NICHD is turning its back on continuing SIDS funding & research

For the first time since the SIDS Act of 1974, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has released a strategic plan with no priority given to SIDS/SUID research, infant mortality, or risk reduction interventions, training or outreach related to these topics.

Let that sink in for a moment …

For over 40 years, our federal government has supported research and education around the leading causes of death for babies — Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

If we don’t act now, that will no longer be the case.

SIDS still claims the lives of 3,600 babies every year and that number is half of what is used to be thanks to past funding and the initiatives it supported. Every year another 4 million babies will be born in the United States and it will be critical for new parents to learn about Safe Sleep guidelines. Social workers, nurses, day care workers, and other care providers need to be trained in risk reduction interventions. Without this, the rate of SIDS and other sleep-related deaths will begin to creep up again, similar to what we’re seeing in the U.K.

Babies might not be a funding priority to the government but they are to us and we know they are to you as well.

So we’re going to do something about it. And we’re asking you to join our effort.

The NICHD is accepting written comments about their draft strategic plan and provides the opportunity for you to let them know that they need to be committed to saving babies lives!

Comments can be emailed to NICHDStrategicPlan@nih.gov and need to be received by February 15th. Please feel free to draft your own comments but you can also use the language below to help you craft your message to NICHD.

Subject line: Include SIDS funding and research in your newly proposed strategic plan

My name is (insert name) and I’m asking you to reintroduce SIDS funding and research in your proposed strategic plan.

(If comfortable, insert personal anecdote.)

For more than 40 years, NICHD has made SIDS a priority in funding and research, and the results speak for themselves. Today, SIDS and other sleep-related deaths claim the lives of nearly 4,000 infants a year — half of what this number used to be without your support, but still, more than it should be.

Every year, another 4 million babies will be born in the United States, and it will be ABSOLUTELY IMPORTANT for new parents to learn about Safe Sleep guidelines, and social workers, nurses, day care workers, and other care providers must be trained on risk reduction interventions to ensure these babies make it to their first birthday.

Do right by our children and this nation’s future. Please include SIDS funding and research in your upcoming proposed strategic plan.