New Zealand’s first Safe Sleep Day is happening this Friday 6 December with events taking place across the country. The day is an initiative by Whakawhetu National SUDI Prevention for Maori.
Plunket clinical advisor Jess Beauchamp says Safe Sleep Day is a national campaign focused on promoting safe sleep practices for babies, so that every sleep is a safe sleep.
“Every year in New Zealand 60 babies die from Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI - also known as SIDS or cot death). It’s the main preventable reason for death in children under the age of one.
“There’s great awareness out there about the dangers of things like smoking – those messages are everywhere. Babies spend a lot of time sleeping so it’s really important that parents and caregivers are just as aware of the things they can do to help reduce the risks of SUDI.
“Ensuring every baby has a safe sleep, every time they sleep, will dramatically reduce the number of SUDI cases in New Zealand”.
For more information about Safe Sleep Day events in your area visit www.safesleepday.org.nz
All babies in all cultures, and at all times, need these conditions to protect them from SUDI (also known as SIDS or cot death):
Ensure your baby sleeps in its own bed (a cot, bassinette, wahakura or pepipod), especially if premature, born small or your family is not smoke free.
Put your baby to sleep on their back with their face up. A baby’s breathing works best in this position.
Ensure your baby’s face is clear of pillows, bedding and toys. Don’t put baby down on soft surfaces such as a beanbag or couch where they can roll into a gap or ‘pocket’ and suffocate.
Ensure there are no gaps between the mattress and their bed.
Remove any ribbons, strings, cords etc from bedding and clothing. Make sure the baby’s bed (cot, bassinette, wahakura or pepipod) is away from windows, curtains and blind cords to avoid strangulation.
Sleep baby in the same room as their parent/caregiver (when the parent/caregiver is also asleep) for the first 6 months.
Babies shouldn’t sleep in bed with another person (either adult or child).
Your baby should be smoke free in the womb and after birth. Also make sure friends and family/whanau don’t smoke around baby.
If possible, breastfeed your baby.
Make every sleep a safe sleep.
Whakawhetu National SUDI Prevention for Māori is a national kaupapa Māori organisation dedicated to reducing the rate of SUDI (Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy) for Maori. Their purpose is to strengthen SUDI Prevention services that engage with whanau and to create healthy environments for whanau to thrive. Whakawhetu provide policy advice, disseminate evidence based information, deliver training and education, and strengthen existing workforce development
For more information visit www.whakawhetu.co.nz
Nikki Prendergast - Media Manager
021 405 842