Petition for Safe Infant Sleep Images in Advertising

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to you to ask for your help.  How many of you have looked in a magazine only to see an advertisement showing an infant in an unsafe sleep environment?  I find these pictures infuriating…especially when there are 4500 infants dying unexpectedly each year, and many, if not most of them, are found in an unsafe sleep environment.  Research by Dr. Rachel Moon last year revealed that in magazines widely read by women of childbearing age, more than one-third of the pictures showed infants in an inappropriate sleep position and two-thirds demonstrated an unsafe sleep environment!  Showing infants in potentially life-threatening situations sends a very dangerous message to the public.  It undermines our efforts to promote infant sleep safety by providing a false sense of security to families and reinforcing the misconception that these dangerous sleep environments are safe.


Sign the petition online

You may be asking what can we do about this?  First Candle has developed an excellent set of guidelines for depicting safe and appropriate infant sleep images in the media.  The National Cribs for Kids Program has endorsed these guidelines.  Although this is a great first step, it is now time for us to become even more proactive and confront the advertisers directly.  We have developed a petition to request the cooperation of the key U.S. advertising organizations and oversight agencies (the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the American Advertising Federation, the Association of National Advertisers, and the Federal Communication Commission) to work with us to educate their members and set industry standards to promote infant sleep safety in this country.

There is a silent epidemic of infant sleep related deaths in the United States.  It is time to make our voices heard.  It is time to make our communities safer for our babies.  Please go to this link ( and click on “sign the petition.”  Then fill in your name, e-mail address, and the verification code.  It’s that simple.  Please share this e-mail with everyone you know who has an interest in the safety of infants.  Every signature counts!  And ask your local child safety organizations to sign on as well.  In numbers there is strength and we can have an impact on the advertising agencies if we work together.  If you have any questions about this effort, please feel free to contact me through the information below.


Michael H. Goodstein, MD, FAAP                                                           Judith A. Bannon, Executive Director               
Attending Neonatologist and Clinical Assistant Professor                           SIDS of PA, Inc./Cribs for Kids
Director, York County Cribs for Kids Program                                         810 River Avenue, Suite 250
National Cribs for Kids Advisory Board Member                                      Pittsburgh, PA 15212
York Hospital Office of Newborn Medicine                                              412-322-5680 Ext. 3
1001 S. George St.                                                                                  412-322-5686 Fax
York, PA 17405                                                                            
717-851-3452 (phone)  717-851-2602 (fax)                                 

Pick up your pen!

Support the Stillbirth and SUID Prevention, Education, and Awareness Act of 2009! Every year there are more than 4,600 sudden unexpected infant deaths, 25,000 stillbirths and another 200 children between the ages of 1 and 4 who die without any obvious cause for their death.

Please pick up your pen and contact your state's representatives in congress in support of the Stillbirth and SUID Prevention, Education, and Awareness Act of 2009 (S1445/ HR3212). Your participation in this initiative is both urgent and important!

The CJ Foundation is offering you the ability to compose a letter (there's a pre-composed letter waiting for you already) and send it to BOTH your House representatives AND your senators, all with the click of ONE BUTTON. All you need to do is visit their site, enter your personal information, revise the letter (optional), and click "Send Message" -- all the rest is taken care of for you!

Remember, this bill is the single most influential piece of SIDS/SUDC/SUID legislation to ever reach Washington, and its passing is an opportunity we can't afford to waste. Please make use of the CJ Foundation's new web page and send your letter (if you haven't already) today!

Fact sheet on the bill
Full text of the bill

Our New Name

Seattle, 2/15/10—The Northwest Infant Survival & SIDS Alliance (NISSA), a nonprofit organization serving the state of Washington and working to support parents who have lost babies to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome as well as to educate Washington residents about proven ways to reduce the risk of SIDS, would like to formally announce its new name and branding efforts.  NISSA, formerly the SIDS Foundation of Washington, has changed its name to reflect the proactive education and awareness of safe sleep for infants as well as still supporting families who have suffered a loss.

Our new name is reflected both on our website,, and our new stationary and brochures.

Sheriff's Office "Cribs for Kids" Program

On April 24th, 2009, the King County Sheriff's Office hosted a press release to announce their participation in our "Cribs for Kids" program. Officers visiting homes in King County during the course of their duties will be able to assess the sleep environment for any infant living in the home, and if the family is lacking a safe sleep space for the infant they will be referred to a community service officer who is coordinating the cribs program for the Sheriff's Office. This is a significant opportunity to increase awareness of SIDS and safe sleep practices, especially in South King County where SIDS rates are on the rise.

On the same day Kathy Lambert read a proclamation at the King County Council making April 24th SIDS awareness day in King County.
Washington Passes Child Death Review Bill

Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire Signs Bill 1303
Directs the department of health to: (1) Assist local health departments to collect the reports of any child mortality reviews conducted by local health departments and enter the reports into a database;(2) Respond to any requests for data from the database; and (3) Provide technical assistance to local health departments and child death review coordinators conducting child mortality reviews and encourage communication among child death review teams. The department shall conduct these activities using only federal funding from the maternal and child health block grant and private funding. Click here for full text.

Importance of Child Death Review to NISSA
Child Death Review (CDR) is the oversight to see if risk reduction measures on infant mortality are working in a community or are being adhered to. The review body not only looks at the individual death but the totality of circumstances surrounding the death. They look at systemic issues that may have failed as well. While CDR studies all pediatric deaths that are sudden and expected, infant deaths are the largest number of those deaths especially in our more urban areas. Information gained from county-based Child Death Review teams will help NISSA determine the effectiveness of risk reduction education, programs like "Cribs for Kids," and will guide future research and outreach efforts. For more information, see the National Child Death Review website.


Archived News

NISSA Nominated as Favorite Local Charity
In King 5's "The Best"

Comcast Newsmakers Video
Board member Aileen Carrell discusses safe sleep environments for babies.

Mary Shuham Dore
Article on the passing of Mary Dore, the founder of the SIDS Foundation of Washington and a beloved champion of SIDS support, awareness, and research.

In Washington, struggling to get it right
Challenges facing state officials regarding infant death investigations and autopsies in Washington.