Sleep­ing risk

CO-SLEEP­ING AD­VICE PUTS IN­FANTS AT RISK OF SIDS

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Kaylee Martin

IT might seem like a good way for par­ents and ba­bies to bond, but co-sleep­ing could in­crease the risk of SIDS ac­cord­ing to Kens­ing­ton based par­ent­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion Ngala.

NEW trends en­cour­ag­ing par­ents to sleep with their ba­bies could in­crease the risk of SIDS ac­cord­ing to an early par­ent­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Kens­ing­ton based or­gan­i­sa­tion Ngala has warned par­ents against fol­low­ing the ad­vice of pro co-sleep­ing news ar­ti­cles cir­cu­lat­ing so­cial me­dia and news web­sites.

Ngala fam­ily ser­vices man­ager Me­lanie Marsh said some ar­ti­cles en­cour­aged co-sleep­ing with in­fants as well as com­bin­ing breast­feed­ing with in­fant sleep which could put chil­dren at risk of SIDS.

“The safest place to sleep a baby is in their own safe sleep­ing space in the same room as an adult care­giver,” she said.

“Re­search has shown that shar­ing a sleep sur­face, be that a bed, lounge chair, bean bag or on a par­ent’s chest can in­crease the risk of a sud­den in­fant death oc­cur­ring.”

Ms Marsh said Ngala fol­lowed the SIDS & Kids rec­om­men­da­tions which were based on the con­sen­sus of a sci­en­tific fo­rum at­tended by child health ex­perts and re­searchers.

“In 1986 there were 563 SIDS deaths in Aus­tralia while in 2012 there were 115 in­fant deaths con­trib­uted to SIDS,” Ms Marsh said.

“An 80 per cent de­crease in the rate of deaths means 8480 lives have been saved since risk re­duc­tion cam­paigns be­gan.”

Ms Marsh said there were plenty of other ways for par­ents to bond and re­main close to their ba­bies with­out sleep­ing in the same bed.

“Ba­bies re­spond to lov­ing touch and skin-to-skin cud­dles, which are both very valu­able ways to con­nect,” she said.

“Eye con­tact, fa­cial ex­pres- sions, talk­ing to your baby and body lan­guage all con­vey how you feel about your baby and builds a lov­ing con­nec­tion.

“Hav­ing baby sleep in the same room as the par­ents, on sep­a­rate sleep sur­faces, is rec­om­mended for at least the first 12 months. This as­sists with night time bond­ing and the abil­ity to re­spond promptly to your baby.”

Ms Marsh said it was im­por­tant for par­ents to learn to un­der­stand cues from their baby rather than re­ly­ing on books or web­sites to pro­vide ad­vice.

Ngala has branches across Perth. Visit www.ngala.com.au or www.sid­sand­kids.org.

Ngala has warned par­ents against fol­low­ing the ad­vice of pro co-sleep­ing news ar­ti­cles.

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