Free thermometer giveaway for new parents forms part of safer sleeping campaign

Emma Hardwick Head of Mid-Wifery (L to R) Jane and James Gardiner with baby Ella, Sally Hogg and Ips

Emma Hardwick Head of Mid-Wifery (L to R) Jane and James Gardiner with baby Ella, Sally Hogg and Ipswich Hospital Chief Executive Nick Hulme launch the baby thermometer give away at Ipswich Hospital.

Free thermometers will be given to new parents as part of a campaign to raise awareness of a good sleeping environment for babies.

The campaign looks at issues such as bed sharing, smoking and temperature when sleeping – it is also about making more people aware of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which accounts for 300 infant deaths every year in the UK.

The thermometer giveaway will run for two years, and has come as Suffolk has enjoyed a spell of particularly warm weather.

Gordon Jones, county council cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Having a baby is an incredibly exciting, and what should be a happy time for parents. In the early months, babies need plenty of sleep and this campaign provides important messages on how to make sure they sleep as safely as possible.

“Although Sudden Infant Death Syndrome represents a tragic, unexpected death where no obvious cause is found, you can take some simple steps to minimise risk.

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“At this time of year especially, with the current spell of warm weather, I would emphasise the importance of creating a cool sleeping environment for babies in which the optimum room temperature of between 16C and 20 C is achieved.”

Tony Goldson, council cabinet member for health, added: “Thankfully incidents of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in Suffolk are rare, but this is clearly something that is devastating for those families who are affected. This campaign aims to minimise the risk by raising awareness of the subject among parents and supporting them with advice through our six key messages.

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“We know from evidence that lifestyle factors can have a contributory part to play when it comes to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Whether it’s refraining from smoking, to advice on co-sleeping and even creating the optimum sleeping environment for a baby, we are aiming to dispel myths and help parents with some really useful advice to give them peace of mind.”

The latest initiative has come from Public Health Suffolk, working alongside other organisations – a partnership which is providing the safer sleeping message.

In terms of bed-sharing, health bosses have cited studies which show sleeping with your baby on the sofa or armchair is associated with a very high risk of SIDS.

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