New clinical guidance released today will help maternity and newborn professionals provide consistent advice to new parents about how to reduce the risks of sudden unexpected deaths in infancy (SUDI).
While we don’t know exactly what causes sudden unexpected death in infancy, there are steps both health services and families can take to reduce the overall risk, including safe sleeping practices.
Developed by a team of experts and informed by public consultation, this guidance provides practical advice for Victorian maternity and neonatal care providers to:
- model recommended safe infant sleeping practices in your health service
- provide up to date and evidence-based verbal and written information to parents, extended family and other caregivers
- ensure topics such as: sleep position, safe sleeping environment, co-sleeping and high-risk infants are addressed as part of routine ante-natal and post-natal care
- identify infants who are more at risk when three kinds of risk factors are present: vulnerability, age and environment.
Although the rates of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) continue to decline in Australia, it remains a significant cause of death in infants under one year of age. All infants are at risk of SUDI, however there are some factors that increase the risk.