Newborn babies should sleep on backs to avoid death
13 Mar 2017 - 14:27
London: Parents may be putting newborn babies at risk, a charity has warned, after a survey found many were happy to let their baby sleep on their stomach or side.
The Lullaby Trust said around half of parents are unsure of basic steps they can take to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
SIDS, also known as cot death, is the sudden unexplained death of an apparently healthy baby.
The Lullaby Trust is concerned that some parents are unaware of or ignore this message, while others do not know about the risks of drinking and sharing a sofa with a baby, or smoking.
It polled 500 parents of children under two and found that while 94% had heard of SIDS, 15% thought it was fine for children to sleep on their tummies while a further 23% neither agreed or disagreed with this.
Some 62% disagreed with the idea that it was fine for babies to sleep on their tummies.
One in four parents also thought it was fine for babies to sleep on their sides while 45% disagreed and 30% neither agreed or disagreed.
This is despite 87% being aware that putting a baby on their back for every sleep reduces the risk of SIDS. Doing so reduces the risk of SIDS six times.
There were 230 sudden infant deaths in the UK in 2014, following a downward trend in the last decade. In 2001, there were 330.
The Lullaby Trust says babies should be put to sleep on their backs in a cot that is free of bumpers, toys and pillows.