Jersey Charity Raises Awareness Of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

The Baby Steps Team

A Jersey charity supporting parents, carers and babies is touring the island this week, advising people on how to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Family Nursing and Home Care has joined The Lullaby Trust's national safer sleep campaign, targeting anyone who looks after a young baby. 

Midwives from the island's Baby Steps Programme run regular classes for parents-to-be as they prepare for a new baby.

This week however, they're taking their advice on the road, as they seek to educate as many people as possible on the simple steps they can take to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome occurring. 

The campaign will be offering this advice:

  • Every baby needs a cot.

  • The safest place for a baby to sleep is in a firm, flat, clear, separate sleep space.

  • A baby’s airway is vulnerable and need to be protected. Sleeping a baby on their back on a firm, flat surface will help to keep their airway open and also reduce the risk of SIDS.

  • It is not safe for babies to sleep on soft-sided pods or nests, hammocks, sleep positioners, or bean bags or have cot bumpers, weighted bedding blankets, pillows, and duvets in their sleep space.

  • Bouncers and baby swings are only for use when a baby is awake, and they should not sleep, nap or doze in them. If baby falls asleep, move them to a firm, flat surface.

  • Parents who co-sleep should still have a cot or Moses basket for their baby for nights when circumstances change and co-sleeping becomes high-risk. For example, a parent or carer has had any alcohol or taken any medication that makes them drowsy.

  • Car seats are essential for safety but babies should not sleep in them when not travelling.

  • The safest baby carrier to use will keep the infant firmly in an upright position where a parent can always see their baby’s face, and ensure their airways are free. The risk appears to be greatest when a baby’s airway is obstructed either by their chin resting on their chest or their mouth and nose being covered by a parent’s skin or clothing.

  • If parents don’t have access to a cot or Moses basket, advice can be given on what to do and how to create a safer sleep space. Every family should have a safe space for their baby to sleep.

The Baby Steps Team will be at the following locations this week:

  • Monday 11th March: St. Paul’s Centre Clinic 9:30-11am, Co-op Grande Marche St Helier 11.30am - 3pm.

  • Tuesday 12th March: De Gruchy’s Arcade 10am - 3pm.

  • Wednesday 13th March: St. Paul’s Centre Clinic 1pm - 4pm.

  • Thursday 14th March: Pathways Centre, St Clement 9am - 11.30am.

  • Friday 15th March: Communicare Clinic 1.45pm - 3.15pm.

Mandy Jones, Baby Steps Team Co-ordinator and Midwife, said: 

"By going out and spreading the word at these difference venues, we're hoping to catch those parents who haven't come to the Baby Steps but also those grandparents, aunties, cousins, sisters - anyone who looks after and takes care of a baby who may not have heard the most up-to-date guidelines.

We know that incidences of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome are quite low, but we know that the more people who know this advice, the lower still these figures will be. So we want to make sure everybody is aware and everyone takes these steps.

They're cheap, they are simple, and they really work to keep babies safe."

 

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