Explain safety precautions which minimise the risk of sudden infant death syndrome

Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 1.3: Support physical care routines for children
Learning outcome: Understand rest and sleep needs of children
Assessment criteria: Explain safety precautions which minimise the risk of sudden infant death syndrome

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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the unexpected and unexplained death of a seemingly healthy baby during the first 6 months of their life. Although the causes are unknown, there are a number of safety precautions, recommended by the NHS, which can be taken to minimise the risk of SIDS, including:

  • Always positioning the baby on their back to sleep
  • Put the baby in the “feet to foot” position (with their feet touching the end of the cot, Moses basket or pram)
  • Keeping the baby’s head uncovered (their blanket should be tucked in no higher than their shoulders)
  • Regularly check on the sleeping baby
  • Use a mattress that is firm, flat, waterproof and in good condition
  • Not smoking during pregnancy or letting anyone smoke in the same room as the baby
  • Not sleeping on a bed, sofa or armchair with the baby
  • Maintain an adequate temperature (a room temperature of 16C to 20C is comfortable for most babies)
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