First Candle is pleased to announce that the Stillbirth and SUID Prevention, Education and Awareness Act of 2009 was filed on July 14 by Senator Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ. A companion bill was filed in the House by Frank Pallone, Jr., D-NJ-6. This bill will improve the collection of critical data to determine the causes of stillbirth, SIDS and SUID, increase education and awareness about how to prevent these tragedies in the future and expand support services for families who have experienced a stillbirth, SIDS or SUID loss.
Every year there are more than 25,000 stillbirths in the United States. For more than half these deaths there is no known cause, leaving parents with more questions than answers as to why the baby died. The bill would expand activities to identify the causes of stillbirth, identify ways to prevent it in the future and increase education and awareness about the issue among healthcare providers and parents.
In addition, there are more than 4,600 sudden unexpected infant deaths each year (including SIDS) and 200 sudden unexpected deaths of children between the ages of one and four. This bill encourages states to complete scene investigations to better understand why these children died, establishes a national database to track these deaths and identify risk factors to prevent them in the future, supports more comprehensive reviews and creates a national public awareness campaign to educate parents and caregivers.
We hope you will join us in supporting this legislation by contacting your representative in the House and two Senators, urging them to co-sponsor this important bill. The more co-sponsors the bill gets, the more likely it is to pass quickly through the House and Senate.
We encourage you to call your representatives directly, or set up an appointment to meet with them face-to-face. Writing a letter or sending an email can be effective as well. Emails can be sent directly through your representatives’ websites. We have provided a fact sheet about the bill, as well as a sample letter to help guide you.
Whether you are writing a letter or speaking with your representatives directly, be sure to include your personal story. First Candle would love to receive a copy of your letter or an email detailing your conversation with your representatives for our files. Please feel free to contact Laura Reno at 800-221-7437 x223 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have.
Members of Congress rely on input from their constituents to help them better understand what issues are important to those they serve.
Help give our babies a voice.
Dear (insert name),
I am writing to ask your consideration in supporting critically-needed legislation that will help save babies’ lives. The Stillbirth and SUID Prevention, Education and Awareness Act of 2009 (S1445) was filed on July 14 by Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, D-NJ. A companion bill (HR3212) was filed in the House by Frank Pallone, Jr., D-NJ-6.
I urge you to sign on as a co-sponsor of this important bill which would help reduce the number of unexpected infant deaths in the United States by calling for new research and education on stillbirths and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID). Every year, there are more than 25,000 stillbirths and more than 4,600 sudden unexpected infant deaths in the United States. Specifically, this bill would improve the collection of critical data to determine the causes of theses tragic deaths, increase education and awareness about how to prevent these tragedies in the future and expand support services for families who have experienced a stillbirth or SUID loss.
This bill is important to me because (insert personal story here).
Thank you so much for your consideration of my request. By working together, we will be one step closer to a future where all babies survive and thrive. For your convenience, I have included a fact sheet on the bill.
If you have questions, or would like to sign on as a co-sponsor, please contact Veronica Valdivieso at Senator Lautenberg’s office at email@example.com or 202-224-3224.
In the belief that every baby should live,
First Candle is often asked by parents if it is okay to let their baby sleep in his or her car seat instead of a crib or other safe sleep space. We always answer with an emphatic “No!” It is important for parents to understand that car seats are not intended for sleeping babies and should only be used to protect their baby when riding in a car. If the baby falls asleep while in the car, parents or caregivers should move the baby to a crib or other safe sleep space as soon as they reach their destination.The main concern is that the more “upright” position in car seats can compress the chest and lead to lower levels of oxygen. In this study, the infants in car seats spent more time with oxygen levels below 95 percent than did infants sleeping on their backs in a crib with a firm mattress. The longer the infant was in the car seat, the worse the respiratory problems.
In addition, injuries and even deaths have been reported when a car seat containing a sleeping baby has accidentally tipped over when placed on the floor, in a crib or other unsafe place. SIDS deaths have occurred in car seats as well.
Car Seat Guidelines:
Lilijana Kornhauser Cerar, MD[a], Christina V. Scirica, MD, MPH[b], Irena tucin Gantar, MD[a], Damjan Osredkar, MD[c], David Neubauer, MD[c] and T. Bernard Kinane, MD[c]
a Division of Neonatology and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
c Division of Neurology and Department of Pediatrics, University Medical Centre, Ljubljana, Slovenia
b Division of Pediatric Pulmonary and Department of Pediatrics, Mass General Hospital for Children, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this work was to compare the incidence of apnea, hypopnea, bradycardia, or oxygen desaturation in healthy term newborns placed in hospital cribs, infant car safety beds, or infant car safety seats.
METHODS: A consecutive series of 200 newborns was recruited on the second day of life. Each subject was studied while placed in the hospital crib (30 minutes), car bed (60 minutes), and car seat (60 minutes). Physiologic data, including oxygen saturation, frequency, and type of apnea, hypopnea, and bradycardia were obtained and analyzed in a blinded manner.
RESULTS: The mean oxygen saturation level was significantly different among all of the positions (97.9% for the hospital crib, 96.3% for the car bed, and 95.7% for the car seat; P < .001). The mean minimal oxygen saturation level was lower while in both safety devices (83.7% for the car bed and 83.6% for the car seat) compared with in the hospital crib (87.4%) (P < .001). The mean total time spent with an oxygen saturation level of <95% was significantly higher (P = .003) in both safety devices (car seat: 23.9%; car bed: 17.2%) when compared with the hospital crib (6.5%). A second study of 50 subjects in which each infant was placed in each position for 120 minutes yielded similar results.
CONCLUSIONS: In healthy term newborns, significant desaturations were observed in both car beds and car seats as compared with hospital cribs. This study was limited by lack of documentation of sleep stage. Therefore, these safety devices should only be used for protection during travel and not as replacements for cribs.
By uniting caring donors in the workplace with the nation’s most trusted health charities, Community Health Charities of America (CHC) works to improve the lives of people affected by a disability, chronic disease or illness. Through its nationwide network of 36 affiliate offices, CHC connects the American workplace to more than 1,200 credible charities focused on addressing our nation’s most pressing health issues.As a participating health charity, First Candle is being featured in CHC’s most recent podcast series on Children’s Health Issues. The funding First Candle receives through the CHC workplace Giving Campaign is critical to our ability to provide quality programs and services to families nationwide.
Part IV of the series will air on September 6 and will provide listeners with important tips on ways that parents can help protect their baby against SIDS, suffocation and accidents during sleep. Stay tuned!
Please consider First Candle for your workplace giving options. CHC’s Health Matters at Work program gives employers and employees the added benefit of access to important health-related information, services and referrals in addition to delivering donation dollars into the hands of credible health charities that need it the most.