Well Child Week to put spotlight on Safe Sleep

23 February 2017


Make every sleep a safe sleep is the theme for Whanganui's 2017 Well Child Health Week promotion from 27 February to 3 March.


With the support of their fellow Whanganui Well Child Coalition members, Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) is determined to lift awareness around why parents and caregivers must practise safe sleep methods to help protect their babies from sudden unexpected death which devastates families and, the community they live in. 


While the number of sudden unexpected death of babies in Whanganui has been falling since 2005, tragically, the Whanganui region still has the second highest number in the country.


“It’s vital to put babies to sleep in their own beds during the first three months of their life when they are most vulnerable,” WDHB Well Child health promoter Desiree McLean says. “Doing so makes every sleep a safe sleep.”


Promotional activities set to take place during 2017 include:


Launch of the Make Every Sleep a Safe Sleep Resources available to community services and providers to share the safe sleep messages. This will take place on 27 Feb during Well Child Week.


WDHB to hold free workshops (see below for details) on 27 and 28 June 2017 in collaboration with Healthy Start Workforce and Whakawhetū. To register for the June workshops please contact Ms Mclean by emailing phc.admin@wdhb.org.nz or calling her on 06 34823471.


  • A Healthy Conversation Skills workshop to help parents make lifestyle behaviour changes for long-term health. The skills learnt are simple, time-saving and practical.
  • Whakawhetu workshops
  1. To increase the awareness of healthy pregnancies and Mokopuna
  2. To increase the knowledge of Sudden Unexpected Death in in Infancy by sharing the latest research.


Ms McLean says encouraging Māori women to be Smokefree at two weeks postnatal is a high priority for groups promoting safe sleep practices. Whanganui DHB has high smoking rates compared to the national average. The rates of young women of childbearing age who smoke is a particular concern.


Whanganui DHB is committed to ensuring that systems are in place within primary, secondary and maternity settings to support ABC smoking cessation practice as a routine component of clinical care. The WDHB Tobacco Control Plan will continue to guide tobacco control and smoking cessation across the region.


  • Whanganui Well Child Coalition members include the WDHB, Royal New Zealand Plunket Society Incorporated, Whanganui NZ College of Midwives, Te Oranganui and the Whanganui Regional Health Network.