Back to Sleep
Council and health partners back Safer Sleeping Week
16 March 2015

Council and health partners back Safer Sleeping Week

Think safer sleeping for your baby is the message from West Sussex County Council as it backs national Safer Sleeping Week this week.

The Council’s public health team, Children and Family centres, Sussex Community NHS Trust health visiting teams and libraries will be promoting the Safer Sleep campaign messages from the Lullaby Trust throughout the week 16-23 March to make sure as many parents, carers and grandparents know the importance of safer sleep and are aware of how to reduce the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

The Lullaby Trust promotes expert advice on safer baby sleep and provides special support for anyone bereaved through SIDS.

On average, five babies die of SIDS in West Sussex every single year.

The Lullaby Trust has a number of key safety tips for parents and carers:

  • Always place your baby on their back to sleep
  • Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth
  • Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first six months
  • If you are able to, breastfeed your baby
  • Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition for your baby to sleep on. 

Last year, the County County and Sussex Community NHS Trust launched an awareness campaign with a local Littlehampton mum, who shared her harrowing story about the death of her baby in the hope it would make other parents aware.

Louise Walters’ son, Soul George Jackson, lived for just 70 days and 70 nights before dying due to SIDS.

Louise urged all parents and carers to follow the advice of the Lullaby Trust.

Sussex Community NHS Trust ran a study afternoon, earlier this month, with Judith Howard from the Lullaby Trust. One hundred staff were present to hear the message about promoting safer sleep for babies and how to have conversations with parents and carers about the choices they make as to where their baby sleeps.

Wendy Lywood, Sussex Community NHS Trust Health Visitor said: “It was really informative. As a newly qualified Health Visitor, I found it really useful to hear what was said; it brings home such an important message, and adds weight to practice discussion with parents on the subject.”

Midwifery teams across the county will be supporting the campaign and will be promoting awareness of the safe sleep message.

Peter Evans, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children – Start of Life, said: “To suffer the loss of a child, especially a baby, is just unimaginable. There are some very important messages and information for parents in this campaign, which is why it is important that we not only back it but promote these vital messages and the support available locally."

Christine Field, the County Council's Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing, added: “Louise Walters took the brave step of sharing her story last year in the hope no other parents would have to go through what she did.

“Our teams at West Sussex have been working with families to do all we can to make sure this life saving advice reaches as many people as possible.

“If you’re a parent, carer or a grandparent who looks after a baby, please take the time to read and follow this advice.”

To find out more about the campaign and get involved visit the Lullaby Trust website www.lullabytrust.org.uk