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Safe Sleep Day announced to protect babies

MEDIA RELEASE

June 17, 2013

Safe Sleep Day announced to protect babies

The first National Safe Sleep Campaign and Safe Sleep Day (scheduled for Friday, December 6) will be announced by Whakawhetu at the opening of the Mokopuna Ora Conference, on Friday, June 21.

Unintentional suffocation in the place where they sleep is the most common cause of death for infants under the age of 12 months. The National Safe Sleep Campaign aims to turn this around.

Too many babies are dying while they sleep and many of these deaths could have been prevented. Every year 60 Kiwi families lose their babies in this way and sadly 30-40 of these families are Māori. So this year, Whakawhetu is leading the first National Safe Sleep Day to raise public awareness about safe infant sleep.

“We are proud to support community groups to promote safe sleep” says Keith Gell programme manager of Whakawhetu, “we know that the messengers need to be trusted and respected, so we’re investing in local groups and local leaders to raise awareness and support safe infant sleep.”

Local groups will be encouraged to hold promotional events in their communities to raise awareness about safe sleep. Whakawhetu will provide free stickers, posters and balloons; they are also distributing mini grants to support groups to facilitate their events. They will also be able to buy campaign baby blankets and t-shirts to help spread the messages.

“We want to make sure that all families understand the risks and know what to do to protect their ‘mokopuna’,” says Keith.

He says the campaign is not about judging or criticising families for not following safe sleeping recommendations.

“It’s all about increasing awareness and creating a safe environment for families. “ ays Keith hat families onment so that families ionment mmendations, its all about cilitate their events.kers, posters and ballThe messages are evidence-based but the approach, most definitely, needs to be aroha-based.”

The Mokopuna Ora Conference will draw together the country’s experts and leaders in safe infant sleep; to inspire and inform safe infant sleep strategies, policies and practices. The Mokopuna Ora Conference will be preceded on June 20 by New Zealand’s first Pacific Maternal and Infant Health Conference at the same venue.

“Whakawhetu is pleased to provide a conference for maternal and infant health professionals and a campaign for families and the general public, so that together we can all help to make every sleep a safe sleep for every Kiwi baby.”

Further details are on the Safe Sleep Day website, which goes live on June 21, 2013; www.safesleepday.org.nz

ENDS


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