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Idea Description
Supplementary Information
Innovation 'Elevator Pitch':
Children are at risk of serious harm or even death because adults are mixing alcohol consumption with caring and parental responsibilitie. This campaign poses the question - "when parents drink, who's in charge?'
Overview of Innovation:
Parents from all backgrounds are putting their children at risk when they drink alcohol at home.

The 'Who's In Charge?' campaign from Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust depicts real life child harm scenarios and asks – ‘when you drink, who’s in charge?’

The campaign was conceived in response to concerns that growing numbers of babies and children are at risk of serious harm because of the way their parents consume alcohol at home.

Safeguarding professionals warn that children are being placed in danger and even losing their lives because adults who in many cases do not consider themselves excessive drinkers are not exercising normal levels of care and attention while drinking or recovering from the after-effects of over-indulgence in alcohol.

And they warn of a ‘double jeopardy’ effect - that drinking too much alcohol can not only reduce a parent’s capacity to appropriately respond to children’s needs, but also make the drunken adult an active danger to the child.

One of the most worrying trends identified locally and nationally is a rise in the number of baby deaths connected with sleeping on a sofa with an adult who is under the influence of alcohol, the number of children left to care for their younger siblings and the impact of the example of parents’ drinking patterns on young people.

The number of victims of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome who were sleeping with a parent on a sofa has risen.

The campaign urges parents, and others with responsibility for children, to be aware of a range of potentially dangerous consequences if no adult remains sufficiently sober and aware of children’s needs or whereabouts.


In one year in Birmingham alone:
  • 82% of babies who died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome were sleeping with a parent at the time
  • 56% of these deaths were on a sofa; 44% in the parental bed.
  • 78% of the fatalities were associated with parental alcohol use at the time
  • while 44% involved parental drug use.
Stage of Development:
Market ready and adopted - Fully proven, commercially deployable, market ready and already adopted in some areas (in a different region or sector)
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