Thursday, December 13, 2007

How to be happy again

How to be happy again
Finding love, joy and peace of mind after a devastating loss

Each year, approximately 2.5 million people in this country die, leaving behind an average of five close bereaved friends and family members. Yet how people heal from the death of a loved one has remained largely unexamined since the most well-known book on the subject, Elisabeth KŸbler-Ross's On Death and Dying (Scribner), was published in 1969. KŸbler-Ross's theories continue to shape the way many experts believe grieving typically progresses, in five separate, successive stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Read the full article here:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Gifts that Give!

First Candle is a national nonprofit health organization uniting parents, caregivers and researchers nationwide with government, business and community service groups to advance infant health and survival. With help from a national network of member and partner organizations, we are working to increase public participation and support in the fight against infant mortality.

Shop at the First Candle Mall where a percentage of every purchase comes back to First Candle.

One-on-One calls with Santa! This holiday season, First Candle is partnering with Santa 1-on-1 to bring the spirit of Christmas and magic of Santa Claus directly to the ears and hearts of children everywhere. Santa 1-on-1 allows children to receive a call directly from Santa and participate in a personal conversation with him! Details, such as pets, teacher’s names, gifts requested, etc., will be worked out ahead of time and woven into the conversation.

In addition to bringing a special child’s dream to life, your gift will also support First Candle in our efforts to help babies survive and thrive. For every call scheduled, $1 will be donated. You will also be provided the opportunity to make a personal donation to First Candle at the time of purchase.

To learn more and schedule your call, visit Santa Says Hello.

Don’t delay – get your call scheduled early to make sure you get your first choice of day and time!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Gift Cards - Just in Time for the Holidays!!!

This is great! Here is a HUGE list of retailers who will donate an average of 4% to SIDS Resources when you purchase a gift card from Lori at SIDS Resources!!! To order a gift card from the retailer of your choice, simply contact Lori or Paul at SIDS Resources at 314-822-2323.

The program will go on as long as there is a demand!!! Share this with your friends! Many are probably already considering purchasing gift cards from these retailers as gifts for the holidays!!! Please allow about 10 days processing time to receive your cards.

Together We’re Better, Inc.
Merchant List

Dierberg’s: $25, $100
Shop ‘n’ Save: $5, $10, $25, $50, $100

AMC Theatres: $7
Baskin Robbins: $2
Blockbuster: $10, $25
Exxon / Mobil: $50
Honey Baked Ham: $25
Marriott: $50

Acapulco (El Torito): $25
Annie Gunn: $10
Applebee’s: $20
Bahama Breeze (Red Lobster): $25
Bartolino’s: $25
Bennigan’s (Metromedia Restaurant Group): $10
Bonanza Steakhouse (Metromedia Restaurant Group): $10
Braxton (Houlihan’s Seafood Group): $20
Bristol Bar & Grill (Houlihan’s Seafood Group): $20
Buffalo Wild Wings: $10, $25
Burger King: $5
California Pizza: $25
Cannoli’s: $10
Casa Gallardo (El Torito): $25
Cheesecake Factory: $25
Chequer’s Bar & Grill (Houlihan’s Seafood Group): $20
Chevy’s Tex Mex: $25
Chili’s: $20
Chris’s Pancakes & Dining: $10
Corner Bakery Café (Chili’s): $25
Cracker Barrel: $10
Devons Bar & Grill (Houlihan’s Seafood Group): $20
El Paso Cantina (El Torito): $25
El Torito: $25
Guadala Harry’s (El Torito): $25
¡Hola! Amigos (El Torito): $25
Houlihan’s: $20
Imo’s Pizza: $20
J. Buck’s Restaurant: $10
KFC: $5
Maggiano’s Little Italy (Chili’s): $20
Metromedia Restaurant Group: $10
O’Charley’s: $25
Old Country Buffet: $25
Olive Garden (Red Lobster): $10
On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina (Chili’s): $20
Outback Restaurants: $25
Panera Bread: $10
Papa John's: $25
Pasta House: $10
Pizza Hut: $10
Ponderosa Steakhouse (Metromedia Restaurant Group):$10
Qdoba: $25
Red Lobster: $10
Red Robin: $10
Romano’s Macaroni Grill (Chili’s): $20
Smokehouse Market (Annie Gunn):$10
Smokey Bones (Red Lobster): $10
St. Louis Bread Company (Panera Bread): $10
Starbucks: $10
TGI Fridays: $10
Yacovelli’s: $10

