Taranaki DHB raises awareness of Safe Sleep Day

1 December 2014

Taranaki DHB is working with Tui Ora, Plunket and Whakawhetu - national Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) prevention for Maori - to help raise awareness of national Safe Sleep Day on Friday 5 December.

Taranaki DHB safe sleep champion Merry Sorensen said, “The purpose of Safe Sleep Day is to support the prevention of SUDI. Every year, 60 babies in New Zealand die from SUDI.”

“SUDI is the most common cause of death for babies under the age of 12 months and can occur when a baby's breathing is compromised through unsafe sleep practices.”

“It is important for mothers and their families to know some key points to ensure every baby has a safe sleep,” said Ms Sorrenson. These include:

  • Baby to be placed in his or her own bed (such as a pepi pod), face clear of bedding
  • Eliminate smoking in pregnancy and protect baby by having a smokefree environment
  • Position baby flat on his or her back to sleep, face up
  • Encourage and support mum to breastfeed
  • Babies should have their own space to sleep in.

To help raise awareness of Safe Sleep Day, Taranaki DHB is teaming up with Tui Ora to run an educational stand in the New Plymouth Warehouse on Friday 5 December, with Whakawhetu providing many of the safe sleep resources.

Base Hospital staff will hold a ‘pyjama party’ and morning tea for the patients on the maternity wards on Friday 5 December. Safe sleep information will also be available throughout the hospital. 
A safe sleep children’s colouring competition will be run with two categories – ages five and under and ages five to 12. Competition entry forms are available from the Warehouse or Base Hospital.  

Pepi pods – a safe sleep space
pepi pod sleep space is a general purpose storage box that converts to a baby sized bed with the addition of an attractive cover, fitting mattress and bedding.

It offers babies a protected space when they sleep in, or on, an adult bed, on a couch, in a makeshift setting, or away from home. These are situations that research has identified with a higher risk of accidental suffocation for babies.

Ms Sorensen, who is also the Taranaki DHB pepi-pod coordinator, said, “Eighty-five pepi pods have been distributed to eligible Taranaki families so far in 2014, as of the pepi-pod programme.”

“There are three key components to the programme. The sleep space enables, the safety briefing informs and the expectation that recipients help spread safe sleep awareness empowers.”

“The pepi-pods are distributed through the Base Hospital maternity wards, as well as through our four trained distributers throughout Taranaki,” adds Ms Sorrenson.

Todd Energy has supplied funding to support the continuation of the pepi-pod programme in Taranaki.

For more information about pepi pods see: www.changeforourchildren.co.nz

For further information contact:
Taranaki DHB Communications Advisor
Hayley Weel
T: 753 6139 ext: 8486


Last updated: Monday, August 31, 2015

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