This Christmas, thousands of homeless children face an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) due to their living conditions.
There are currently 131,370 children living in Temporary Accommodation (TA) in England, mostly placed in inappropriate accommodation such as B&Bs, hotels or hostels. 50% of all homeless people in England are children.
Families without a home can spend weeks, months and sometimes years living in one room with no cooking facilities, no laundry facilities, no safe space to play and, increasingly, no safe place to sleep. A mortality review had found that at least 34 children had died, with Temporary Accommodation being listed as a contributing factor to their untimely death. Most of these children were babies under 1 year of age.
Temporary Accommodation is never the ideal solution, but for many families it is the only option. Families having to stay in TA should be entitled to a safer, secure and peaceful experience, and yet for far too many it is anything but. Currently there is no statutory requirement to provide a cot or Moses basket for children under 2 in Temporary Accommodation.
When safer sleep advice cannot be followed, this can contribute to an increased risk of SIDS.
This truly is a Silent Nightmare.
We are asking that the Government change their Homelessness Code of Guidance, by choosing to provide cots and Moses baskets in Temporary Accommodation.
Then, all homeless children under the age of 2 will have access to a safe place to sleep and a reduced risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
With this simple act, the Government can support homeless children towards a better, safer start in life.
Please help us give a voice to the voiceless this Christmas. Sign our petition and share on your social networks.