B. Dalton (Barnes & Noble): $10, $25
Babies R Us (Toys R Us): $25
Banana Republic (Gap): $25
Barnes & Noble: $10, $25
Bass Pro: $25
Bath & Body Works: $10, $20
Bed, Bath & Beyond: $25
Borders: $10, $25
Eddie Bauer: $25
Famous Barr (Macy's): $25, $50, $100
Gaffney’s Sporting Goods: $10
Gap: $25
Gart Sports (Sports Authority): $25
Gordman's: $25
Home Depot: $25, $50, $100, $1000
Imaginarium (Sports Authority): $25
JC Penney: $25
Kids R Us (Toys R Us): $25
Kmart: $25
Land’s End: $25
Linens N Things: $25
Lord & Taylor (Famous Barr): $25, $50, $100
Lowe’s: $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, $1000
Macy's: $25, $50, $100
Office Depot: $25
Old Navy (Gap): $25
Oshman’s (Sports Authority): $25
Payless Shoes: $10
Pier One: $25
Sears: $25
Sports Authority: $25
Sportsmart (Sports Authority): $25
Toys R Us: $10, $25
Waldenbooks (Borders): $10, $25
Walgreens: $10, $25
White Barn (Bath & Body): $20

Some of these merchants may be offered on a combined card. In these cases, we have listed the merchant followed by the main merchant listed on their card. Please use this name in parentheses when ordering. Thank You!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Pics from the Share Walk

Better late than never, right?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

American SIDS Institute Memorial Page

Click here to see Nathan's entry on the American SIDS Institute Memorial Page.

The American SIDS Institute is committed to reducing sudden infant death through research and education. They are funded entirely by grants and donations. Please know that you can make a donation in Nathan's name by going to their secure Website at and by clicking on Make a Donation. You can also send checks to American SIDS Institute, 509 Augusta Drive, Marietta, GA 30067

Like many non-profit organizations, they have had a tough year financially, so your help is much appreciated.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

But my baby doesn't like sleeping on his back. Can't I let him sleep on his tummy?

But my baby doesn't like sleeping on his back. Can't I let him sleep on his tummy?
response by
Betty McEntire, PhD, Executive Director, American SIDS Institute


It's hard to know for sure what babies like since they can't tell us. However, babies do tend to cry more when placed on their backs. In fact, for many "hard to soothe" infants, placing them on their stomachs does seem to calm them and help them fall to sleep. Also, babies wake less when on their stomachs and it takes more stimulation to wake them than when they are on their backs. Another thing we know is that tummy-sleeping infants retain more heat than when on their backs.

But should parents give in and place their little ones on their tummies? They should certainly not! Infants are more likely to have apnea (pauses in breathing) when on their stomachs. They are also more likely to re-breathe the air they have just exhaled, which can raise their levels of carbon dioxide. The increased retention of body heat can also be dangerous for some infants. But more convincing than any other fact is that belly-sleep has up to 12.9 times the risk of death as back-sleep*.

* Changing concepts of sudden infant death syndrome: implications for infant sleeping environment and sleep position. American Academy of Pediatrics. Task Force on Infant Sleep Position and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Pediatrics 2000 Mar;105(3 Pt 1):650-656.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What SIDS is not

What SIDS is not:

Click here for the article

The determination that a baby died of SIDS means that a coroner or medical examiner could find no other cause of death after an autopsy, examination of the death scene and a review of the medical history of the baby and its mother.

Experts don't know what causes SIDS. But they agree SIDS is not:

-- The result of homicide or accidental suffocation or strangulation.

-- The result of neglected illness, accidents or abuse, or the Munchausen by Proxy syndrome, in which parents harm their children so the parents get attention from doctors.

-- Preventable. There are things parents can do to reduce the RISK of their baby dying from SIDS, like place him or her in a back sleeping position, breastfeed and not smoke. But some babies still die from the syndrome when all precautions have been taken.

-- Treatable. While there are occasional reports of "near-SIDS" events, these are in fact some other type of life-threatening event generally affecting low-birth-weight or premature infants. SIDS babies cannot be revived.

