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The Canadian Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths

Media Release Attention Health Editors: Education is the key to solving the mystery of SIDS!

TORONTO April 6, 2005

The Canadian Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths are dedicated to solving the mystery of sudden and unexplained infant deaths and to the emotional support of those who are affected. Presently, there is a case before the courts in Calgary Alberta regarding a SIDS death while the infant was in the care of a provincial, daycare centre. Although the SIDS Foundation is unable to comment on specific cases, the Foundation supports all families experiencing the death of an infant.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) knows no boundaries, parents range in age from under 20 to 40+, and from every social, economic, and multicultural background throughout Canada. SIDS occurs in infants who are in the care of parents, babysitters or alternate care providers, SIDS occurs in cribs, car seats, strollers and in parents arms. SIDS can occur anywhere at any time.

"In Canada, three babies will die from SIDS each week. It takes an incredible amount of courage to survive the death of an innocent and apparently healthy infant and there are so many families that are still suffering this terrible tragedy", states Rick Kaufman, CFSID Executive Director.

The cause(s) of SIDS is unknown. There are circumstances, which appear to tip a delicate balance for these infants. Tummy sleeping, cigarette smoke exposure and covering the infants head while sleeping are considered to be risk factors. Risk reduction programs are focusing on these risk factors attempting to educate all in the easy steps to reduce the risk of SIDS.

STEP 1- All infants should be placed on their backs to sleep even for naps.

STEP 2- All infants should have a smoke free environment before and after birth.

STEP 3- Ensure the infant's head and face remain uncovered while sleeping. Do not use pillows, duvets or comforters in the infant's sleeping area.

Education/public awareness is the key. Everyone involved with the care of infant should be trained in these simple steps to reduce the risk of SIDS. On May 6th, 2005, across Canada, the Foundation is holding a National Walk where children will walk together, hand in hand, taking STEPS to reduce the risk of SIDS at daycare/child care centres, and early learning centres, kindergarten classes, ECE Facilities and various groups working with children. Funds raised will go towards research into the cause of SIDS, increase public awareness and education within communities across Canada and assist the Foundation in continuing peer support to those affected by this syndrome. The Foundation is also developing an online course via its web site with the goal to educate communities across Canada in the steps to reduce the risk of SIDS. The course will be targeted to day care workers, foster and adoptive parents, case workers involved in the care of infants, babysitters, grandparents, ECE students and Family Resource Program staff. It is planned to offer this important program in May, 2005.
CFSID Background

Founded in 1973, CFSID is dedicated to solving the mystery of sudden and unexplained infant deaths and to the emotional support of those who are affected. Over one thousand active volunteers in approximately thirty chapters and affiliated groups play an important role towards achieving our mission. Recently the Foundation has adopted an expanded mandate to include all sudden, unexplained or unexpected infant deaths where SIDS has not been ruled out. This change within The CFSID will strengthen our constituency and volunteer base by providing a broader scope of families requiring the services of our organization.

Contact Information:

Richard A Kaufman, Executive Director
The Canadian Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths
586 Eglinton Ave East, Suite 308
Toronto, Ontario M4P 1P2
416-488-3260 or 1-800-363-7437


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