August 14 is Red Nose Day and the team at Norwest Private Hospital Maternity got a bit silly for a serious cause.
Red Nose Day was established to raise awareness for the prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and fund raise to support education programmes and critical research needed to find out more about the events that can have a devastating impact on those families affected.
Since its inception in 1988, Red Nose Day has saved the lives of over 10,000 children In Australia. However, nine children under the age of four still die every day suddenly and unexpectedly, with causes including stillbirth, SIDS and fatal sleep accidents. That’s more than 3000 babies, toddlers and preschoolers every year – more than double the national road toll.
So, while incredible gains have been made to reduce sudden deaths, there is still a lot more work needed.
“There are many ways for parents to reduce the risk of SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents” according to Michelle McKenzie, Women’s Health Services Manager at Norwest Private Hospital.
“Ensuring baby sleeps in the right position is really important. Sleeping on their back from birth and not on the tummy or side is the safest position for baby to sleep. Also baby’s head and face should not be covered when they sleep.”
Helen Bracken, Early Childhood Consultant at Norwest Private Hospital said: “A smoke free environment before and after birth will also help to keep baby safe.
“Smoking during pregnancy and around the baby after birth has been shown to increase the risk of SIDS.”
Ms Bracken said: “Providing baby with a safe sleeping environment at night and during the day is an important consideration. Baby should sleep in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as their parents for the first 6-12 months.”
“It’s been shown that there are many benefits of breastfeeding for mother and baby including reducing the risk of SIDS” said Ms Bracken.
“We strongly support the efforts of the Red Nose organisation to keep babies safe and ensure that Red Nose education brochures are always given to our new mothers”, said Ms McKenzie.
More information is available at www.rednose.org.au