It’s Red Nose Day: How To Support Sids And Kids
As mothers, we love to worry. Is my child developing properly? Are they safe? Are they eating properly? Am I spending enough time with my children? Am I working too much? Are they too cold at night? Have they rolled onto their tummy? The list is seemingly endless and frankly, a little overwhelming. The biggest worry for new mothers? SIDS (also known as cot death).
After the birth of my two daughters, it was certainly my biggest fear. If they slept for longer than a few hours, which to be honest, they rarely did, I thought they had stopped breathing. I used to check on them in the night to make sure the blanket I had firmly tucked into their bassinet hadnt covered their faces. The first time they slept through the night, I rushed into their room in the morning to check if they were alive. Its a mothers worst nightmare.
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In Australia each year over 3,500 families experience the sudden and unexpected death of a baby or child, either through stillbirth or during the first month of life, from sudden unexpected death in infancy (SIDS or fatal sleeping accidents), SUDC (sudden unexpected death in childhood) or accident. Its a heartbreaking reality and something we all need to be aware of and support. Sadly, for many of these deaths, there is no known cause.
This Friday is Red Nose Day, the major annual fundraising initiative for SIDS and Kids to continue to find answers for parents by funding and supporting vital research into stillbirth, SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and safe sleeping practices.
So what is SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping? Its an evidence-based health promotion campaign developed for health professionals, childcare workers, new and expectant mothers, parents and anyone who cares for babies and infants. The campaign has been developed in conjunction with researchers from Australasia and internationally and provides information about the evidence around sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) risk reduction and fatal sleeping accidents. Since it started in the early 1990s, the campaign has had incredible success, reducing the incidence of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy by 80% and saving 8,480 babies lives.
Most of us are well aware of how to keep our baby safe when theyre sleeping but heres a refresher guide (and a reminder to wear a Red Nose). If youd like to get involved this year and support the cause, check out the list of the fun events happening to celebrate Red Nose Day and visit www.rednoseday.com.au
SIDS and Kids recommendations for safe sleeping:
1. The safest place and position for your baby is on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side. Healthy babies placed on their back to sleep are not more likely to choke.
2. Always sleep your baby with his or her head and face uncovered. Put your baby at the bottom of the bassinet or cot and make sure you tuck in any blankets and sheets firmly so they dont loosen and move over the babys face.
3. SIDS is more common in babies who are regularly exposed to smoke so keep baby smoke free before birth and after. Its simple: dont smoke around children.
4. Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day.
5. Sleep your baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to twelve months. SIDS and Kids recommends sleeping a baby in a cot next to the parents bed for the first six to twelve months of life.
6. Breastfeed your baby if you can. According to research, breastfeeding babies more than halves the chances of a baby dying suddenly and unexpectedly.
Words: Georgie Abay