Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How DEL Olympia Took Kids to Work

On Thursday, June 25, DEL in Olympia celebrated "Take Your Child to Work Day" by inviting the children of employees to attend work for either full or half of the day. Around 40 kids attended, ranging in ages from toddler to 15.

DEL designed their celebration after receiving the governor's proclamation regarding the event. In the state-wide, suggested guidelines it states that,
"Children who are between the ages of seven and eighteen years old will gain the most benefit from this experience. Children under seven may not have the comprehension skills or attention span to benefit from this event."
Because the Department of Early Learning's work affects young children (birth to three and beyond), the agency felt it was essential to include their own little learners. DEL offered activities that represent early learning principles, showing that children start learning at birth (and even before).

The day’s festivities included:
  • Block Fest
  • a work-themed scavenger hunt, 
  • social-emotional learning activities, 
  • capital tours, 
  • a tour of the HVAC system on the roof of headquarters, 
  • badge-making and
  • a “mock meeting” with ice cream.
Kids were also encouraged to create their own graffiti in DEL's Partnerships and Collaboration division: Strengthening Families. This is the area of DEL that focuses on:
  • strengthening family bonds,
  • understanding childhood development,
  • coping with the challenge of parenting and
  • developing positive discipline skills.
DEL employee's children created graffiti in the Strengthening Families area. 
Children were able to visit the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) division within DEL and practice social-emotional development with a simple exercise: identifying emotions through facial expressions.

Kids can practice social-emotional development by identifying facial expressions.
From a facilities perspective, kids and their families were invited to see Olympia from the roof of DEL headquarters and learn more about the HVAC system and servers that keep the building going.

Facilities manager, Shaun Sullivan shows kids how the HVAC system heats or cools DEL headquarters.
This allowed the kids to enjoy a great view and teach them the mechanics of facilities. 

Block Fest (activities that teach STEM lessons) takes over a DEL headquarters conference room.
Block Fest was a great opportunity for kids to practice Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities--which represents their capacity to learn those disciplines from a young age.
DEL's scavenger hunt list
The day ended with a "mock meeting" socialization that invited families to meet each other and discuss the activities they experienced that day. 

Overall, the day exemplified the governor's proclamation and the theme #MPOWR, as DEL's employees and their kids (even young kids) experienced an action-packed work-day with their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles--all while participating in some of the early learning essential and empowering activities that the department promotes daily.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Washington Celebrates National Get Outdoors Month

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Washington State Parks Foundation invite the public to celebrate National Get Outdoors Month with an outdoor expo June 27 on the Washington State Capitol Campus.

The Get Outdoors Adventure Awaits Expo is one of many events being offered at state capitols around the nation, in conjunction with the American Recreation Coalition’s Great Outdoors Month. The Expo takes place from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 27, near the steps of the Legislative Building in Olympia.
“One reason Washington is such a remarkable place to live is because of its remarkable beauty. National Great Outdoors Month and Get Outdoors Day provide a great opportunity for all of us to experience the beautiful parks and outdoor places that make our state so unique,” said Gov. Inslee. “This Expo is the perfect place to find ideas for family trips and adventures close to home.”
About 40 young campers from the Boys and Girls Club of Thurston County and the South Sound YMCA have been selected to participate in a variety of activities the day and evening preceding expo day and then will camp overnight on the lawn at the Governor’s Mansion. Washington State Parks staff will provide an interpretive campfire program and activities such as fire safety fishing lessons, orienteering, crafts, songs and games. 

The Coleman Company, Delaware North, Albertsons and Take Me Fishing are major sponsors of the nationwide event. Coleman is providing camping gear, which the campers will take home with them when the event wraps up on Saturday morning. Delaware North is providing chefs, who will be sharing tips for healthy eating and cooking. Food is provided by Albertsons. Take Me Fishing is providing fishing gear for the youth involved in the Capitol Campout to take home with them. Camper shirts and snacks are being provided by the Washington State Employee Credit Union and the Manufactured Home and Recreation Vehicle Show Association.

