WITH about 330,000 babies born in Australia each year – 108,000 to first-time parents – the Red Nose safe sleeping messages being taught to parents in hospitals are helping to eliminate accidental infant death while sleeping.
To mark this significant milestone and celebrate the lives that have been saved through the safe sleeping education program, Red Nose met with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Parliament House yesterday afternoon.
Today, Friday, June 29, is the national charity’s 30th Red Nose Day and its flagship fundraising event.
All funds raised through the sale of merchandise go towards funding vital and lifesaving research into sudden and unexpected death in babies and infants, including SIDS and stillbirth.
Central to the celebration was a two-tied cake representing the two grassroots services offered by Red Nose – Safe Sleeping Education and Bereavement Support.
Mr Turnbull was joined in the cake cutting by Red Nose Board Chair and Partner at PwC Craig Heatley, Red Nose Head of Health and Advocacy Jane Wiggill, and Red Nose National Scientific Advisory Group Chair Professor Craig Pennell.
He was also joined by parents and children from a Canberra-based Red Nose support group for bereaved parents, and Red Nose ACT-based community fundraising staff.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was delighted to be able to celebrate the occasion.
Mr Heatley said the meeting was an important way to acknowledge the meaning of Red Nose Day.
“Over the past 30 years Australians have dug deep to donate to Red Nose Day, and this has allowed Red Nose to significantly support research into SIDS and stillbirth, deliver safe sleeping education to all new parents in Australia, and provide bereavement support services to families touched by the death of a child,” he said.
“As an organisation, we receive limited Government funding, and we really rely on the generosity of the Australian community to fund ongoing bereavement support services, vital research, and education projects such as eLearning programs for new parents and childcare educators.”
Mr Heatley said that almost 10,000 babies’ lives have been saved, thanks to Red Nose education and research.
“We have come a long way. Through research we have developed evidence-based education practices, such as sleeping baby on its back, that have contributed to reducing the risk of sudden and unexpected death.
“But still, nine deaths a day – six from stillbirth – are too high, which is why we welcome the Government’s involvement in our research area with the establishment of the Senate’s Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education,” he said.
This Red Nose Day, ‘A Little Give, For A Little Life’, is all it takes. People are encouraged to visit www.rednoseday.com.au to make a donation and help save little lives.
Funds raised through Red Nose Day fundraising activities go to Red Nose’s advocacy and research programs into the causes of all sudden, unexplained and preventable childhood death, educating the community on safe sleeping practices, and supporting families who have been devastated by the sudden and unexpected death of a child.