New safer sleeping campaign launched on Merseyside

A new campaign, ‘Safer Sleeping for Baby’ has been launched across Merseyside. 

It aims to prevent sudden and unexpected infant deaths by providing advice to parents and carers on safer sleeping for their baby. The work has been commissioned by Merseyside Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) to tackle an issue which has caused an average of five deaths each year for the last five years.

The campaign has been launched to highlight the importance of providing a safe environment for babies when they sleep, to reduce the risk of sudden death.

Safer Sleep poster
Safer Sleep poster

The campaign is based on research and messages from a successful campaign in Lancashire ‘Give Me Room to Breathe’. The feedback from Lancashire parents and carers indicated they wanted simple, clear advice on safe sleeping for babies. Families said they wanted a supportive campaign with a positive ‘can do’ tone.

‘Safer Sleep for Baby’ is based around six simple steps, that will help parents and carers keep their baby safe:

1. Keep baby away from smoke, before and after birth

2. Put baby in a cot, crib or Moses basket to sleep – never fall asleep with them on a sofa or chair

3. Never fall asleep with baby after drinking or taking drugs/medication

4. Put baby to sleep on their back with their feet to the foot of the cot

5. Keep baby’s head and face uncovered and make sure they don’t get too hot

6. Breastfeed your baby – support is available if you need it

Debbie Hammersley, Designated Nurse for Safeguarding Children and Chair of the Safe Sleep group, said “We want everyone who works with children and families to be consistent, to speak with a unified voice to reinforce these messages to parents and carers”.

Andre Rebello, HM Coroner for Liverpool and Wirral, said “I fully endorse and support this excellent campaign which will help keep our children safer. One recognised factor in sudden and unexpected deaths in infancy is unsafe sleeping practices.”

The safe sleep messages will be shared with parents and carers in a variety of forms such as cot cards, room thermometers, bookmarks, postcards and posters. These will be given to parents at specific times by their midwife, health visitor and children’s centre staff.

We recognise that every family is unique and live in circumstances that may be different from other families. Some parents may have more specific questions. There are people in each local area across Merseyside who can help, this includes health professionals and children’s centre staff. They can offer support and signpost people to other organisations such as The Lullaby Trust (previously FSID) helpline.