Like all parents, you want to make sure you do everything to keep your baby safe. Sadly, in Australia each year over 3,500 families experience the sudden and unexpected death of a baby or child, 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 accident.
SIDS and Kids works to find answers for parents by funding and supporting vital research into stillbirth, SIDS and safe sleeping practices. Through evidence based community education they aim to prevent these deaths and advocate for and support bereaved families.
Their website (www.sidsandkids.org) contains detailed and helpful advice.
Here is a summary of the key steps you should take to reduce the risk:
- Place you baby on his back to sleep.
- Cut smoking in pregnancy - mums and dads too.
- Don't let anyone smoke in the same room as your baby.
- Do not let your baby get too hot (or too cold). Keep baby's head uncovered - place your baby with his feet to the foot of the cot, to prevent wriggling down under the covers.
- Do not share a bed with your baby if you have been drinking alcohol, taking drugs or if you are a smoker.
- If your baby is unwell, seek medical advice promptly.