Safe sleeping guidelines and SIDS
These tragedies occur either through stillbirth or during the first month of life, from sudden unexpected death in infancy (SIDS or fatal sleeping accidents), SUDC (sudden unexpected death in childhood) or by accident. In many cases the cause are unknown.
SIDS and Kids aim to find answers for parents. They fund and support research in SIDS, stillbirth and safe sleeping practices.
SIDS and Kids CEO Leanne Raven says it is their aim to arm parents with the best possible information to help reduce the risk of SIDS.
The Safe Sleeping Campaign was introduced in 1990 and from 1989-2010 the rate of SIDS has decreased by 80%.
The six ways to sleep your baby safely
- Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side
- Sleep baby with head and face uncovered
- Keep baby smoke free before birth and after
- Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day
- Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to twelve months
- Breastfeed baby if you can.
Making up your baby's cot
- Make sure your baby's head remains uncovered during sleep
- Use a firm, clean, well-fitting mattress
- Tuck in your baby's bedclothes securely
- Quilts, doonas, duvets, pillows, soft toys and cot bumpers in the cot are not recommended
- Position your baby's feet at the bottom of the cot.
- Put your baby on the back to sleep
- Do not put your baby on a water bed or bean bag.
Other hazards to watch out for
The following are things to look out for and avoid where your toddler or baby sleeps - both during the night and for any daytime naps.
Remember to look for these things in your home and anywhere your child is cared for - including day care, childcare centres and the homes of family and friends.
- an unsupervised adult bed may be unsafe for babies or toddlers if they get caught under adult bedding or pillows, get trapped between the wall and the bed, fall out of bed, are rolled on by someone who sleeps very deeply or who is affected by drugs and alcohol
- soft sleeping places where a toddler's or baby's face may get covered, falling asleep with the baby while on a couch, pillows, cushions or tri-pillows are too soft and can cover baby's face, don't put your baby or toddler on a waterbed or beanbag.
- dangling cords or string - keep the cot away from any cords hanging from blinds, curtains or electrical appliances
- keep heaters and electrical appliances well away from the cot to avoid the risk of overheating, burns and electrocution
- prams, strollers and bouncers where restraints are not done up
Download the FREE SIDS and Kids Safe Sleep iPhone App, which includes modules such as Safe Sleeping, Tummy Time and Safe Wrapping.
For more information on SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping please visit www.sidsandkids.org or phone 1300 308 307.
Related articles: Breastfeeding halves the risk of SIDS
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