The Washington State Parks Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is “to engage, expand, and sustain a broad base of supporters who give to, advocate for, and treasure our state parks.” The foundation is coordinating participation in the Expo, where it will be presented with a $5,400 check from the Washington State Employees Credit Union. The Washington State Parks agency is coordinating the kids’ Capitol Campout.

For up-to-date event information, visit the Washington State Parks Foundation website: http://wspf.org/event/second-annual-outdoor-expo.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Washington Looks to Help Kids Grow

Washington has incorporated a new resource for families called "Help Me Grow." This is a national network that helps states implement state-wide planning and implementation of behavioral and developmental screenings. Twenty-three states are currently affiliates.

Between 12 and 16 percent of all American children experience developmental, behavioral and/or emotional delays or problems. In Washington, 1 in 6 children face a delay by age 18--50 percent of children with a delay are not identified before school.* Experts and the Washington State Department of Early Learning agree that early detection and connection to services lead to the best outcomes for children with such challenges.

"Help Me Grow" provides:

  • Child health care provider outreach
  • Community outreach
  • Centralized telephone access points to connect families to services
  • Data collection

What does Help Me Grow Washington offer families?

  • Free developmental screening for all kids under 5 (no waiting lists or income requirements)
  • Activities and games that support healthy growth and learning
  • Community resources like parenting classes, medical clinics, and food banks
  • Referrals for further evaluation and early intervention services

How Can Developmental Screening Help My Child?

Often, the signs are hard to see, even for a professional. Screening all kids regularly is the best way to catch delays early, when intervention is most effective. Even for families with kids developing on track, screening is a fast, flexible and fun way to learn about what’s coming next and what you can do to encourage healthy growth!

The Ages and Stages Questionnaire

To screen kids Help Me Grow Washington uses a survey tool called the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). This tool can be accessed easily online by clicking the link above. Developmental screening cannot give you a diagnosis; however it can show you if your child is developing more slowly than kids in the same age group.

The ASQ covers 5 areas of development:

  • Communication – how kids use language
  • Gross Motor – how kids move their bodies
  • Fine Motor – how kids use their hands
  • Problem Solving – how kids interact with their world
  • Personal-Social – how kids calm themselves down
When using the ASQ:  Based on your child’s age, you will be asked about your child’s ability to complete certain activities, such as “Can your child stand on one foot?” When you’ve tried each of the items with your child, submit your answers online. The expert staff will score the ASQ and contact you with results within one week. They will also give you suggestions for games and activities to do with your child to practice emerging skills. They will send another screen every 3-6 months, so you can continue to learn about and support your child’s growth.

If you have questions or want to learn more about it first, please call the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.

*Citations for this article are courtesy of the Washington State Department of Health. For more information regarding developmental delay statistics, please click here: Screening Brief. Other data is courtesy of WithinReach's ParentHelp123.

For more information about DEL's role in developmental screening, check out the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers page at del.wa.gov. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

"Love. Talk. Play." this Father's Day

Washington's "Love. Talk. Play." campaign is well-established across the state, but in case you haven't heard, the study-based initiative advocates a healthy, loving and educational relationship between children and their parents beginning at an early age.

A child’s early experiences shape his or her brain structure and cognition. “Love. Talk. Play.” has teamed up with researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences (I-LABS) to look at the science behind why love, talk and play are important to the development of babies and toddlers.

In honor of Father's Day, consider how dads might play a role in daily special interactions with children. 

Social interaction and imitative learning play an important role in early brain and behavioral development. Love is just as important as nutritious food to raise a healthy child. Your gentle touch, attention and understanding help your child grow in every way. 

Dr. John Gottman discusses this role in his book, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child. 
"Dads have a pivotal role in their children’s lives. Research shows that when dads act as an emotion coach, by valuing and encouraging emotions, children do better in school, handle moods better and recover from emotional events faster," said Gottman.
Activity idea: Read with your child. "Love. Talk. Play" suggests cuddling with your child while reading, giving them your full attention. 

