HALO Partners With First Candle to Offer Safe Sleep and Implicit Bias Training to Hospitals

April 20, 2022 – New York, NY – It was announced today that juvenile products company HALO, will partner with the national non-profit organization First Candle, to offer safe sleep and implicit bias training to hospitals across the country.

HALO was founded in 1994 by Bill Schmid, following the tragic loss of his infant daughter to SIDS.  Bill used his engineering background to develop the first wearable blanket for babies – the HALO SleepSack®.  Today, HALO SleepSacks are a category leader and used in over 60% of US hospitals.  HALO continues to develop products that take the guesswork out of safe sleep, while also raising awareness and educating parents about sleep safety.

First Candle is the national non-profit committed to ending Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) while providing bereavement support to families who have experienced the tragic death of a baby.

Their program, Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep, is a train-the-trainer program for health-care professionals, doulas and in-home care providers that not only reviews the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Safe Sleep guidelines but delves into the reasons behind them and the reasons why families might make other sleep choices for their baby.  More importantly the program explores how implicit bias impacts what and how information is provided to families about safe sleep and breastfeeding.

Through this program First Candle has trained hospitals, public health organizations, social service agencies and doulas and is considered to be one of the most effective training programs on the intersection of safe sleep and implicit bias.

As First Candle’s CEO Alison Jacobson explains, the key to the success of this program has been aligning and listening to community leaders who understand best how structural racism, social determinants of health and socio-economic factors contribute to a family’s choice about safe sleep and breastfeeding.  “Through focus groups and our work on the ground in Black communities we know that the racial disparity in the rates of SUID and maternal morbidity are due, in large part, to the inability for care providers to meet families where they’re at.  We know the answers to this are in the community and we’re listening.  The conversations approach only works when it’s a true dialogue that’s respectful of cultural beliefs and lived experiences.”

The partnership with First Candle allows HALO to offer valuable insight to their partner hospitals on how best to serve their patients and improve the rates of infant and maternal morbidity.

Per HALO Hospital Director Tim Fulham, “We acknowledge safe sleep can be challenging for all new parents, especially layering in social determinants of health and socio-economic factors.  The conversations parents have with hospital staff are some of the best opportunities for education about safe sleep.  By bringing First Candle’s program and approach to our large network of hospitals, we believe we can better and more empathetically connect with more parents.  We are excited to partner with First Candle on our shared mission of helping all babies sleep safely from day one.”

The Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep program is offered both online and in-person. The online program provides 1.5 contact hours to nurses and the in-person 5 contact hours.

Hospital administrators can learn more about this program by contacting hospitalcustomerservice@halosleep.com.