-- Apnea (cessation of breathing). People of all ages do stop breathing for various medical reasons, but in SIDS, not breathing is a result, not the cause of death. Infants with apnea can be resuscitated; babies who die from SIDS cannot be.

-- The result of infant botulism, which often strikes babies around the same age. Botulism can easily be found by medical tests after death.

-- Caused by immunization. Although SIDS may coincide with some baby shots, there is no proven link and babies who have not been immunized have also died from the syndrome.

-- Caused by colds or stomach viruses. While many parents report their infant had recently had a bout with such illnesses, researchers say this timing is also coincidental and not any direct cause of SIDS. The syndrome is not contagious.

-- Hereditary. Repeat cases of SIDS in a family are very, very rare. Although it's possible that some genetic traits that put infants at greater risk could be passed along, there's no significant evidence that they are.

October 15

October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day!

Did you know:

* 983,000 babies died in 1996, from miscarriage and stillbirth.

* In 1995, 15.7% of pregnancies ended in fetal demise, miscarriage or stillbirth.

* Those figures don't include neonatal loss, SIDS, or other causes.

Ideas for October 15th

* Light candles and display them in your windows.

* Contact local Radio and News stations and have them announce that it is October 15th, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

* Drive with your headlights on. Also, ask that radio and news stations announce this as well.

* Leave your porch lights on. Have radio and news stations announce this as well.

* Sponsor a candle lighting ceremony in a park, church, or local hospital.

Visit for more information!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Share Walk this weekend!

The Share Walk is this weekend! Starting at The Muny in Forest Park:

Event Schedule

9:00 a.m. Check-in and Registration

10:00 a.m. Memorial Service & Balloon Release

10:45 a.m. Walk/Run

Angels in the Crowd: Unable to attend? Or, do you want to be a part of the experience without walking? Register for the Walk as an Angel in the crowd and receive a t-shirt and program, whether you walk or not.

1 Mile Walk: All walkers, including families, first time walkers, and recreational walkers, are welcome to enjoy a peaceful walk around the beautiful Muny.

3 Mile Walk/Run: Enjoy higher levels of fitness with this non-competitive walk/run around the back of the St. Louis Zoo and the Muny.
11:30 a.m. Picnic

KFC Picnic Lunch Boxes are available for purchase on the registration form, or you can bring your own lunch. Bring a blanket, a chair, or tailgate and join participants, volunteers, sponsors, and staff for food and friendship.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Claire McCaskill is on the right track!

In 2002, Sen. Claire McCaskill's audit on child-care providers called for sweeping changes in the way day-care facilities are run.

Five years later, has anything changed?

State legislators and day-care advocacy groups say things haven't changed.

"There has not been any legislation or any rule regulations passed," said Andie Schleicher, executive director of the Child Day Care Association in St. Louis. "There have been changes, but nothing has passed. There are a lot of people working on it."

Jeanette Mott Oxford, state representative for the 59th District in St. Louis, is one of those people. She's been working to improve income guidelines for subsidized child care for more than three years.

"Other child-care legislation has been in the works, but it's my understanding that nothing has been done to address the problems the audit pointed out," she said. "Part of the problem is that no House committee is charged with overseeing child-care issues, and I think that's a real shame."

The audit, conducted when McCaskill was the state auditor, said day-care regulations do not adequately limit the number of children allowed in a day-care facility and penalties are too weak to deter providers from breaking the law.

Not only is punishment lacking, according to the audit, but there is no standard criteria for penalizing providers when there has been a violation.

Child care providers are required to be licensed in Missouri if they care for more than four children, according to the audit, but bureau officials suspect there are several thousand unlicensed child care facilities operating in Missouri.

Another problem is that state law allows a licensed family child-care home to care for 10 unrelated children — and an unlimited number of related children.

Brewer said the problem with being allowed to have an unlimited number of related children is that there could be way too many kids at the facility and too few adults.

The death of an infant at an unlicensed day-care facility in Nixa earlier this year brought attention to problems at unlicensed day-care centers.

Police said the 4-month-old died accidentally. However, there were 16 children in the home being supervised by only one adult when the infant died.

The owner was charged with operating a child care facility without a state license and could face up to a year in the Christian County Jail and a maximum $1,000 fine if convicted of the Class A misdemeanor.