Children’s early language skills predict future reading abilities, and skills not developed early are difficult to remediate later on. As soon as your child is born, start talking, singing and rhyming about anything and everything. Check out the recent Seattle Times article regarding a study that found differences in the way mothers speak to children versus their fathers. 
“Even in singing to babies, moms will sing ‘Twinkle, Twinkle,’ and ‘ABC’ and dads will sing rock songs," said Tonya Bergeson-Dana, assistant professor at Indiana University Medical School, which runs the Babytalk Research center. 
Whether it's a high-pitched nursery rhyme or a rock anthem, communicating with your child is vital for healthy development.

Activity idea: Teach your child a song. "Love. Talk. Play." suggests sharing a song you enjoyed as a child.

Human cognition and innovation depends on memory, logic, mathematical reasoning, and the manipulation of physical tools and abstract symbols. Playing is not only fun; it’s also how your child learns. In another recent Seattle Times article, the effectiveness of play in learning is highlighted. 
"Play is often perceived as immature behavior that doesn’t achieve anything," says David Whitebread, a psychologist at Cambridge University who has studied the topic for decades. "But it’s essential to their development. They need to learn to persevere, to control attention, to control emotions. Kids learn these things through playing."
Check out the recent DEL blog post about play and learning that references Dr. Whitebread, and another blog post by Paul Nyhan for "Love. Talk. Play" partner, Thrive Washington called "Students are Ready for More STEM and Play in Preschool, Two Studies Find."

Activity idea: Make a meal together. "Love. Talk. Play" suggests letting kids play with pots, pans, spoons and cups to pretend to cook or making a game out of trying new foods.

"Love. Talk. Play." is sponsored by Thrive by Five Washington, the state’s nonprofit public-private partnership for early learning, the Department of Early Learning (DEL) and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and it is supported by many other statewide and local organizations.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Whooping Cough in Washington: Protect Yourself and Your Kids

According to a recent King 5 News story, whooping cough is on the rise in Washington. Unfortunately, there have been more than 700 cases in 2015. This is a massive increase as one year ago, there were around 130 cases.

According to the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), whooping cough (Pertussis) spreads easily by coughing and sneezing. In a recent letter from DOH, parents and caregivers are urged to consider vaccination--especially those who care for young children and babies.
The letter states, 
"as a parent, there is nothing more important than safeguarding your child’s health. That’s why you should know the facts about whooping cough (pertussis) and the vaccine that protects against it. Make sure you and your family get the right dose at the right time." 
The dangers of whooping cough.
Whooping cough is most dangerous for babies. They can get it from adults or other children who have whooping cough. Babies can have severe coughing spells that make it hard to breathe. Whooping cough can lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and death.

Call your doctor if prolonged coughing spells cause you or your child to:
  • Vomit
  • Turn red or blue
  • Seem to be struggling to breathe or have noticeable pauses in breathing
  • Inhale with a whooping sound
How can I protect my child from whooping cough? 
The best tool for protection is the whooping cough vaccine. In addition to the vaccine, make sure that you and your child: 
  • wash your hands, 
  • cover your cough, and 
  • stay home and away from others when you are sick. 
It is especially important to protect babies and pregnant moms. If you suspect that you or your child have whooping cough, seek immediate medical care. 

Who should get the vaccine and when should they get it? 
  • Babies* get a dose of DTaP (diphtheriatetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis)) at 
    • 2 months
    • 4 months
    • 6 months
    • 15-18 months
  • At 4-6 years of age, they should receive a 5th DTaP dose. 
  • When kids are 11 or 12 years old, they get a dose of Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis). 
*Newborn babies can’t get a whooping cough vaccine until they are 6 weeks old. 

The best way to protect babies is for pregnant women to get vaccinated in their third trimester, between 27 to 36 weeks. Adults that haven’t had a Tdap dose, especially those who are healthcare workers or take care of young babies, need to get a dose Tdap. Child care and school requirements Children entering child care or preschool must be up-to-date with their immunizations. 

When considering Kindergarten Readiness, think beyond your child's social, emotional and intellectual development. Consider their medical vaccination needs, too. In Washington State, it is required for children entering kindergarten to have 5 DTaP shots.

Where can I find the whooping cough vaccine? 
Ask your doctor, nurse, or local health department to find out more about the Tdap or DTaP vaccine and where you can get it. 

