New Aboriginal Safe Sleep Resources Available from Perinatal Services BC
Promoting safe infant sleep among First Nations and Aboriginal families
Many Aboriginal teachings explain that babies are gifts of life from the Creator. Sadly, sometimes babies leave the circle suddenly and far too early as a result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is the death of a baby under one year of age which is sudden, unexpected and without a clear cause. SIDS usually happens during sleep or napping and is the most common cause of death in babies between the ages of one month and one year. Research shows that in BC, Aboriginal babies are four times more likely to die from SIDS than non-Aboriginal babies. Although the exact cause or causes of SIDS are not known, there are clear safe sleep practices that reduce a baby’s risk for SIDS.
Honouring Our Babies: Safe Sleep Cards & Guide is a new education toolkit that helps service providers discuss safe infant sleep practices with First Nations and Aboriginal families and helps reduce the risk of SIDS. The toolkit is interactive, evidence-informed, and incorporates cultural beliefs, practices, and issues specific to First Nations and Aboriginal communities. The toolkit includes a deck of 21 discussion cards and seven illustrated cards to prompt and guide discussions with families about safe infant sleep as well as a facilitator’s guide with more information on each card’s topic, research, resources, and graphics.
Honouring Our Babies: Safe Sleep Cards & Guide is available from the First Nations Health Authority website under the Maternal and Child Health section or directly from http://fnhc.ca/index.php/health_actions/maternal_and_child/#safesleep.
The development of this new resource was an initiative of the Tripartite First Nations and Aboriginal Maternal and Child Health Committee, led by Perinatal Services BC, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority. For more information or to enquire about training sessions and the availability of hard copies, please contact Adam King, Provincial Lead, Health Promotion & Prevention, Perinatal Services BC at firstname.lastname@example.org.