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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

Health service trials 'pods' in bid for safer baby sleep

Date posted: 9 April 2014

A portable baby bed developed after the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand is now being used to help reduce sudden unexpected death among Queensland's Cape York infants.

The use of the small plastic boxes proved to be a cheap bedding for infants who had lost their homes in the earthquake and were later found to have made a reduction in sudden unexpected deaths in infants, especially among the Maori population.

The Apunipima Cape York Health Council is working with organisations including the University of the Sunshine Coast, to provide the Pepi-pod program in seven far north Indigenous communities.

Apunipima's Johanna Neville says Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies are almost four times more likely to die suddenly and unexpectedly than non-Indigenous infants because of risk factors including low birth weight, exposure to smoking, alcohol, drug use or unsafe sleep environments.

When speaking of the introduction of the pepi-pod to the Cape York communities Johanna said 'Initially mothers are a bit surprised about the fact it is just a plastic box but once we dress that plastic box up with the fabric they're then very happy that it's a very transportable bed and it's very easy for them to see that baby can have every sleep in that bed throughout the day and that it is a safer one.'

Source: ABC News


Last updated: 9 April 2014
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