As Aotearoa prepares to observe Safe Sleep Day – Te Ra Mokopuna Ora on December 1st, Hāpai Te Hauora issues an urgent call to action to address safe sleep practices for infants. The reality of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) is babies losing their lives due to preventable causes during sleep.
Hāpai emphasises the need for Smokefree environments surrounding newborns and their mothers. Fay Selby-Law the General Manager for the National SUDI Prevention Coordination Service at Hāpai Te Hauora states “Overwhelming evidence supports that eliminating smoking stands as an important shield against SUDI. Being Smokefree ensures optimal breathing for the baby and sustains the health of both mother and child”. Selby-Law continues “Babies in Aotearoa need protection, and Hāpai advocates and supports Smokefree environments within families, homes, and vehicles.”
The awareness and engagement of communities help advance safe sleeping practices. Communities have pioneered more effective solutions, particularly in engaging with Māori mothers, improving the well-being of infants in Aotearoa. One such culturally appropriate solution is the wahakura – safe sleep bed’s woven from traditional māori materials.
On Te Ra Mokopuna Ora 2023, Hāpai Te Hauora extends its support to whānau, hapu, and iwi across Aotearoa. The initiative includes the re-establishment of Te Whare Pora (House of Weaving) in West Auckland, with weekly Wahakura Wānanga led by Ann-Margaret Strickland at Swanson Primary School.
Hāpai has also launched a social media campaign on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to disseminate vital information, targeting whānau seeking guidance, including safe co-sleeping practices using wahakura.
Join Hāpai Te Hauora on Te Ra Mokopuna Ora – Safe Sleep Day as we unite to safeguard our infants and empower families and communities with knowledge and resources for a safer, healthier future.