Brewer said people should report unlicensed facilities they believe are violating guidelines to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, or talk to the prosecuting attorney in their county.

email Claire McCaskill and let her know you appreciate what she's doing, and ask for a follow up audit on child day cares in Missouri!

Child Protection and Reformation

Chapter 210
Child Protection and Reformation
Section 210.211

August 28, 2006

210.211. 1. It shall be unlawful for any person to establish, maintain or operate a child-care facility for children, or to advertise or hold himself or herself out as being able to perform any of the services as defined in section 210.201, without having in effect a written license granted by the department of health and senior services; except that nothing in sections 210.203 to 210.245 shall apply to:

(1) Any person who is caring for four or fewer children...

Click here to read the entire license requirements.

Audit of Missouri Daycare Standards

Missouri is in severe need of child care regulations!

See the official report (PDF)

...child care providers are required to be licensed in Missouri if they care for more than four unrelated children (WHY does it matter if they're related?). Auditors found bureau officials have not always effectively dealt with unlicensed child care facilities and current state penalties do not deter some providers from operating illegally.

...Unlicensed providers can only be charged with an infraction, which carries a maximum $200 fine for the first violation of state law. The fine has not deterred providers from operating illegally even though some were prosecuted and fined. Statements from providers show how they openly refuse to follow state law: “I do keep more than four non-related children at one time. I plan to continue to do so. I do not want to give the names. I do not want a license.” In addition, fines levied against unlicensed providers are much higher in other states.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Shop for a Cause at Macy's!

On October 13, 2007, Macy’s will celebrate a national day of support for nonprofit organizations in communities nationwide!

When you make a $5 donation to First Candle, you will receive a ticket for 10-20% off on all purchases made that day.

100 percent of your donation will be used to support the research, education, advocacy and grief support services at First Candle.

Click here for the link!

More Media Contacts

Please use the sample letter in this blog to ask for a story from the following:

To submit a story idea to one of the ABC News shows listed below, write a single page letter including your name, phone number, and address. Include photocopies of backup information. On the outside of the envelope, write "Story Idea." If a producer is interested in your story, he/she will contact you. Here are the show addresses:

147 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10023

147 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10023

Nightline/This Week
1717 DeSales Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

World News With Charles Gibson
47 West 66th Street 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10023

Good Morning America
147 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10023

Thursday, September 13, 2007


That is his name! Nathan Jay Blecha. When I met him at the hospital the first thing I said was how smart he looked. He was looking right in my eyes when I held him for the first time, and he looked like a wise old man. In the 3 months that he spent with us, he has taught so many people so much, and changed lives forever.

Day Care Owner Liable In SIDS Death

Day Care Owner Liable In SIDS Death

Please keep in mind this article is over 6 years old, and studies and research would find today that this infant's death was NOT SIDS, rather suffocation due to being laid down for sleep on her stomach.

The Hartford Courant
January 31, 2001

A jury deliberated less than two hours Tuesday before awarding $800,000 to a woman whose daughter died of sudden infant death syndrome two years ago at a day care center in Bolton.

In one of the first judgments of its kind in the state, the six-member jury found the day care owner liable in the death of Shelby LePage because she failed to take steps that might have prevented the child's death.

The attorney for Shelby's mother had argued that Barbara Horne, the owner of Barbara's Day Care, allowed the infant to sleep on her stomach on Dec. 8, 1998, even though she knew that particular sleeping position was associated with a higher risk of SIDS. Shelby was between two and 12 times more likely to die of SIDS as a result, LePage's attorney, Gerald S. Sack, said.

After the verdict in the wrongful death case was read at Rockville Superior Court, a relieved Mary LePage said the case sends an important message to day care providers, who, she said, have been slower than parents to grasp the significance of sleeping position. LePage, who took the stand during four days of testimony, said the trial was emotionally difficult but important for that message.

"If this information getting out saves the life of one child, then it was worth it," she said.

LePage, of Coventry, waited 74 days after Shelby's birth to return to her job at a printing company in Norwich. The next day, Shelby's second at the day care center, LePage got a phone call. For her, every new parent's worst fear had come true.

Police investigated, as did state child-service workers. A pathologist from the state medical examiner's office ruled that Shelby died of SIDS and classified the manner of death as natural, rejecting such options as homicide or accident.

No action was taken against Horne or her day care program -until LePage filed the wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of her daughter's estate.

