UK cot death charity issues warning over these sleeping aids

As a new parent there's nothing more important than making sure your baby is safe at all times. This is especially true at bed time, when we can't keep watch over them ALL night. 

A leading UK Cot Death charity, The Lullaby Trust, has warned parents against certain sleeping aids increasing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. 

Their advice is simple- a clear cot is a safe cot. 

"There is evidence to suggest that babies are at higher risk of SIDS if they have their heads covered and some items added to a cot may increase the risk of head-covering," they explained. "Unnecessary items in a baby’s cot can also increase the risk of accidents." 

Where evidence on individual products are unavailable, the charity recommended that parents avoid heavy bedding and pillows where possible. 

They advise that babies sleep in cots or Moses baskets which are clear of the following items: 

  • Pillows or duvets
  • Cot bumpers
  • Soft toys
  • Loose bedding
  • Products (such as wedges or straps) that will keep your baby in one sleeping position.

"We cannot comment on individual products, but would advise parents to read the safety advice when making choices. Sadly there is no product that can reduce the chance of SIDS and we would advise parents to be cautious about any product that makes such a claim.

"We also encourage parents to check that any product they buy has passed the necessary safety checks and follow the manufacturer’s care instructions that come with the product."  

The charity's chief executive, Francine Bates, told local media: "As a SIDS charity, we have watched with concern as products that go against safer sleep advice gain popularity.

"It is hard for parents when they are trying to choose from the overwhelming number of baby products on offer and many people make the reasonable assumption that if an item is sold on the high street or made by a recognised brand it is safe for their baby."

She added that it parents don't need to spend a lot of money on cot accessories: "We have produced a product guide and accompanying resources to help parents feel confident in knowing what to look for when choosing sleep items for their baby."

The charity published a report in conjunction with Public Health England, and found that new parents are confused about how to let their babies sleep. 

 91% of respondents stated that compliance with health and safety regulations were important when buying a cot, yet 41% of parents have bough or will buy a baby sleep pod or nest. 

Professor Viv Bennett from PHE added: "Ensuring parents have the correct information to keep their baby safe is crucial, this resource will help parents when choosing equipment or products for their baby.

"We would always encourage parents to discuss any concerns or queries with their midwife or health visitor who can offer advice and sign post to information about safer sleeping."

See here for more information on avoiding SIDS. 

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