1. ITV Report

Baby boxes issued at Colchester hospital to help reduce risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

  • Video report by ITV News Anglia's Graham Stothard

Midwives in our region are warning of the dangers of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) after free baby boxes aimed at reducing the risk have proven a success at hospitals in Essex.

Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust was the first trust in East Anglia to give out free baby boxes to parents in Colchester, Clacton and Harwich.

Since the scheme launched last October they've handed out 700 boxes which are specifically designed to SIDS.

Colchester Hospital has handed out 700 baby boxes to new parents since last October Credit: ITV News Anglia

They’re a proven success in Finland, where they were first used in the 1930s to prevent babies rolling onto their tummies while they slept, which could stop them from breathing.

Number of children killed by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in the East between 2005 and 2014

Co-sleeping with the baby has been identified as a risk factor and that’s where the baby boxes come into play.

This a safe place with a certified safe mattress for babies to sleep on.

Overheating and having covers over the baby’s head definitely known to be a problem…we know there is a six times increased risk if babies sleep on their front.

– Midwife Tracy Baxter
The new parents with baby Poppy Credit: ITV News Anglia

Stuart Gregory and Jennie Weston from Manningtree say they'll use the baby box they got for free from Colchester Hospital for their newborn daughter Poppy.

They said: "It’s simple as well and it’s light."

"The nice thing is you can use it throughout the home as well and you know that it is secure as well so, yes, great idea… We just tried and tested it with her and she settled very quickly so we at least know it’s very effective.”

The average number of babies who die suddenly from SIDS every week in the UK
The cardboard boxes have been designed to stop babies rolling onto their tummies while they sleep Credit: ITV News Anglia

Since 2004 the rate of SIDS has decreased by three per cent in our region

The baby boxes will be rolled out in mid-Essex and Norfolk later this year. By raising awareness of the safer sleep advice, it’s hoped more precious lives can be saved

Midwives say there is a six times increased risk if babies sleep on their front. Credit: ITV News Anglia