Established in 2016, Every Baby Counts (EBC) is an alliance of 501(c)(3) nonprofits sharing the same goal to eliminate Sudden Infant Deaths (SIDS) through infant sleep safety tools, initiatives and education. Most infant deaths are preventable through relatively inexpensive public health interventions. EBC addresses barriers of affordability, access, and education that prevent mothers and infants from getting basic care and prevent countries from achieving untapped sources of economic growth. Focused on using wholesale sourced materials, EBC provides sleep safety bundles that save lives and incentive expectant mothers to attend prenatal care and obtain items that support healthier children, healthier mothers, and more productive communities.
Our programming offers families the following resources:
Sleep Safety Boxes and high-quality materials that address the roots of sudden infant death and provides prevention and peace-of-mind
Education about prevention methods for the public and medical community, including webinar series discussing best-practice infant sleep safety methods
Family Support by providing answers to parents’ questions in a straightforward and sensitive manner through mother-to-mother forums encouragement, informational resource and more Advocacy by to promoting a better understanding of breastfeeding and other healthy child-rearing methods as critical elements in the outcome of children Knowing the history of SIDS is important to better understand the work of EBC. In the 1970’s, SIDS was viewed as neither predictable nor preventable. Parents were left with the fear that it might happen to their baby at any point in time and they were left feeling helpless and fearful. There was an emphasis placed on research to learn more about these deaths and counseling for parents whose children died.
Public epidemiological research agencies throughout the globe were able to identify several modifiable risk factors such as tobacco exposure, prone sleep and more recently bed sharing. Public health initiatives were implemented to teach parents ways to reduce the risk. As a result of these efforts parents are feeling more empowered and in control of the sleep safety of their newborn. Although not all deaths can be prevented, the chance of it occurring can be significantly reduced. Rates of sudden infant deaths are less than half what they were in the 1970s.
However, in the United States there are still roughly 4,000 infant deaths linked to improper sleep safety each year. That is 4,000 infant deaths too many.
EBC brings the beloved Finnish tradition of sleep safety boxes to the masses, with an emphasis on low-income, vulnerable families who would otherwise be unable to obtain these essential safe sleeping environment. Our sleep safety boxes meet the highest applicable international safety guidelines, are environmentally safe and hazardous-material-free, and we pay special attention to material selections and manufacture methods. The sleep safety box is a proven tool that’s use demonstrably lowered SIDS in countries throughout the globe, helping countries like Finland obtain the lowest SIDS-per-capita rate in the world.
Starting in early 2017, EBC and its founding members are starting a soon-to-be national effort for addressing SIDS by making sleep safety boxes and educational materials free-of-charge to qualifying families. The initiative will provide the following sleep safety tools at no cost:
Newborn essentials such as clothes, bibs, blankets, nappies, baby wipes, picture books, and a thermometer. The bundle itself will double as a bathtub to encourage hygiene. Context-specific items such as oral rehydration salts, vitamin A supplementation, baby oil, and family planning items.
Parental information on topics such as birth spacing, early and exclusive breastfeeding, the importance of stimulation and play, and hygiene. These will be pictorial in nature to overcome low levels of female literacy in rural areas.
Locally sourced items to support local economic growth ensuring those who benefit from the product have a vested interest in its success.
Receipt of the sleep box will be conditional upon mothers attending prenatal care. Key services provided include tetanus toxoid vaccinations, nutritional advice and vitamin/folic acid supplements, and identification of high-risk pregnancies to prevent or plan for preterm births.
The objectives of EBC’s initiative is to:
• Provide information and support to struggling families.
• Educate the general public and professionals about SIDS and SUID.
• Promote the importance of breastfeeding and healthy development of babies.
• Reduce the number of SIDS and SUID deaths in our country.
• Provide Safe Sleep education so that every parent, childcare provider and health professional is aware of current evidence-based practices to reduce the risk of sudden infant death.