Parents may put newborns at risk with sleeping position

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 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 nor 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 nor disagreed.

This is despite 87% of parents 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.

The Lullaby Trust said babies should be put to sleep on their backs in a cot free of bumpers, toys, and pillows.

Francine Bates, chief executive of the British charity, said the survey results show people “need to go back to basics”.


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