The Essex Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB) has issued a baby sleep safety reminder to parents after infant sleeping conditions were found to have been a factor in a number of recent deaths.

The board’s Safer Sleep for Babies campaign aims to raise awareness of dangerous sleeping environments and offers advice on the correct positioning and surfaces to prevent further tragedies.

Their advice is particularly relevant over the festive season when families may have different sleeping arrangements and babies could be being cared for by other people.

Simon Hart, ESCB chairman, said: “Christmas is a time many people want to go out and celebrate, so it’s really important if you’re using a baby-sitter you are confident they know the do’s and don’ts of safer sleeping for babies.

“Even if they’re just watching your child while they nap, sleeping precautions should be followed all day not just at night.

“If we can educate people about the dangers of poor sleeping conditions, and prevent just one more tragic death, the campaign will be worth it.”

Advice includes using a firm, flat, waterproof mattress that is in good, clean condition, placing babies on their back to sleep with their feet to the foot of the cot, and avoiding sleeping in the same bed as your baby if you have been smoking, drinking, take drugs or if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth weight.

For more information visit the ESCB website or the Lullaby Trust charity.

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