Re: Safer sleeping advice


West Sussex Child Death Overview Panel has an obligation to identify any lessons to be learnt from individual reviews of child deaths or reviews of overall patterns and trends, including any system or process issues and any health, public health and safety issues.

Each year CDOP has reviewed approximately 5 deaths of babies who have died suddenly and unexpectedly and, in each case, there has been one or more modifiable factor present where the parent or carer has not followed the safer sleeping advice.

The Panel is requesting your help to raise the awareness of the safer sleep advice and are asking that you promote these messages to your staff, and ask those who work with parents, carers and extended family members who may care for the baby to share this message with them.

Things you can do:

  • Always place your baby on their back to sleep
  • Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth
  • Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months
  • Breastfeed your baby, if you can
  • Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition

Things to avoid:

  • Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby
  • Don’t sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, drink or take drugs or are extremely tired, if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth-weight
  • Avoid letting your baby get too hot
  • Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping or use loose bedding

Please would you promote this safer sleep advice to your staff via your website, bulletins or newsletters, and ask them to share with family members they have contact with who may care for a baby.

The Lullaby Trust’s website has more useful information and there is an easy read card that could be printed and handed out to parents and carers.


Yours sincerely


Dr Ann Corkery