Parents warned of the risks of co-sleeping with infants

Parents of newborn babies in the district are being asked not to share their bed with them if they have been drinking or smoking to avoid the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

The district’s Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) is also warning parents not to sleep with their babies on sofas and armchairs, particularly if they are under the age of one.

The advice comes as CDOP continues to see cases of deaths in infants due to SIDS in the area, particularly with co-sleeping risk factors.

It is also one of the eight key recommendations from this year’s CDOP annual report to prevent modifiable deaths.

Dr Shirley Brierley, chair of Bradford’s Child Death Overview Panel, said:

“Unfortunately, at this time of year we can see cases which involve children dying from SIDS. Although no-one knows exactly what causes Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, there are some known factors which are associated with an increased risk.

“No one would want there baby to come to harm and a few simple steps could help reduce the chance of another tragedy from happening in the district.

"Make sure your baby sleeps safely by not sharing a bed with your baby if you or your partner smokes, takes drugs, or if you’ve been drinking alcohol.  It is also important not to share a bed if you have had a premature baby or a baby with a low birth weight.

"The advice is to place your baby on their back to sleep, in its own cot in the same room with you. Place them so their feet are touching the end of the cot and never sleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair.

“Keeping your home smokefree and breastfeeding, if you can, also reduce the risks. Try not to let your baby become too hot and keep your baby’s head uncovered when asleep.”

Parents can get more information from NHS choices: www.nhs.uk) or from UNICEF’s caring for your baby at night leaflet: https://www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/Baby_Friendly/Leaflets/caringatnight_web.pdf