In a perfect world, every baby arrives at his or her first birthday, giggling and happy. First Candle is working toward that world.
The organization is dedicated to researching and preventing sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs), striving to put an end to the devastation of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and stillbirths. Both a research and advocacy group, First Candle also provides resources to help families touched by these tragedies. The name First Candle refers to that very first candle on a cake celebrating a one-year birthday. According to the organization, every year in the U.S. there are 26,000 stillbirths and 4,000 infants under one year who die unexpectedly.
In addition to spearheading research, First Candle also educates through their website and outreach programs. Their website alone is full of tips to help keep baby safe, including swaddling suggestions, basics for creating safer sleep environments, healthy practices for expecting moms, and more. Expecting parents can even download and print their own Kick Count Chart.
One of First Candle’s latest initiatives is the Safe Sleep Media Stars Campaign. According to First Candle, a study of magazines targeted to women of child-bearing age revealed that more than one-third of marketing images showed babies sleeping face down or in other unsafe sleep positions and more than two-thirds depicted babies in unsafe sleep environments. Through the Media Stars Campaign, First Candle promotes responsible media imagery of sleeping babies in print and online.
First Candle offers plenty of tips for moms and moms-to-be, but their website is also valuable to dads, grandparents, caregivers, and anyone and everyone who interacts with babies (or shows images of sleeping babies). By increasing awareness, First Candle works with everyone to collectively help each baby reach that first adorable birthday.
As a First Candle Media Star, Naturepedic has pledged to only show sleeping babies resting in safe positions or environments.