Twenty Pepi-Pods are being made available in the Eastern Bay for Edgecumbe families unable to return to their homes and who need a safe space for their babies to sleep.
"We know a lot of families from Edgecumbe and the surrounding areas will be struggling to provide their young children and babies with their usual sleeping arrangements," said Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) Safe Infant Sleep Co-ordinator, Midwife Natasha Rawiri.
"But for babies under 12 months especially, it's really important that they have a safe place to sleep. Relying on a makeshift bed poses risk of suffocation for babies in their first year of life.
"Babies over the age of six months are more able to change position and have increased mobility; this presents the older baby with a different form of risk," she said.
"By their own movements, they may get into dangerous situations due to getting stuck underneath loose or bulky bedding and pillows or, in an effort to free themselves, become tangled in their coverings. This can lead to overheating or accidental suffocation."
The Pepi-Pods were a portable safe sleeping space for babies aged up to four to six months. They are designed to provide a safe sleeping environment for babies in a makeshift setting or away from home.
To keep babies of all ages safe during sleep always follow the P.E.P.E. messages of:
Place baby in his or her own bed, face clear of loose bedding and NO pillows, hats, bibs and soft toys
Eliminate exposure to smoking, alcohol and drug use, and have a smokefree family, home and car
Position baby flat and on the back as their drive to breathe works best in this position
Encourage and support mum to breastfeed to help protect baby.
The Pepi-Pods were delivered to the Whakatane Maternity Unit this morning.
Parents of babies under four to six months who required a Pepi-Pod should contact their LMC, their local Plunket or Tamariki Ora provider, or call Whakatane Maternity Unit directly on (07) 306 0811 to arrange for a Pepi-Pod to be distributed.
For any other information about sleeping baby safely contact Plunketline any time on 0800 933 922.