Friday, October 9, 2009

October is SIDS, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

Contact: Lori Behrens
For Immediate Release

October is SIDS, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

SIDS Resources, Inc. Works to Raise Awareness and to Help Save Infant Lives

St. Louis, MO, October 2009 Today, in communities across America, expectant moms will feel their baby’s first kick; parents will listen joyfully to their newborn’s first cry; and families will celebrate their healthy baby’s first birthday.

Also on this day, ten babies will lose their lives to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or other sudden, unexpected infant deaths.

October is SIDS, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, and SIDS Resources Inc. is dedicated to infant health and survival, as well as helping to increase awareness about these tragic causes of infant death.

October 15 has been designated “National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.” On this day, families across the nation will light candles to honor the lives that have been lost, and will continue to be lost, until we reach our goal of a future where all babies survive and thrive.

Some activities that SIDS Resources’ staff will participate in during the month of October include:

Oct. 3rd - Baby Health Fair; St. Clare Hospital in Fenton
Oct. 9th - Safe Cribs class; St. Luke Memorial Missionary Baptist Church
Oct. 13th – Safe Sleep for teen moms; Pattonville Parents as Teachers
Oct. 28th – Safe Crib Partner Training; North Central Community Health Center
Oct. 30th - Healthy America Summit at Florissant Valley Community College

“SIDS Resources strives to nurture grieving families, as well as help families with babies to stay healthy and safe,” says Lori Behrens, Executive Director. “Our goal is to provide compassionate support and to be accessible to bereaved parents, and to be THE resource for professionals, community members and new parents on proven and effective ways to reduce the risks of Sudden Infant Death.”

Some facts about SIDS:

• Each year in Missouri, approximately 100 babies succumb to sudden infant death.
• That number includes between 30 and 40 infants in the St. Louis area.
• The peak age for SIDS is between 2 and 4 months of age. It is the leading cause of death in babies from one month to one year of age.
• The risk of SIDS is two to three times greater in African American and Native American infants.
• Steps to reduce the risk of SIDS include the “ABC’s” of safe sleep for babies; babies sleep safest alone, on their backs, in their cribs. Also, creating a smoke-free zone around babies can help lower the risk.

Founded in 1974, SIDS Resources Inc. is the only Missouri nonprofit that provides emotional support for families who have lost babies to Sudden Infant Death, and also educates the community about safe sleep for babies and other risk reduction strategies. The organization has offices in St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield, and serves communities throughout Missouri, plus surrounding counties in Kansas and Illinois. Each year, SIDS Resources provides bereavement support to more than 100 families. SIDS Resources is a proud member of the Greater St. Louis United Way. To learn more about SIDS bereavement support or to schedule an awareness or risk reduction presentation in your community, please call 314-822-2323 or 800-421-3511.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Strides for SIDS 2009

Help us reach our fundraising goal for the second annual Strides for SIDS event!

Click here to sign up for the event on June 6!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Back from the Nation's Capital!

Last week Steve and Shelley traveled to Washington D.C., along with 44 parents from across the country from 31 states to help NACCRA spread the word on the need for safe, affordable child care in America. Read more here.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mom in spotlight, pushing 'Nathan's Law'

By Nancy Cambria

JEFFERSON CITY — Shelley and Steve Blecha felt helpless last summer as state regulators and law enforcement could do little in the aftermath of the accidental death of their son Nathan at an unlicensed in-home day care in Jefferson County.

On Wednesday, their situation changed as Shelley Blecha sat front-and-center in a hearing room in the Capitol to testify on a bill to strengthen child care regulation, informally known as "Nathan's Law."

Blecha told members of the House Professional Registration and Licensing Committee that the owner of the day care where her son died wasn't fined, despite operating without a license and failing to follow basic safety standards that may have prevented her son's death.

See the entire article

Monday, January 26, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

"Nathan's Law" Story in the St. Louis Post

Nathan's Law aims to strengthen child care safety

Eighteen months after an infant died at an unlicensed home day care in Jefferson County, Missouri legislators will consider strengthening safety standards and increasing fines for unsafe child-care facilities.

The proposed changes were immediately praised by early childhood advocates who say the state has too many gaps in its child-care rules.

"Missouri needs to catch up with the best thinking of other states," said Carol Scott, executive director of the Missouri Child Care Resource and Referral Network. Scott said, "even the best in the child-care business need to be fully and carefully regulated."


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Press Release from MO State Rep. Rachel Storch

This is such great news! Missouri Representative Rachel Storch has filed a bill, "Nathan's Law", to strengthen and tighten the laws that govern Missouri child care facilities.

Here's what it says:

For Immediate Release:
For more information contact:
January 22, 2009
Rachel Storch at (314)719-7344

Rep. Storch Files “Nathan’s Law” Legislation in MO House to Tighten Child Care Regulations

Bill would protect children across Missouri by addressing weaknesses in state laws and regulations that govern child care facilities.

JEFFERSON CITY – Representative Rachel Storch (D-St. Louis) filed legislation today that would strengthen and tighten the laws that govern Missouri child care facilities.

“Last year, I learned of the tragic death of Nathan Blecha, an infant who had died in a Missouri child care facility,” said Storch. “The circumstances of his death led me to look into Missouri child care laws and regulations. I discovered that, despite two audits conducted respectively by former Auditor Claire McCaskill and current auditor Susan Montee that point out weaknesses in Missouri laws and regulations, the General Assembly has failed to act and as a result, Missouri law does not adequately protect our children. The legislation I am filing today will strengthen the state laws that govern child care facilities and help ensure the safety of our children.”

“Parents obviously have the primary responsibility to keep their children safe,” said Storch. “But government also has a key role as a partner in protecting our children. Many parents rely on government to ensure that child care facilities adhere to the appropriate health and safety standards so it is critical that we have strong laws and regulations,” said Storch.

Storch’s bill includes four specific components: 1) eliminates a Missouri-specific provision that exempts children related to a child care provider from licensure requirements (none of the eight states that surround Missouri have such an exemption); 2) requires unlicensed facilities to disclose their unlicensed status; 3) allows regulators to take immediate action to shut down an illegal facility; 4) enhances penalties for non-compliant facilities.

“It should not require the death of a child to force the state to take action,” said Storch. “However, sometimes a tragedy like this opens the eyes of elected officials and regulators. In the past, loopholes in Missouri law have left children unprotected. While the vast majority of child care facilities adhere to the appropriate standards, we have an obligation to ensure that ‘bad actors’ are shut down or brought into compliance immediately so that children are not at risk. Strong laws and meaningful penalties will protect our children. This bill will honor the memory of Nathan Blecha,” said Storch.
Storch’s bill is HB383.


Click the image below to read the Press Release!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Strides for SIDS 2009!

We're excited to announce that the second annual Strides for SIDS event is scheduled for Saturday, June 6, 2009. Mark your calendars! This year we will have the event at Carondelet Park.

Also, we're really excited to have professional face painting this year! Jessica Hicklin, owner of the Jessica Hicklin Studio, is donating her time and talent to do full face painting! Check out her work!

Check back soon for more details!!!
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