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It does not happen only in a cot - it can happen anywhere a baby is sleeping. Research has shown that you can take steps to reduce the risk of cot death: This does not increase the risk of choking or vomiting.

Clean and replace dummies regularly. In the first six months, the safest place for your baby to sleep is in a cot, in the same room as you.

Make sure everyone who looks after your baby uses the back to sleep position. Provide a safe sleep environment night and day: Bed-sharing can be dangerous especially if parents are smokers or if baby is premature or less than 3 months old. Face up - face free: Feet to foot - place your baby with their feet to the foot of the cot.

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  • Good condition - make sure the cot is in good condition, properly assembled and the mattress is clean, firm, flat with no tears and fits the cot correctly. Baby should not wear a hat when being put down to sleep. This is because babies lose heat through their head so covering their head may cause your baby to become overheated. However, wait until breastfeeding is well-established before introducing a soother.

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  • Never force a soother if your baby does not like it. Offer the baby their soother every time they are going to sleep. Do not attach clips, strings, ribbons or chains to soothers as they are a choking and strangulation risk. If feeding in bed, always remember to return your baby to their own cot for sleep. Sitting devices - car seats, swings, infant seats, slings, carriers and similar devices are not recommended for routine sleep in the home: If your baby falls asleep in a sitting device they should be placed on their back to sleep as soon as is possible.

    It is important to never leave your baby unsupervised while in a sitting device, whether in the car, home or elsewhere. Tummy time - let your baby have some time on their tummy , when they are awake and while you supervise. It is important to begin tummy time from birth. Get medical advice early and quickly if your baby seems unwell and you find it hard to tell whether the illness is something minor or more serious.

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  • Remember - if it's an emergency, dial or Share these key points with everyone who looks after your baby. Cot death is still quite rare so while it is important to take all the necessary precautions, do not let fear spoil precious times with your baby.

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    Call Visit www. A poster outlining the key points is also available. For babies with specific health needs, additional advice may be given by your healthcare professional.

    Most unintentional injuries often called accidents can be prevented: Remember the key message where child safety is concerned - Watch your child at all times, as children do not understand danger Go to:

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