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June 28, 2019

Lift the Baby campaign promotes safe sleeping

Players from London Irish Rugby Club have teamed up with health chiefs to launch a major video campaign aimed at cutting baby deaths.

Six members of the team have worked with NHS child safety staff from Berkshire on the video which was launched in London on 25 June.

The video is called Lift the Baby and is aimed at promoting safer sleeping in younger babies. The move follows figures showing more than 130 babies die in the UK every year in hazardous sleeping circumstances, for example where a parent or carer falls asleep while holding the baby, unwittingly placing the child at risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

The risks are exacerbated if the adult has been smoking, drinking, using drugs or heavy medication or is excessively tired. In most cases, if adults follow the safe sleeping guidelines, these deaths are completely avoidable.

Filming for the video took place at London Irish's ground, the Madejski Stadium in Reading, and featured six players and their babies. The 90 second film was premiered at the London Irish Foundation launch and is now available on YouTube and a range of NHS websites.

The video is the result of a year-long piece of work pioneered by Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), East Berkshire CCG and a range of health partners.

Research showed that the bulk of information and support offered to new parents was aimed primarily at mothers, and the health teams wanted to develop something to reach out to new dads.

A series of fathers' focus groups and Facebook groups dedicated to dads and male carers was set up to make sure the messages in the video campaign were relevant.

A special website has been developed in partnership with the Lullaby Trust and features a link to the video along with a range of safe sleeping advice. You can view the video here.


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The Lullaby Trust

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