First Candle’s SIDS and Safe Sleep Training Program Now Accredited

Five Contact Hours Available to Nurses

First Candle, the national non-profit committed to ending Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and other sleep-related infant deaths has now been approved for accreditation of their Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep training program.  SIDS remains the leading cause of death for babies one month to one year of age and, when combined with other sleep-related infant deaths such as accidental suffocation, claim the lives of 3,600 babies every year.

Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep is an innovative, evidence-based training program for nurses, community health providers, social service agencies and faith-based groups closely aligned with new and expectant families. The safe sleep guidelines developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics are reviewed in depth and, most importantly, the reasoning behind these recommendations. Beginning immediately health care providers will be able to earn 5 contact hours upon completion of the Straight Talk program. 

First Candle launched the program in 2017 to address the growing disparity in infant mortality rates.  Black infants are 2 ½ times more likely to succumb to SIDS and accidental suffocation and asphyxiation.  This is attributed to social determinants, cultural beliefs and lack of understanding about the 2016 Safe Sleep recommendations developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  These factors coupled with the implicit bias that exists among some care providers has led to the inequity we see in the black community. 

Barb Himes, Director of Education for First Candle and a SIDS parent herself, explains that while many organizations do safe sleep training, the Straight Talk program partners with local organizations to first listen to the unique issues present in that community and have a conversation. “Our program is developed as a collaborative model – we are students as well as trainers, first to listen and then to learn.  Everyone has a story that needs to be heard.  We discuss ways in which participants can engage with families in a manner that respects their lived experiences while exploring optimal safe sleep situations and encouraging breastfeeding in a judgement-free manner,” explains Ms. Himes.  “The safe sleep recommendations are reviewed in depth and, most importantly, the reasoning behind these recommendations. We discuss socio-economic and cultural beliefs present in the community that could prevent families from adopting the safe sleep recommendations and explore implicit biases that might influence the way in which information is presented. In being able to offer 5 contact hours to health care providers, we have a better opportunity to educate and reach more people.”

The Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep training program is a 5 hour in-person program for up to 35 people.  Upon completion of the program participants work with First Candle to host events for families in their community. 

You can learn more here or by contacting Barb Himes at Barb@FirstCandle.org

First Candle is a 501 (c)(3) committed to ending Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and other sleep-related infant deaths while providing bereavement support services for families who have lost a baby.

Your donation will help support our Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep outreach work and our grief program.