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Training highlights safer sleep message

Published on Wednesday, November 6, 2019

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VOLUNTEERS and professional staff in Leicester who work with pregnant women and parents/carers are to be offered training to help them promote the safer sleep messages that reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Leicester City Council has commissioned the Lullaby Trust to run the training, which will brief those attending on the risk factors of SIDS, while updating them with the latest advice on safer sleeping for babies up to the age of one.

Attendees at the training session on Friday (8 November) will include representatives of women’s charities, advice organisations and other support services.

Cllr Vi Dempster, assistant city mayor for health, said: “It’s really important that we do all we can to make parents and carers aware of the risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

“Making sure your baby’s sleeping environment is as safe as possible does reduce the risk of SIDS, so the ‘safer sleep’ message is a very important one.

“I hope that our training session will give key workers outside the healthcare sector the information they need to have an informed conversation about safer sleep with parents and carers.”

Between April 2012 and March 2018, SIDS was responsible for 23 infant deaths in Leicester alone.

Gillian Ryder of The Lullaby Trust said: “We know that parents often make decisions on safe baby care, including where to put their baby to sleep and what type of bedding to buy, at different times. Therefore, it is so important to target this training to the various professionals who support parents/carers during such times.

“The session will highlight the importance of having open, non-judgemental conversations with parents/carers about how to put their baby to sleep more safely.”

The safer sleep training for professional staff will take place in Leicester’s Town Hall on Friday (8 November). For more information about the session, please contact Eleanor Morley in the city council’s public health team on 0116 454 2015.

Advice on how to reduce the risk of SIDS is available from the NHS at




Safer Sleep advice for parents and carers is as follows:

  • Place your baby on their back to sleep, in a cot in the same room as you, for the first six months.
  • Don't smoke during pregnancy or breastfeeding, and don't let anyone smoke in the same room as your baby.
  • Don't share a bed with your baby if you smoke, have drunk alcohol, have taken drugs, are extremely tired, or if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth weight.
  • Never sleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair.
  • Don't let your baby get too hot or cold.
  • Keep your baby's head uncovered. Their blanket should be tucked in no higher than their shoulders.
  • Place your baby in the ‘feet to foot’ position, with their feet at the end of the cot or moses basket.