Sidra Medicine, a member of Qatar Foundation, has launched a week long patient education awareness campaign on safe sleep to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Safe Sleep Week, which runs until October 17, includes training parents and clinical staff on creating a safe sleep environment for babies up to one year old.
Helen Sutherland, clinical nurse manager at Sidra Medicine said: “Our Safe Sleep Week initiative is to promote safe sleep for new born babies under the age of one. We also want to raise awareness on how parents and caregivers can reduce the risk of SIDS, a global problem whereby many babies die unexpectedly in their sleep.”
“In addition to educational resources, we have launched a Safe Sleep hub in our post-partum ward which will allow an interactive learning experience for staff and patients. The hub is based on the latest evidence for preventing SIDS and will showcase the best advice for keeping babies safe including the ABC of safe sleep,” continued Sutherland.
Sidra Medicine recommends parents and caregivers follow the ABC of Safe Sleep from the American Academy of Paediatrics for babies under the age of one.
A – Alone: Babies should sleep alone in a clear safe sleep space in the same room as parents - for every sleep .
B – Back: Always place the baby on their back to sleep for every sleep and nap, not on their sides or on their stomach. This position has been shown to decrease the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related deaths, because babies are less likely to suffocate or choke on other objects when they are on their backs.
C – Crib: Babies should sleep in their own cribs, the safest place for them to sleep. To prevent the risks of suffocation and death, the crib should have a firm mattress with a fitted sheet. There should be nothing else in the crib such as loose blankets, stuffed animals, toys, bumper pads, or pillows, because there is a chance that the baby could roll over and suffocate on these things.
While babies should always sleep on their back, other interventions to reduce the risks of SIDS include; breastfeeding; use of a pacifier once breastfeeding is established; a smoke free environment; and ensuring babies receive all routine immunisations. Sidra Medicine also recommends supervised tummy time during play, which should start as soon as the baby comes home.
Hayfaa al-Naemi, clinical nurse educator at Sidra Medicine said: “In addition to guiding parents and caregivers, our campaign aims to increase clinical staff knowledge about safe sleep practices. In turn, they can help educate our patients, especially women who deliver their babies at Sidra Medicine. This is part of Sidra Medicine’s ongoing patient and family centred approach to providing care.”