Auckland, 30 June 2022
For immediate release
Preventable baby deaths back in the spotlight
The news this week that a coroner ruled the death of a 4-week-old baby boy in June last year as preventable if an appropriate safe sleeping aid was used. This has led to a recommendation for funding to give all mothers an approved baby safe sleeping aid at birth. Until they are 12 months old, babies are vulnerable to SUDI (Sudden Unexpected Death of an Infant) during sleep, especially when parents choose to co-sleep with their infant in an unsafe way.
Coroner Alexander Ho recommended the Ministry of Health to consider automatically issuing all newborns with a pēpi-pod or wahakura, a woven flax bassinet to keep their babies safer during sleep time. While a wahakura is a fantastic safe sleeping aid for newborn babies, there is another practical option for parents and caregivers to keep their babies safe from suffocation, potentially dangerous and awkward sleeping positions: The Safe T Sleep Sleepwrap. It can be used until babies are 2 years old and helps prevent known cot and bed accidents including those from climbing and falling.
Safe T Sleep Sleepwrap is a New Zealand invention that was created in 1976 by Auckland mother, Miriam Rutherford-van Gisbergen, initially to keep her own aspiring little abseiler safe from cot accidents. The product, which is genius in its simplicity, is clinically proven* and used and recommended by health professionals world-wide.
The baby sleep wrap was introduced to the market in 1992, which means Safe T Sleep celebrates 30 years of safety success this year. No cot deaths or injuries have been reported during that time with the use of the Safe T Sleep Sleepwrap, a fact that Miriam is immensely proud of.
“The Safe T Sleep Sleepwrap has been credited for a significant decrease in accidental suffocation of infants since its introduction, and its effectiveness is based on sound evidence-based data. It is partially responsible for the decrease in accidental suffocation of infants, and people in New Zealand can get assistance from WINZ to purchase a sleep wrap which ideally is washed and ready on baby’s bed as soon as mum and baby come home from the maternity ward,” Miriam says.
The Safe T Sleep Sleepwrap has won 3 OHBaby! Awards and is again up for nominations in 2022. There are various sizes available to fit around mattresses from bassinets right though to king-size beds and everything in between. It has a separate piece for around baby’s torso and many parents use it for safer co-sleeping, keeping in mind the main risk factors such as over-exhaustion, smoking, drugs and alcohol.
The sleep wrap is clinically proven* and gives babies a more comfortable, safe and restful sleep as well as giving parents and caregivers peace of mind. It allows for natural and free body, limb, and hip movement at each stage of development and older babies can turn freely within the wrap.
It is also convenient as a “bed in a bag” as it’s lightweight, compact, and hygienically washable which makes the sleep wrap practical for safer sleeping traveling, sleepovers, camping and boating. It ensures safer, more familiar transitions to bigger and different beds for home and away and is ideal for twins, multiples, and babies with reflux, colds, colic, and respiratory problems.
The Safe T Sleep Sleepwrap is designed to go hand in hand with responsible, nurturing parenting and supervision skills. Work and Income - Te Hiranga Tangata can give Kiwi parents and caregivers financial assistance to buy a Safe T Sleep through accredited assessors.
About the Safe T Sleep Founder
Miriam Rutherford-van Gisbergen has supported, advised and worked with parents and child health professionals for over 3 decades. She has worked alongside medical professionals, parents in general and the wider community to promote positive, nurturing parenting, safer sleeping for babies and education on the correct and wise usage of Safe T Sleep products.
Also presenting medical papers at national and international level, Miriam has given practical sleep time workshops, including on marae, and numerous positive parenting workshops. Her commitment to empower parents with useful information, practical support and tools regarding baby sleep time safety awareness, nurturing settling skills and assisting cranio facial issues regarding flat head challenges for young babies. This education and passion has been the driving force behind the success of Safe T Sleep.
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