20/12/2019

Safe Sleeping Advice For Parents This Christmas

Ahead of the Christmas holiday period, the Public Health Agency (PHA) is reminding parents of young babies of the importance of following safer sleep advice to reduce the risk of sudden infant death.

At this time of year, with festivities and celebrations, the normal routines and sleeping arrangements for young babies may be changed.

Parents and guardians should always remember:

• Never sleep on an armchair or sofa with your baby- this is particularly risky.

• Never ever allow anyone who has been smoking, drinking or taking drugs (including medication) or is feeling overly tired to co-sleep with your baby.

Emily Roberts, Designated Nurse for Safeguarding Children at the PHA, said: "It is really important to keep your baby's sleep environment safe throughout the festive period when there may be a higher chance of parents being more tired and normal routines being disrupted.

"Remember, the safest place for your baby to sleep is in their own cot or moses basket in your room for the first six months. Place your baby on their back with feet touching the bottom of the cot.
News Image
"Also make sure that your baby does not get too hot as they cannot yet regulate their body's temperature. Keep an eye on the temperature in their room and adjust bedding/sleepwear accordingly as there is a higher risk of sudden infant death in babies who are over-heated."

Parents are advised that it is normal for a baby's hands and feet to feel slighter cooler than the rest of their body. Their temperature can be checked by feeling the back of their neck.

Ms Roberts continued: "Don't be tempted to increase the heating in your home or bring them into bed with you to make them warmer.

"A room temperature of 16-20°C – with light bedding or a lightweight, well-fitting baby sleeping bag fitted with neck and armholes, and no hood – is comfortable and safe for sleeping babies. Never put pillows, loose blankets, cot bumpers or sleep positioners in your baby's cot.

"By following these steps as part of a sleep-time routine they'll become second nature and help reduce the risk of sudden infant death.

"If you have any questions, no matter how small or trivial you might think they are, talk to your health visitor who can provide practical advice."

Further information is available here.



(JG/MH)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

09 September 2003
Cot death advice leaflet launched
A new leaflet has been launched by the Department of Health today advising parents on how they can reduce the risk of cot death. Cot death, also known as Sudden Infant Death (SID) is a condition where babies, predominately under one year of age, die without apparent cause.
05 August 2021
New Action Plan For Helping Separating Parents And Children Published
A joint Action Plan aimed at helping parents achieve the best possible outcomes when settling arrangements for their children when separating has been published by Ministers Naomi Long and Robin Swann.
22 June 2010
Nursery Unit 'Born' At Daisy Hill
There's been a 'new arrival' in south Down's main hospital complex. Former office accommodation beside the existing maternity unit at Daisy Hill in Newry has been completely revamped into a bright and airy space - with the building contract now completed and handed over.
10 November 2021
Safer Schools NI App Launches
A new app for schools to safeguard children and young people when online has been announced by Education Minister Michelle McIlveen. The Safer Schools NI app is a one-stop-shop digital library of age-appropriate safeguarding resources for teachers, parents/carers and children & young people.
14 July 2021
Family And Friends Of Young People Urged To 'Encourage Vaccination'
Friends and parents of people aged 18 and over are being urged to encourage them to get vaccinated. Health Minister Robin Swann has said that friends and parents can play a central role in ensuring more people are protected from COVID-19. The Minister highlighted that vaccination has "never been more accessible".