How to keep baby safe when sleeping during hot weather
In response to the heatwave that has hit our region over recent days, the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) has re-issued advice for parents on keeping their baby safe when they are sleeping.
Although warm weather is something most of us enjoy, sadly it can also lead to an increase in child deaths – sometimes associated with overheating. This risk is further increased by various factors that can make sleeping arrangements for babies ‘unsafe’.
•It is important to make sure that baby is kept at a comfortable temperature – not too hot or too cold.
•Overheating increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS.) With excess wrapping, babies may be unable to cool down and can become heat-stressed
•Avoid co-sleeping with your baby. Do not sleep in the same bed and never sleep on a sofa or armchair with your baby. This increases the chance of SIDS and is particularly dangerous.
•Try to keep baby’s room temperature at 16-20°C, with light bedding or a lightweight well-fitting baby sleeping bag and use a room thermometer in the rooms where your baby sleeps
•Open internal doors and windows, so a natural, flowing breeze is created but avoid air conditioning, as it can be dehydrating (dry out)
•The heat can sometimes make us lethargic, which is quite natural, so don’t get too worried unless: you have problems rousing baby, baby appears floppy or displays odd behaviour.”
•The safest place for baby to sleep is on their own sleep surface, such as a simple mattress in a cot with no loose bedding or bumpers, in the same room as you, for at least the first six months.
•If used, make sure that sheets are firmly tucked in but not above baby’s shoulder height
•Make sure baby’s head is not covered by clothing or bedding
•If it is too warm for bedding, dress baby appropriately, just a nappy and vest may be sufficient and remove all loose covers from the cot
•Lay baby in the feet-to-foot (feet at foot end of cot) position, and remember the following:
No pillows or duvets in your babies cot;
Be sure to remove any soft toys from the cot before each sleep period;
No Cot bumpers;
No loose bedding including sheets, blankets or throws;
No products designed to keep a baby in one sleeping position such as wedges or straps.
Avoid plastic/ vinyl mattress covers
These key messages can also be found on the lullaby trust website – https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep-advice/baby-summer-safety/