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J Paediatr Child Health. 2013 May;49(5):364-8. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12196. Epub 2013 Apr 11.

An evaluation of portable sleeping spaces for babies following the Christchurch earthquake of February 2011.

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  • 1Change for our Children, Christchurch, New Zealand.



To describe how recipients of portable sleeping spaces (PSSs) for babies received and used these devices, offered as emergency baby beds in earthquake-ravaged Christchurch, New Zealand, 2011.


The PSS package responded to increased risk to babies from disrupted living and sleeping conditions in families. 'Door-to-door' distribution offered easy access to those in need. A subgroup of recipients gave feedback via a survey.


From 642 families who received PSSs between March and August, 139 were invited to complete a survey on usage and 100 (72%) responded. Risks identified were 'earthquake related' (82%), bed-sharing (41%), smoking in pregnancy (26%) and prematurity or low birthweight (11%). PSSs were used for same-bed co-sleeping by 87%. They were used even though most families (96%) also had a cot or bassinet. Features most appreciated were 'having baby close' (90%), 'peace of mind' (88%) and portability (74%).


PSSs were acceptable to parents and used as instructed. Enabling physical protection of babies when same-bed co-sleeping, they gave peace of mind to parents. PSSs could be considered in ordinary times for protecting babies from sudden infant death.

© 2013 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2013 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians).

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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