Washington provides all recommended vaccines at no cost for kids through age 18, available from providers across the state. Providers may charge an office visit fee and an administration fee to give the vaccine. People who can’t afford the administration fee can ask to have it waived. Call the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588 or go to ParentHelp123 to find a healthcare provider or immunization clinic. 

For more information about whooping cough, visit the Washington State Department of Health at www.doh.wa.gov/whoopingcough.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Summer To-Do List: Consider Kindergarten Readiness

 Many WA children are looking forward to their first year of kindergarten at the end of this summer. They will meet new people, spend time in a new classroom and learn new rules. As a parent or caregiver, you can help your child start kindergarten ready to succeed. In their earliest years, children can learn and develop so much--simply through playing, exploring and reading with a parent. 

The Department of Early Learning (DEL) believes that school readiness is about much more than whether a child is ready. Many people have a role to play in ensuring children enter kindergarten ready to learn. Kindergarten readiness is achieved when children, schools, parents and families, and communities are prepared.

DEL has committed to working with our private partner, Thrive WA, and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to support families, parents, schools and communities in helping children succeed in kindergarten and beyond.

The Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS) helps ensure that children in Washington get a great start in kindergarten. WaKIDS is a development tracking system created to help early learners, families and educators work together, learn about children's strengths, and share information with the pre-kindergarten communities in Washington. To learn more about the program, go visit the WaKIDS page online or watch the WaKIDS video

According to WaKIDS standards, children who are ready to enter kindergarten show signs of development in several areas. The following are small examples of how your child might be showing signs of kindergarten readiness. 
  • Social-emotional
    • Example: your child might be able to easily join other children at play, and play cooperatively.
  • Physical
    • Example: your child is able to throw a ball or other objects, trap a thrown ball against his or her body, and/ or kick a ball forward by stepping or running up to it.
  • Language
    • Example: your child may be able to name the cow, horse, chicken, pig, sheep and goat as he or she sees them on a trip to the farm and is beginning to be more descriptive, such as “The red barn had three sheep inside.”
  • Cognitive
    • Example: your child is able to ask for a solution and use it like asking another child to hold his cup while he or she pours. 
  • Literacy
    • Example: your child recognizes and can say words that repeat sounds, he or she may repeat the “b” sound by singing, “I’m bringing home a baby bumble bee.” Your child is beginning to be able to identify sound patterns: “Max and Maya… our names start the same!”
  • Mathematics
    • Example: your child is able to combine and separate up to five objects and describe the parts. He or she may say, “I have four cubes. Two are red and two are blue.”
For the full listing and deeper explanation of the six areas of development above, read "The Characteristics of Entering Kindergarten."

For a printable brochure about Kindergarten Readiness, click here: DEL Kindergarten Readiness

This summer, consider working with your little learner on these six areas. Reading with your child, exploring the outdoors, and playing games with educational components contribute to kindergarten prep. Being proactive with your child's learning will be beneficial in the long run as families are children's first, most important and life-long teachers. 

Quick tip: one creative example of productive play at home was featured in yesterday's National Association for the Education of Young Children's blog regarding music.

For an even more in-depth look at developmental guidelines, read the "Washington State Early Learning and Developmental Guidelines."

See also the WaKIDS pathway to success graphic below:

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

5 Tips for Water Safety in Washington

With the recent increase in temperature around the Pacific Northwest, families have been flocking to the water to cool off. With more and more traffic to Washington's water bodies, it is more important than ever to consider safety before heading to the lake, river, beach or pool.

Safety Tip 1: Always swim with a partner, every time — whether you're swimming in a backyard pool or in a lake. Even experienced swimmers can become tired or get muscle cramps, which might make it difficult to get out of the water. When people swim together, they can help each other or go for help in case of an emergency.

Safety Tip 2: Know your limits. Swimming can be a lot of fun — and you might want to stay in the water as long as possible. If you're not a good swimmer or you're just learning to swim, don't go in water that's so deep you can't touch the bottom and don't try to keep up with skilled swimmers. That can be hard, especially when your friends are challenging you — but it's a pretty sure bet they'd rather have you safe and alive.

