Safeguarding Children Partnership issues thermometers to new mums in the borough

Date published: 16 June 2021

Thermometers are being distributed to expectant mums throughout the borough, as part of the Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Partnership’s (RBSCP) second Safeguarding Children Awareness Week (14 – 20 June 2021).

Working with partner organisations from the Safeguarding Children Partnership, local midwives and health visitors are distributing thermometers to expectant mums throughout the borough.

The thermometers (with safer sleep messages on the reverse) help parents with a baby to identify if the room is too warm, too cold or the right temperature for the new baby, helping to give parents support and confidence whilst dealing with the pressures of having a baby.

Local mum Sarah Carrington, who lives in Heywood, has just given birth to baby Henry, who is now four weeks old. Sarah and her two elder children, Joshua, aged seven, and Elyot, aged six, received a visit from Health Visitor Louise Wileman, who has been doing the rounds in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale handing out thermometers as part of the awareness week.

Louise, a Specialist Health Visitor and CONI co-ordinator working in Rochdale for the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, which runs hospitals and community healthcare services in Oldham, Bury and Rochdale, said: “It is important to make sure that your baby is a comfortable temperature – not too hot or too cold.

“The chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is higher in babies who get too hot. A room temperature of 16-20°C – with light bedding or a lightweight, well-fitting baby sleep bag – is comfortable and safe for sleeping babies.

“We encourage anyone caring for a new baby to follow safer sleep advice and seek help from their midwife, health visitor or GP. We want parents to know that advice and support is still available. Parents can follow the steps below to ensure safer sleep.”

  • Every sleep needs to be a safe sleep. Have an infant sleep plan and routine
  • Always place your baby to sleep on their back, on a firm, flat, waterproof mattress
  • Always sleep your baby in a moses basket, crib or cot for every sleep episode, day or night, in the same room as parent / carer for the first six months
  • Never leave your baby to sleep on a sofa chair or bed
  • Do not cover your baby’s head, face or use loose bedding
  • Smoking in pregnancy or during the first 12 months after your baby is born increases the risk of sudden infant death
  • Avoid letting your baby get too hot. The ideal room temperature is between 16 and 20 degrees centigrade
  • Babies who are unwell need fewer bed clothes, not more

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexplained death of a baby where no cause is found. Sadly in the UK more than 200 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly every year. SIDS usually occurs when a baby is asleep, but it can occur at any sleep episode at any time of day.

For more information on safer sleep visit:

Another focus for the awareness week is coping with infant crying. ICON (I - Infant crying is normal, C - Comforting methods can help, O - OK to walk away, N - Never shake a baby) is a programme aimed at helping parents and carers with young babies to cope with infant crying.

Most babies start to cry more frequently at about two weeks of age, with crying becoming more frequent and longer lasting during the next few weeks and reaching a peak at six to eight weeks. The ICON programme offers the support to let parents and carers know that this behaviour is completely normal and that they are not alone in dealing with this situation. It is completely natural for babies to cry and it is important to remember that this will stop.

Further support and information can be found on the RBSCP webpage:, the Lullaby Trust website: and on the NHS website:

If you have any concerns that a child is being harmed or abused or is at risk of harm or abuse, call Rochdale Borough Council’s early help and safeguarding hub on 0300 303 0440.

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