Friday, August 21, 2009

Ads Perpetuate Unsafe Sleeping

The Back to Sleep campaign officially launched in 1994 to educate caregivers that babies are safest from the risk of SIDS when sleeping on their backs.

Fifteen years later and almost every time you see a picture of a baby sleeping – whether it is in an ad or to show off a professional photographer’s portfolio – the baby is sleeping on his stomach. U.S. News and World Report highlighted this dichotomy in a piece this week, which included other safe-sleeping tips.

The message advertisers send when they show babies sleeping on their stomachs is irresponsible in light of what researchers have learned about SIDS. It’s time companies stop sending mixed messages.

People act on what they see or hear. Fifteen years after Back to Sleep, there obviously is the need for more education. That’s why we started the This Side Up campaign.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hayes Foundation/This Side Up Campaign Featured in Woman's World

This week's (Aug. 17) Woman's World magazine features the Hayes Foundation and our This Side Up campaign.

Very exciting and a little nerve-racking at the same time. Three years ago, we had an idea for a campaign to raise awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and today, we're highlighted in the "Doing Good" section of Woman's World, which has a circulation of 1.3 million.

Check it out here:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Virginia Sees Drop in Infant Mortality

Some very exciting news to share!

Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine announced today that the state’s infant mortality rate dropped from 7.7 deaths per 1,000 births in 2007 to 6.7 deaths per 1,000 births in 2008 – its lowest rate ever.

Of special note to me was a statistic delivered by Dr. Karen Remley, the Virginia Health Commissioner: there were 22 fewer SIDS or safe-sleeping-related deaths in 2008 than in 2007.

This is terrific news and something that all who have been involved at the state, local and private level should be proud. I’d like to think we have contributed by educating parents, grandparents and all caregivers that babies are safest from the risk of SIDS when sleeping on their backs…or This Side Up.

Our This Side Up campaign was announced in March of 2006 and was implemented in a handful of hospitals later that year. Since then, we’ve grown to nearly 20 Virginia hospitals, and we were especially honored to include our onesies in the New Parent Kits provided to Central Virginia parents through a partnership with Gov. Kaine’s Smart Beginnings initiative, Ukrop’s Super Markets Inc., Ukrop’s Dress Express and Pampers.

I applaud Gov. Kaine and all who have been involved - today is a big step forward. But, I also know that there’s more work to be done.