Wednesday, 22 November 2017


Help reduce the risk of cot death: Health Visiting team offer advice on keeping your baby safe at home

Published on 25 Sep 2017

Parents in the Western Isles are being encouraged to follow guidance and help reduce the risk of cot death.

Staff from NHS Western Isles Health Visiting team recently received training from the Scottish Cot Death Trust, Scotland's only cot death charity, on the risks associated with cot death, how to encourage families to reduce their risk, as well as supporting bereaved families, and are keen to reiterate the safety message locally. 

Susan Thomson, Health Visitor, said "Cot death affects a baby every nine days in Scotland and we are urging both expectant and new parents to be aware of the key things they can do to protect their baby.

"We want to remind our local parents that the safest place for their baby to sleep at night is in their own cot in the parents room for the first 6 months of its life, and recommend parents ensure they follow the key guidance below." 

Reduce the risk of cot death

  • Put your baby to sleep on their back.
  • Place your baby in their cot in the ‘feet to foot’ position.
  • Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth.
  • Breastfeed your baby.
  • Make sure your baby doesn't get too hot or too cold.
  • Keep your baby's head uncovered while sleeping.
  • Never fall asleep with your baby on a couch or armchair.
  • Ensure any sheets and blankets in your baby’s cot are firmly tucked in at the bottom and sides of the cot, and are positioned no higher than the baby’s shoulders.
  • Understand the risks of co-sleeping.
  • Learn to swaddle properly.
  • Follow the 2 hour rule for car seat safety.

Parents are encouraged to revisit their 'Ready, Steady, Baby!' guidebook (also available online at: and 'Reduce the Risk of Cot Death' leaflet, which are issued to every pregnant woman in the Western Isles.

For further information please contact the NHS Western Isles Health Visiting team on (01851) 709842 or your family Health Visitor.

Poster - For the first 6 months the safest place for me to sleep is in my cot in your room  Poster - Reduce the risk by avoiding these things