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.
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