Safer Sleep Week

Monday 12 March until  Sunday 18 March 2018  is Safer Sleep Week, co-ordinated each year by The Lullaby Trust to raise awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Safer Sleep Week aims to reach as many families as possible with life-saving safer sleep advice.

191 unexplained infant deaths occurred in England and Wales in 2015, a rate of 0.27 deaths per 1,000 live births. 60% of these deaths were recorded as sudden infant deaths, and 40% were recorded as unascertained (where no other cause of death is recorded).  Since the launch of the Back to Sleep Campaign in England and Wales in 1991, the number of SIDS deaths has fallen by 81%. Read more statistics here

In Brighton & Hove all child deaths are reviewed by the multi-agency Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) to learn how to try and prevent future deaths. We have a Specialist Nurse for Child Deaths, Sam Tyler, who sits on the CDOP, and she can also support families following an unexpected child bereavement and signpost onto bereavement services. She says that “a baby dying is devastating to a families, and whilst we do not know the causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), there are small steps that parents & carers can take to reduce the risk to their child that everyone should be aware of…. “ 

If you would like any further information on giving safe sleep advice to families, she can be contacted at

Health Visitors across Brighton & Hove inform all parents of the safe sleep message and provide advice and guidance on how to reduce the risk of sudden infant deaths. The Lullaby Trust also have a useful guide for professionals

The following is life-saving safer sleep advice:

Things you can do

  • Always place your baby on their back to sleep
  • Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth
  • Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first 6 months
  • Breastfeed your baby
  • Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition

Things to avoid  

  • Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby
  • Don’t sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, drink or take drugs or are extremely tired, if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth-weight
  • Avoid letting your baby get too hot
  • Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping or use loose bedding


Please visit the Lullaby Trust’s website to download posters for parents, easy read cards, and Safer Sleep information in different languages: 

Also see the Pan Sussex Safeguarding Procedures: Unexpected Child Death