While there is a decreasing trend nationally, there has been a marked rise in the number of Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths in recent years in Southend, Essex and Thurrock.
No evidence has been identified to suggest a particular cause for the recent rise but there are certain co-sleeping risk factors, including:
Reducing the risk
It is not yet known how to completely prevent sudden infant deaths (sometimes called cot death) but you can significantly reduce the risk by following this advice while your baby is asleep:
Always place your baby on their back to sleep, with their feet at the foot of the cot
Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months, even during the day
Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth. For help and advice contact www.smokefree.nhs.uk
Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress that is clean and in good condition, or a baby sleep bag of the correct size for the weight of your baby
Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby
Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping or use loose bedding
Don’t sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, drink, take drugs or if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth weight
Avoid letting your baby get too hot
You should follow the advice at all sleep times, not just at night.