How to Reduce SIDS Rates

Posted by Katie Kovaleski on February 27, 2019 in Current Research Findings

This is one of my favorite times of year! Late winter and early spring are the months in which the Family Sleep Institute allows me to educate their sleep consultants on safe sleep and how to reduce the risk and incidence of SIDS.

Educating families on safe sleep became a passion of mine a few years back when I read an article about a baby boy in Missouri who had died at a daycare facility as the result of being placed under a weighted blanket. The article left me feeling incensed and I wrote a heated blog post expressing my sadness and frustration over the lack of safe sleep education in general and especially in childcare facilities. 

A few months later I received an email that began with “I’m Owen’s mom and I read your article and need someone to talk to.” The mother of the child had seen my blog post and reached out to me – it left my heart in my throat but I knew immediately that if I could provide some support for her that I wouldn’t hesitate. She was devastated by her loss and felt an intense urge to take action so that no other parent would have to feel the way she did. My connection and conversations with her fueled my motivation to do something as well. 

Long story short – The Family Sleep Institute heard my frustration and provided me with a platform to help educate families when they appointed me as the the Director of the Family Sleep Institute Safe Sleep Initiative in 2015. I now get to educate other sleep consultants every year about safe sleep guidelines, research, updates and how to educate other families and their communities about safe sleep. In addition, we will be launching a webinar series open to the the public this year so everyone can have access to all of the safe sleep information they need. 

The best part? It’s all in the name of baby Owen – whose mom is a force to be reckoned with. In 2015 myself along with a handful of other sleep consultants wrote letters to help encourage legislators in Missouri to pass legislation that  “Requires all licensed child care facilities to implement a safe sleep policy in accordance with the safe sleep recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.” And guess what? The legislation PASSED. 

Part of our mission is making sure conversations about safe sleep get started and build enough momentum to get legislation like that passed in every state. It truly takes a village and we would love anyone who is passionate about helping children to join ours. <3

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