In an effort to draw attention to our nation’s alarmingly high rate of infant mortality and focus on existing preventive strategies, First Candle participated in a congressional briefing on May 14, 2007 to introduce the National Caucus on Infant Health and Safety, outline the caucus’s goals and expand support for this important effort.
The caucus will lead advocacy efforts to increase awareness, educate Congressional members, build bipartisan relationships and offer policies to help improve and enhance infant and child health, safety and survival. Through the leadership of co-chairs Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Representative Lois Capps (D-CA) and Representative Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), initial efforts will focus on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), late-term stillbirths and sleep-related infant deaths.
Dr. John Kattwinkle, chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Task Force on SIDS, addressed the rising concern about infant deaths related to unsafe sleep practices. Advocating for a ‘crib for every child’ to reduce the risk of infant death will be a priority for the caucus. The briefing also focused on the testimonial of Bridgette Alexander and Deborah Williams on the death of their precious son and grandson, Julian Jaamal Alexander. Julian died suddenly and unexpectedly while sleeping with his mother and father in an adult bed.
“We were never told that having Julian in bed with us was dangerous,” Bridgette said. “We want to help other parents understand the importance of safe sleep in preventing infant deaths.”
Check back soon for information on the Caucus’ agenda for 2010.
Last Updated: Jan 10, 2010
With infant mortality rates higher than 29 other developed nations, there is much work to be done.