Safety Tip 3: Swim in safe areas only. Swimming in an open body of water (like a river, lake, or ocean) is different from swimming in a pool. You need more energy to handle the currents and other changing conditions in the open water.

If you do find yourself caught in a current: 
  • don't panic
  • don't fight the current
  • try to swim parallel to the shore until you are able to get out of the current
  • gradually try to make your way back to shore 
  • if you are unable to get to shore, stay calm and float with the current--the current will usually slow down, then you can swim to shore.
Some areas with extremely strong currents are off limits when it comes to swimming. Do your research so you know where not to swim, and pay attention to any warning signs posted in the area.

The Washington State Department of Ecology has a consistently updated webpage indicating which popular swimming areas (on the coast and around the Puget Sound) are safe for swimming and which areas are closed for a variety of reasons.

The WA State Department of Ecology's coastal atlas with beach closures and cautions.

Safety Tip 4: Consider the season

According to the Washington State Department of Health, at any time of year, WA waters can be appealing and dangerous at the same time:
  • Spring – Rivers are often high and swift from rains and snow melt and can easily overwhelm the strongest swimmer. Even on hot spring days, lakes, ponds, and rivers are still cold and are dangerous for swimmers. Hypothermia can occur quickly in very cold water.
  • Summer – Water that is warm on the surface, may be much colder below. Use caution when swimming and always supervise young children playing in or near the water. Rivers may not be moving as fast, but log jams can trap swimmers and large rocks and logs could tip over rafts, canoes, and kayaks. Illnesses can be prevented by not swallowing the water – learn more about recreational water illnesses.
  • Autumn – Early warm days of autumn can be like summer. But like spring, this time of year is unpredictable - be prepared for sudden weather changes and cold water later in the season.
  • Winter – Waters are always cold and can quickly go from being very calm to very rough, especially during storms. If you are on the water for hunting, fishing, or recreation, wear protective gear and life jackets. Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return, and be prepared for sudden weather changes.
*Pay special attention to the Spring and Summer pointers as we are currently experiencing warmer than usual temperatures in this state!

Safety Tip 5: Remember to wear a life jacket. According to the Washington State Department of Health, even the best water enthusiasts can misjudge changing water conditions when boating or swimming in open water. Be prepared at all times by wearing a life jacket – you'll never know when you'll be tossed into the water.
  • Have children wear a life jacket that fits them, and watch them closely around water – they can go under water quickly and quietly.
  • Children 12 years old and under must wear a life jacket that fits them on moving boats less than 19 feet in length in Washington.
  • Recreational boats must carry one U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person aboard. The life jacket must be available and accessible. This is a nationwide Coast Guard rule.
The Seattle Children's Hospital webpage devoted to Water Safety and Drowning Prevention offers a lot of interesting and essential resources on water safety--many including the importance of wearing a life jacket. Some of the resources featured on that page are as follows:

Life Jacket Affordability:
Learn more about life jackets and get a coupon (PDF) good for 25% off the regular price of any life jacket in stock at Big 5 Sporting Goods stores in Washington and northern Idaho. The coupon is valid through September 30, 2015.

Life Jacket Loaner Programs: 
These provide opportunities for families and friends to borrow life jackets at boating ramps, bathing beaches and other locations. The Washington State Parks and Recreation Boating Program, the Department of Health, Safe Kids and Seattle Children's partner to provide a list of life jacket loaner programs, with the goal of preventing drownings in Washington state. Wearing a life jacket while swimming in lakes, rivers, oceans, and while boating is important for your safety and the safety of your children, family, and friends.
Beyond life jackets, the Seattle Children's hospital notes an important resource for families with unique needs. 

Everyone Swims:
"Everyone Swims" is a partnership to increase access to swimming and water recreation among culturally diverse and low-income families in Seattle and King County, Washington. Over 20 different pools, water recreation organizations and community health clinics are working on developing policy and system changes related to swimming scholarships; swim ability screening; referral to swimming and water recreation programs; and special swim programs for children and families with unique needs. Learn more about this project and how you can improve access to swimming and water recreation safety.

