Statement from Alison Jacobson, CEO and Executive Director, First Candle

New Canaan, CT – The following is a statement from First Candle CEO and Executive Director Alison Jacobson regarding NICHD’s decision to release a strategic plan that excludes resources to battle SIDS.

“The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s (NICHD) decision to release a strategic plan that places no priority on SIDS/SUID research, risk reduction interventions, training or outreach is a travesty, an unfortunate decision that rolls back all the progress that’s been made in reducing incidents of SIDS over the past 40 years.

“Yes, it’s true that SIDS/SUID incidents have been on a downward trend over the past four decades – essentially cut in half to about 3,600 events a year. Yes, we do celebrate this progress – we are eternally grateful for the work that has gone into reducing the number of SIDS/SUID incidents. But we also know that now is not the time to allow success to lead to complacency. Over 4 million babies will be born in the U.S. over the next 11 months, and we owe it to them and their families to make sure that the necessary funding and resources are available so that their babies make it to their first birthday.”

“Fortunately, we can do something about this right now. I implore you to take a moment, and let NICHD know that you want them to RE-PRIORITIZE SIDS/SUID research.”

“Send your comments by using NICHDStrategicPlan@nih.gov. In your comments, we ask that you be direct, succinct and – most importantly – clear with NICHD that priority for SIDS/SUID research. funding and resources should be an element of their strategic plan.”

“We’ve made major progress over the last 40 years. Let’s make sure NICHD keeps going until the battle is won.”