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October is SIDS Awareness Month

October 15, 2012

Between 2002 and 2006, American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) infants were more than twice as likely as infants in the general population to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in Urban Indian Health Organization service areas.1 Since the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) began their Back to Sleep campaign in 1994, the national SIDS rate has declined by 50 percent. This October, use these free, downloadable resources for AI/AN communities to reduce disparities in SIDS rates and reduce infant mortality across all races.

In order to reach the AI/AN population, NICHD worked in collaboration with Native and Native-serving organizations to create the Healthy Native Babies project. NICHD worked with these groups to discuss SIDS and how to most effectively reach out to the community. As part of the project, NICHD and their collaborators created the Healthy Native Babies Project Workbook and Toolkit for healthcare providers and community advocates that provides information about SIDS. The Safe Sleep For Your Baby brochure also offers AI/AN specific information about SIDS and SIDS prevention for parents and caregivers. In addition, the CJ Foundation for SIDS offers their AI/AN SIDS Risk Reduction Resource Kit as part of their Face Up to Wake Up campaign. These resources may be useful for health professionals and community educators.

The Urban Indian Health Institute also offers Looking to the Past to Improve the Future: Designing a Campaign to Address Infant Mortality among American Indians and Alaska Natives which outlines the burden of infant mortality among AI/AN and focuses on effective health communication campaigns for reaching this audience. 


1. Urban Indian Health Institute, Seattle Indian Health Board. (2011). Community Health Profile: National Aggregate of Urban Indian Health Organization Service Areas. Seattle, WA: Urban Indian Health Institute.



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