After the verdict, Horne shook her head and stared into an empty corner. She walked from the courtroom red-eyed and stunned.

"It's not fair," she said as her attorney, Jay Melley, rushed to her side. "It was natural causes. It's not fair."

Melley had argued that experts have conflicting opinions about the link between sleeping position and the poorly understood syndrome that took Shelby's life.

"It's a curveball from nature," he told the jury. "It happens without explanation."

After the verdict, Melley declined comment and would not say whether he would appeal.

Although similar actions have been brought in other states, William J. Sweeney, past president of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association, said he knew of no such cases in this state.

"I certainly know of people who have thought of bringing one," Sweeney said, "but most people think it's a pretty tough case to win" because of the sudden nature of the syndrome.

Sweeney said one of the issues that vexes such claims, and one that he believed probably will be raised on appeal, is whether the defendant should have been able to foresee the danger of a syndrome that strikes so suddenly and, often, without warning.

The verdict came just hours after Dr. Ira Kanfer told the jury that SIDS can occur to a child in any position, even "in the arms of a mother." Kanfer, the defense's sole witness, was the medical examiner who conducted an autopsy on Shelby

"Since no one knows what causes SIDS, the fact that the infant was placed on its side and then found dead on its stomach is just irrelevant," Kanfer testified.

But the plaintiff's expert witness, Dr. Herbert Scherzer, told the jury the sleeping position contributed to the death.

"The chance of her dying on the day she died was tremendously increased because she was lying prone," he testified.

In his summation, Sack said Horne had testified that she knew of the link but simply was not considering it at the time.

"When you accept a vulnerable infant into your home," he said, "you should be thinking about SIDS."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

We are featured on Channel 5

Wow! This is great! We are KSDK's Channel 5 Website of the Day! Click here to check it out!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sample Letter to the Media

I've attached a sample letter to the media that you can easily cut and paste into your emails and letters when you are requesting a story on SIDS, safe sleep practices, and SIDS Awareness Month. Here you go:


City, state, zip

Dear _________,

I am writing to request that you allocate news coverage time during the month of October to the issue of sudden infant death. October is SIDS, Pregnancy and Infant loss Awareness month. We would appreciate any public awareness that your station could assist in bringing to this tragedy.

Each year in the United States, nearly 2,500 babies will succumb to SIDS. This devastating tragedy strikes without warning and often affects babies who otherwise appear to be healthy.

There is also critical risk reduction information that the community needs to be aware of and/or reminded of. Media coverage of this information helps to provide consistency in reminding new parents and all those who care for infants of the ways to reduce the risk of infant death.

(Insert any part of your story that you feel comfortable sharing).

I would also like to let you know that SIDS Resources is a non profit organization which provides support to families affected by the tragedy of sudden infant death as well as public and professional education regarding how to reduce the risk for infant death.

A representative from this organization would be available to answer any questions you may have to supplement your coverage. Please contact Lori at 800-421-3511 or 314-822-2323 to request additional information from SIDS Resources.

Thank you for your time and attention to this request. Please feel free to call me (if you feel comfortable with this) or SIDS Resources if you have any questions.



Your Name

Saturday, September 8, 2007

I hate that we have this in common...

Hey everyone,
I just wanted to share with you the my inspiration for starting this blog. A friend of mine from high school started a blog about his youngest child that was diagnosed with cancer. Please take a minute and check out his blog:

And, please keep little Andy in your thoughts and prayers!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Help Us! Tell the Media!

October is SIDS Awareness Month!
Please take a moment to contact the St. Louis media to tell them your story about how SIDS has touched your life. SIDS and safe sleep practices needs MUCH more attention than it gets. By spreading the word we are saving lives!

Please be specific and ask for a feature on SIDS, Safe Sleep Practices for Infants, and SIDS Awareness Month (October).

Knowledge and education can prevent tragedies like the one that took my nephew's life. Please copy and paste this information and email to everyone in your contact list! The more requests made for a story the more likely it is we will get one!

