Safer Sleep Week raising awareness for new families

Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust is working in collaboration with the Lullaby Trust to promote Safer Sleep Week to local families.

Safer Sleep Week is an awareness campaign targeting anyone looking after a young baby. It aims to raise awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and provide the simple advice that reduces the risk of it occurring.

Sadly, around three babies a week still die from SIDS and if all parents were aware of safer sleep advice many lives could be saved. 

This year, Safer Sleep Week runs from 11 – 17 March. Teams at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust have been working on creating a new Welcome to the World card for all new parents, which is given to every family when they have their baby. This will also be supported with another card given to parents during pregnancy before their baby is born. The card provides visual and easy to read information to support families in making the right choices for their baby’s sleep.

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.

Each year Safer Sleep Week focus on a theme, and this year the theme is ‘the safest place’. During the week, Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust will be showing parents and carers simple ways to create a safer sleep space for their little ones.

Sarah Clapham, Modern Matron at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, 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. These new versions of the card are very visual and easy to read improving access to key safer sleep information for all families”.

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 safer 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.”