Many First Nations and Aboriginal teachings explain that babies are gifts of life from the Creator. Sadly, sometimes babies leave the circle suddenly and far too early as a result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is the death of a baby under one year of age which is sudden, unexpected, and without a clear cause. SIDS usually happens during sleep or napping and is the most common cause of death in babies between the ages of one month and one year.
Research shows that in BC, First Nations and Aboriginal babies are four times more likely to die from SIDS than other babies in BC. Although the exact cause or causes of SIDS are not known, there are clear safe sleep practices that reduce a baby’s risk for SIDS.
We are pleased to announce the availability of a new education toolkit, Honouring our Babies: Safe Sleep Cards & Guide. This new resource will help service providers discuss safe sleep practices with First Nations and Aboriginal families and help reduce the risk of SIDS.
Honouring Our Babies: Safe Sleep Cards & Guide is interactive, evidence-informed, and incorporates cultural beliefs, practices, and issues specific to First Nations and Aboriginal communities. The tools include a deck of 21 discussion cards and seven illustrated cards that you can use to prompt and guide discussions with families about safe infant sleep as well as a facilitator’s guide with more information, research, resources, and graphics.
By sharing the key messages in these tools with families, you and your staff can play an important role to help families learn how to keep their precious babies safe while sleeping.
The development of this new resource was an initiative of the Tripartite First Nations and Aboriginal Maternal and Child Health Committee, led by Perinatal Services BC, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority. This work responds to direction from the Transformative Change Accord for First Nations Health Plan, focusing on addressing issues arising from the BC Coroner’s Office Child Death Review Report. For more information or to enquire about training sessions and the availability of hard copies, please contact Adam King, Provincial Lead, Health Promotion & Prevention, Perinatal Services BC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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