For more information about water safety, read a recent article on drowning where Dr. Linda Quan of the Seattle Children's Hospital is referenced.

Water safety tips for this post are courtesy of the Washington State Department of Health, the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Seattle Children's Hospital and Dr Yamini Durani, MD.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Advancing Racial Equity and Engaging Parent Involvement: ELAC

This week, the Early Learning Advisory Council met in DuPont, Washington for 2015’s fourth meeting.

The Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC) was created by Legislature in 2007. ELAC representatives from around the state gather to provide input and recommendations to the Department of Early Learning so strategies and actions are well-informed and broadly supported by: 
  • parents,
  • child care providers,
  • health and safety experts,
  • and interested members of the public.

This month, priority initiatives for the coming school year were addressed as well as a status update of the Healthiest Next Generation initiative.

Also at this meeting, ELAC discussed advancing racial equity in early learning which is a high priority for DEL as the government organization strives to ensure every child, regardless of their social, racial or economic situation has access to quality early learning opportunities.

Members of ELAC gather in DuPont WA.
Organizers of this quarter’s meeting brought forth questions that each ELAC member should ask as they advise on DEL policies and programs:
  • Is it good for kids, families and providers?
  •  Do some kids and families benefit more than others?
  •  Which kids and families do not have access and why?
  •  What data and information is missing?
  • Might there be any unintended consequences?

DEL’s hope is that ELAC will help advise and advance programs in place that might not have been created with a racial equity lens, and also inform new programs and initiatives that will better serve every child in Washington.

One of the initiatives is the Parent Advisory Group (PAG). DEL recently began a recruitment campaign, seeking parents and family caregivers of children from birth to nine years of age to become a sounding board for decisions, ideas and questions that shape the future of early learning.
DEL has had a similar group in the past, but is attempting to bring it back as parent and caregiver input is vital to the development of effective early learning programs. 

For more information about PAG, visit DEL’s website here. If you would like more information about the application process, please contact pag@del.wa.gov. Applications to be considered for PAG membership are due by July 15, 2015.

For more information about ELAC and past and upcoming meetings, visit DEL’s Early Learning Advisory Council page

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Educate Yourself About Safe Sleep

Thousands of infants die suddenly and unexpectedly each year in the U.S. The medical term for these deaths is sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Although the causes of death in many of these children can’t be explained, most occur while the infant is sleeping in an unsafe sleeping environment.

Researchers are not sure how often these deaths happen because of accidental suffocation from bedding or overlay (another person rolling on top of or against the infant while sleeping). Commonly, these deaths occur during unsupervised sleeping time. There are currently no tests to tell SIDS apart from suffocation.

Research shows parents and caregivers can take the following actions to help reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant (less than 1 year old) death:
  • Always place babies on their backs to sleep for every sleep.
  • Use a firm sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib, covered by a fitted sheet.
  • Have the baby share your room, not your bed. Your baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with you, or with anyone else.
  • Keep soft objects, such as pillows and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area.
  • Prevent exposure to smoking during pregnancy and after birth because these are important risk factors for SIDS. The risk of SIDS is even stronger when a baby shares a bed with a smoker. To reduce risk, do not smoke during pregnancy, and do not smoke or allow smoking around your baby.

Another great resource for caregivers and parents is DEL's training video. This training outlines the differences and similarities between SUID and SIDS, myths and facts about these causes of infant death and additional tools to help inform and instruct the public about safe sleep.

Also in the video is an in-depth exploration of safe sleep tactics such as placing infants on their backs versus placing babies on their stomachs to sleep--referencing the "Back to Sleep" campaign of 1992. 
This training explains the importance of protecting infants during a crucial time of their development. Learn about SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death; what you can do to reduce the risk of SIDS with recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics, focusing on a safe sleep environment.

While the topic of SIDS and SUID is complex and sensitive, it is important for parents and caregivers to educate themselves on research and best practices to promote safe sleep. If you are responsible for an infant, consider reputable resources such as the Center for Disease Control site and research-based campaigns such as the "Protect the Ones You Love" initiative and the "Safe to Sleep" education program with helpful graphics like the one below.