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SUDI prevention is everyone’s responsibility

Safe Sleep Day 2017: SUDI prevention is everyone’s responsibility

Te Rā Mokopuna, National Safe Sleep Day, is celebrated on Friday 1 December. This is the first time the annual event will be supported by the leadership of the new National SUDI Prevention Coordination Service at Hāpai Te Hauora.

Te Rā Mokopuna presents an opportunity to highlight key opportunities in SUDI prevention. This year Hāpai Te Hauora encourages communities to take collective responsibility for reducing SUDI rates. "We all know that smoking is a major risk factor for SUDI, and our primary focus is to support pregnant mothers to quit," says Fay Selby-Law, the GM for the National SUDI Prevention Coordination Service "but the research shows that mothers are most likely to be smokefree when their homes, workplaces and social environments are smokefree as well."

The evidence shows that a smokefree household, not just a smokefree mother, reduces the risk of SUDI. "In our communities we see that the whānau who have the most success in reducing risk factors for SUDI are the ones where everyone is on board supporting parents," says Safe Sleep Coordinator and Midwife at Counties Manukau DHB Estelle Mulligan "everyone can help, whether by encouraging māmā and her entire whānau to be smokefree or by limiting their own smoking around family especially inside the home or in cars." Counties Manukau Health provides a smoking cessation incentives programme, antenatally and postnatally, that is an all of whānau inclusive programme to ensure we support these māmā and their whānau to remain smokefree.

If a smokefree household incorporates other safe sleep practices - ensuring baby sleeps on their back, supporting mums to breastfeed for as long as possible and using a safe sleep space such as a cot, wahakura or pēpi pod - the goal of a reduction in SUDI incidence to less than 0.1 SUDI death per 1,000 live births will be achieved.

Free safe sleep day resources can be downloaded here

The most recent SUDI research can be downloaded here


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