are extremely tired, or if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth weight

Cover your baby’s face or head whilst sleeping or use loose bedding

Let your baby get too hot

To avoid accidents remove all pillows, soft bedding, cot bumpers and soft toys from the cot

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