Guidance for GPs on new parents sleeping with their infants has been issued for consultation by NICE, in a bid to cut the 244 deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome that occur each year.
The draft recommendations by NICE extend the relevance of SIDS advice to children up to one year of age, and say GPs should advise new parents on the risks of co-sleeping with their infants.
This follows research which showed co-sleeping raised the risk of SIDS deaths, even amongst non-smokers.
Professor Mark Baker, NICE’s clinical practice director, said: ‘Falling asleep with a baby, whether that’s in a bed or on a sofa or chair, is risky.’
‘It’s imperative that all parents and carers know about the association between sudden infant death syndrome and falling asleep with a child under the age of one. This is especially important if parents drink alcohol, take drugs or expose their baby to tobacco smoke.’
The consultation will run until 31 July.