Channel 2
Website Contact

Betsy Bruce

Channel 4
Channel 4 email:
Channel 4 ph: (314) 444-3344

Please also mention how SIDS Resources in St. Louis could benefit by a feature in "News 4 Angels"

Channel 5
Channel 5 email:
Channel 5 ph: 314-444-5126

Kay Quinn

Wendy Erikson

Channel 11
Channel 11 email:
Channel 11 ph: 314-447-6340

St. Louis Post Dispatch email: and St. Louis Post Dispatch ph: 314-340-8000

St. Louis Post Dispatch email:

Suburban Journal ph: 314.821-1110

Jefferson County Journal
ph: 636-931-6636

Kevin Carbery

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Bereaved Parents Wish List

My Sister in Law shared this with me, it's very insightful:

Bereaved Parents Wish List

1. I wish my child hadn't died. I wish I had him back.

2. I wish you wouldn't be afraid to speak my child's name. My child lived and was very important to me. I need to hear that he was important to you also.

3. If I cry and get emotional when you talk about my child I wish you knew that it isn't because you have hurt me. My child's death is the cause of my tears. You have talked about my child, and you have allowed me to share my grief. I thank you for both.

4. I wish you wouldn't "kill" my child again by removing his pictures, artwork, or other remembrances from your home.

5. Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn't shy away from me. I need you now more than ever.

6. I need diversions, so I do want to hear about you; but, I also want you to hear about me. I might be sad and I might cry, but I wish you would let me talk about my child, my favorite topic of the day.

7. I know that you think of and pray for me often. I also know that my child's death pains you, too. I wish you would let me know those things through a phone call, a card or note, or a real big hug.

8. I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be over in six months. These first months are traumatic for me, but I wish you could understand that my grief will never be over. I will suffer the death of my child until the day I die.

9. I am working very hard in my recovery, but I wish you could understand that I will never fully recover. I will always miss my child, and I will always grieve that he is dead.

10. I wish you wouldn't expect me "not to think about it" or to "be happy." Neither will happen for a very long time, so don't frustrate yourself.

11. I don't want to have a "pity party," but I do wish you would let me grieve. I must hurt before I can heal.

12. I wish you understood how my life has shattered. I know it is miserable for you to be around me when I'm feeling miserable. Please be as patient with me as I am with you.

13. When I say "I'm doing okay," I wish you could understand that I don't "feel" okay and that I struggle daily.

14. I wish you knew that all of the grief reactions I'm having are very normal. Depression, anger, hopelessness and overwhelming sadness are all to be expected. So please excuse me when I'm quiet and withdrawn or irritable and cranky.

15. Your advice to "take one day at a time" is excellent advice. However, a day is too much and too fast for me right now. I wish you could understand that I'm doing good to handle an hour at a time.

16. Please excuse me if I seem rude, certainly not my intent. Sometimes the world around me goes too fast and I need to get off. When I walk away, I wish you would let me find a quiet place to spend time alone.

17. I wish you understood that grief changes people. When my child died, a big part of me died with him. I am not the same person I was before my child died, and I will never be that person again.

18. I wish very much that you could understand; understand my loss and my grief, my silence and my tears, my void and my pain. BUT I pray daily that you will never understand.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Do it the right way!

Are you considering starting, or do you already run a day care out of your home? If so, please do it the right, ethical way, even if you only watch or plan to watch a few kids. People are putting their children's lives in your hands! Please visit the Child Day Care Association of St. Louis' website at:
ph: 314.531.1412

And, they've got this handy little check list that makes it really easy to know if you're doing things the safe, legal, and healthy way! Check it out!

You can also contact SIDS Resources, who provides FREE training to child care providers throughout the state of Missouri to teach about safe sleep and developing safe sleep policies.

And finally, please give your insurance agent a call to make sure those precious little ones are insured while under your supervision!

U.S. Infant Mortality Rates

Did you know...
The US has infant mortality rates higher than 27 other developed nations. There is much work to be done. To find out how you can support the important effort to prevent infant deaths, visit, or call 800-221-7437, or email:

This info comes from
"As the nation’s leading organization dedicated to infant health and survival, First Candle is working to ensure that every baby is provided the best possible chance to celebrate not only their first birthday, but many happy birthday’s beyond. According to Dr. Marian Sokol, president of First Candle, the Caucus is critical to the organization’s mission. “If we are to reach our goal of a future where all babies survive and thrive, we must enlist the help of all those interested in the health and well-being of our nation’s most precious commodity . . . our children, our future,” said Sokol."

In Memory Of...

Thank you to those of you that made a donation to the Cancer Society in memory of my nephew. Here's the link to the list of "in memory of" donations. His name is on the last page.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Kudos to Indiana and North Carolina!

