28th June 2011
IT is every parent’s greatest fear — the sudden death of their child.
And now a campaign has been launched in Bolton to prevent as many unexpected baby deaths as possible.
About a dozen infants died in Bolton as a result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in 2008- 2009.
And there are more baby deaths in the North West than any other part of England and Wales, with Bolton’s rate more than three times the national average.
The latest national rate of unexplained baby deaths is 0.40 for every 1,000 live births in 2008, compared to about 1.4, in Bolton.
Bolton health chiefs have now joined forces with those in Salford and Wigan, where death rates are also high, to launch a Safe Sleeping Campaign.
NHS Bolton, the primary care trust, and Bolton Council are working together to promote safe sleeping messages and cut the number of deaths.
Jan Hutchinson, director of public health at NHS Bolton and Bolton Council, said: “It is tragic to lose a baby and even more so if that death is preventable.
“We know from our analysis of babies who die in the borough that while some do so as a result of severe disabilities or birth injuries, a proportion do die through unsafe sleeping, which is preventable.
“We hope to build up awareness of the best advice to follow to reduce the risk.
“We hope there will be a reduction in the number of infant deaths through unsafe sleeping.”
The campaign was launched yesterday with an event at Oxford Grove Children’s Centre.
It will promote messages around safe sleeping, giving parents and carers advice on things they can do to reduce the risk to their baby, for example, making sure babies sleep in cots, not in bed with their parents.
Hundreds of health and social care workers will also be trained on helping patents and looking out for signs that infants might be at risk.