Like all parents, you want to make sure you do everything to keep your baby safe. Sadly, about 300 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly each year in the UK. These sudden and unexplained deaths are known as sudden infant death syndrome, also known as cot death.
The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths has been running a campaign to help parents reduce the risk of cot death, and has succeeded in reducing the number of deaths by half over the last 15 years. Their website (www.fsid.org.uk) contains detailed and helpful advice.
Here is a summary of the key steps you should take to reduce the risk:
- Place you baby on his back to sleep.
- Cut smoking in pregnancy - mums, and dads too.
- Don't let anyone smoke in the same room as your baby.
- Do not let your baby get too hot (or too cold).
- Keep baby's head uncovered - place your baby with his feet to the foot of the cot, to prevent wriggling down under the covers.
- Do not share a bed with your baby if you have been drinking alcohol, taking drugs or if you are a smoker.
- If your baby is unwell, seek medical advice promptly.