Started in the early 1960s as the National SIDS Foundation, the organization’s primary focus was to support families who had experienced the death of a baby from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Through the foundation, grassroots advocacy efforts were successful at securing the first national funding available specifically for SIDS research.
In 1987, forged through the merger of several national and regional SIDS groups from across the country, the SIDS Alliance was created as an umbrella organization to provide a single, focused entity dedicated to the elimination of SIDS. As a key partner in the national Back to Sleep campaign, the organization has been credited with helping to save more than 25,000 babies’ lives during the past decade alone, amounting to a drop of nearly 60 percent in the U.S. SIDS rate.
In 2002, the SIDS Alliance Board of Directors voted to expand the organization’s mission to include stillbirth and other sudden, unexpected infant deaths (SUID). The organization has committed its resources – both human and financial – in hopes of having a similar impact on stillbirth as it has had on SIDS, in the belief that every baby should live. Fittingly, the organization also voted to change its name to First Candle, Helping Babies Survive & Thrive, to reflect its broader mission and hope for the future.
Last Updated: Dec 17, 2009