The last Friday in June is Red Nose Day in Australia. That’s today. Red Nose Day is all about promoting awareness of SIDS and how to prevent the sudden unexplained death of infants under 2 years old. SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is, by its very definition, a mysterious killer.
Though we don’t have a perfect picture of why some babies die suddenly and seemingly without reason, we do know there are ways to lessen your risk factor. SIDS and Kids is an Australian organisation dedicated to saving the lives of babies and children during pregnancy, birth, infancy and childhood and to supporting bereaved families. Red Nose Day is their annual fundraising day and awareness campaign.
Guidelines from SIDS and Kids for safe sleeping in infants under 2
1. Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side
2. Sleep baby with head and face uncovered
3. Keep baby smoke free before birth and after
4. Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day
5. Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to twelve months
6. Breastfeed baby
What you can do to get involved
This year SIDS and Kids celebrates the 26th anniversary of the Red Nose Day awareness campaign. Funds raised from Red Nose Day have supported Australian families with education and support services and provided over $16m in funding for research into SIDS and Stillbirth.
The cause of SIDS is still unknown. Over 50% of stillbirths in Australia are also due to unknown causes. Through the Red Nose Day fundraising campaign SIDS and Kids are able to continue to work towards preventing Sudden Infant Death. You can buy Red Nose Day merchandise, get involved in community events, or just donate.
Where the money goes:
- 24 hour, 365 days a year crisis outreach and ongoing bereavement support for families and the community following the sudden and unexpected death of an infant or young child from 20 weeks gestation to 6 years.
- The SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping Program, an evidence-based health promotion campaign which offers practical advice to parents and health professionals about how to best reduce the risks of SIDS and sleep accidents.
- Research into the causes and prevention of sudden and unexpected death in the perinatal period and infancy.
- Bed-Sharing Raises SIDS Risk Fivefold, Study Finds (nlm.nih.gov)
- Safe Sleeping (SidsandKids.org)
- Red Nose Day to Focus on Dads (CentralWesternDaily.com.au)