Did you know...
Indiana has a law that requires that licensed child care providers recieve certification that they have completed a training course on safe sleeping practices.

and North Carolina has a law that requires child care facilities to develop a safe sleep policy that requires caregivers to place children on their backs when sleeping in order to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

But She Probably Feels Really Bad...

Someone kindly reminded me yesterday that the daycare lady probably feels really bad. I'm sure she feels terrible. But, feeling really bad after the fact doesn't prevent terrible things from happening. However, feeling really informed and maybe even scared you might get in trouble does prevent terrible things from happening.

My point is this:
If someone who is given the responsibility of caring for an infant knows that putting that infant on his tummy for a nap could result in getting charged with child endangerment, or even attempted murder, she wouldn't do it. Because it IS that big of a deal.

So my goal is this:
Strengthen the law regarding infant sleep placement, and establish harsher penalties in order to deter people from doing it. By strengthening the law and having harsher penalties we will be informing people. Because in turn, it will get news and other media coverage. This needs to become information that the common person knows. A drunk driver who crashes his car into someone and kills them can't just tell the judge he didn't know he wasn't supposed to do that.

Consider this:
Drunk driving wasn't always against the law
We didn't always have to wear seat belts
Children weren't always required to be in a car seat
Doctors used to tell pregnant mothers to smoke and have a glass of wine to relax

We can make a difference! It will just take time, persistence, and maybe a little humility.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Write to Congress!

Your personal story and plea for support makes an enormous difference with Congress! Please write your two Senators and your Representative urging them to do the following:

· Encourage NICHD to continue to fund the SIDS research plan. This plan looks at the continuum of sudden death in early life that encompasses the last weeks of gestation (stillbirths) and the first year of life (SIDS).

· Establish a House committee with overseeing child-care issues.

· Establish regulations to adequately limit the number of children allowed in a day-care facility.

· Establish standard criteria for penalizing providers when there has been a violation.

· Strengthen penalties that are too weak to deter providers from breaking the law.

· Provide funding for demonstration projects for the CDC Sudden Infant Death Scene Protocol in rural, urban, and suburban settings to provide a nation-wide protocol for dealing with infant death scenes.

Furthermore, telephone calls and personal visits to your local or Washington, DC Congressional offices are also important and have tremendous impact on legislators. Legislators are always interested in responding to constituent concerns. Let them know that you are concerned about SIDS and child care and want to secure their commitment.

Click here to find your congressional officials

For further assistance, please call Sara Arnold at the First Candle/SIDS Alliance Washington, DC office at 202-544-7499 or

Who can help you in Missouri:
Pamela Speer
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Section of Child Care Regulation

Rep. Jeanette Mott Oxford

The Back to Sleep Campaign

Did you know...
It was thirteen years ago that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released its first policy statement on reducing the risk of SIDS. The statement recommended that all healthy infants be placed on their backs to sleep in order to reduce the risks of SIDS. Shortly thereafter, the NICHD joined with the AAP, the SIDS Alliance (now First Candle/ SIDS Alliance), the Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs, and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of HRSA to launch the Back to Sleep campaign to help inform all parents and infant care givers about the importance of back sleeping. Since then, the percentage of infants placed on their backs to sleep has increased dramatically, and the rates of SIDS have declined by more than 50 percent.

See the chart

View the source

Welcome & Background

Welcome to my blog, Keep Our Babies Safe. This blog was created in an effort to let me spend my energy creating something good from something that was tragic. In June, my 3 months and 2 day old nephew died while at daycare. He was put down for a nap on his tummy in a pack and play and he suffocated. In effort to respect the privacy of his parents, I will not give my nephew's name, or the names of the people who were in charge of the daycare he was at. (Unless they want me to, and in that case I'll scream it at the top of my lungs, because he matters, and the daycare providers need to be made an example out of - not being vengeful, but we need to change the way things are handled, NOW.)

The means by which my nephew died were completely avoidable. No one should ever put a baby down for a nap on their tummy. No one person should ever be left incharge of the care of 10 children. And, no one should learn these things AFTER a tragedy has occured.

This blog will stress the importance of building awareness, give ways you can help, and share information to make sure this doesn't happen again.

Most people can only speak of angels, we had the chance to hold one.
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