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Event highlights safer sleep messages

Safer Sleep Week logo

SAFER sleep is the theme for an information and networking event in Leicester next week that aims to promote the key messages that reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Professional staff and third sector organisations who work with pregnant women and parents/carers will come together at City Hall on Tuesday (10 March) for the event, which is taking place during national Safer Sleep Week.

Speakers at the event will include Professor Helen Ball, director of the Durham Infancy & Sleep Centre, and Gillian Ryder, regional development officer at The Lullaby Trust.

Cllr Vi Dempster, assistant city mayor for health, said: “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 event 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 parental tiredness can often make following safer sleep advice difficult.

“This session will highlight the importance of having open, non-judgemental conversations with parents and carers about how they can consistently put their baby to sleep more safely, even when they are exhausted.”

Councillor Lee Breckon, cabinet member for health and wellbeing and chairman of the Health and Wellbeing Board at Leicestershire County Council, said: “Alongside partners, we’re committed to raising awareness of safer sleep advice and would encourage professionals working with pregnant women, parents and carers to attend the session.”

The Safer Sleep event is hosted jointly by Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council, in partnership with The Lullaby Trust.

Attendees at next week’s event will include representatives of women’s charities, advice organisations and other support services.

Safer Sleep Week – which runs from 9-15 March - is The Lullaby Trust's national awareness campaign that targets anyone who looks after a young baby.

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.


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