Every day, in Australia, more than nine children under the age of four unexpectedly die. Their deaths impact more than 60 people, including parents, grandparents, siblings and friends. Red Nose Day, which is held nationally next Friday (26 June 2015), raises funds for SIDS and Kids – an organisation focused on supporting grieving families and helping reduce these unfortunate deaths.
Remember how excited you were when you were pregnant, watching your belly grow bigger, sometimes overnight! Then you gave birth. You marvelled at those tiny hands and feet. You held your baby tight, watched your baby sleep and wondered how you could ever be so lucky. Deep down inside you felt the urge to nurture and protect this tiny little being.
Now, imagine putting your giggling, bubbly baby into their cot one day. Checking on your baby a little while later, and finding they’re not breathing. Imagine your panic as you call the ambulance, and your shock and heartbreak when the doctors tell you that your healthy baby is dead.
Each year 3500 Australian families face this reality. Their children pass away in many ways. Some are stillborn, some die before birth, some die from accidents, and some from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Their deaths are unexpected, and all leave grieving families behind.
Adding salt to the wound, many of these deaths can’t be explained. Doctors face these families and deliver the news: ‘We’re sorry, but we don’t know why your baby died’. Families are left with the torture of the ‘why’.
Now in its 28th year, Red Nose Day helps SIDS and Kids support families who have suffered the sudden death of a child. It also funds research into stillbirth, SIDS and safe sleeping, and it runs education programs to raise awareness in the community and help reduce deaths.
One of the most well-known of these campaigns is the Safe Sleeping Campaign. This campaign, which began in the early 1990s, educates parents and caregivers on sleeping practices that reduce the risk of SIDS and sleeping accidents in babies.
Since the Safe Sleeping Campaign was introduced, the number of infants passing away, suddenly and unexpectedly, has dropped by 80 per cent and an amazing 8480 children’s lives have been saved.
While no-one can argue this is a great result, there is still work to do and questions that need answered. So please try and help these families find the answers they desperately need by supporting Red Nose Day next Friday.
“Although we know that after such a loss the acute state of mourning will subside, we also know we shall remain inconsolable and will never find a substitute… And actually this is how it should be … it is the only way of perpetuating that love which we do not want to relinquish.” – Sigmund Freud after the sudden death of his daughter Sophie.
Here’s how you can help!
- Buy a Red Nose product! You might look silly for a day wearing a Red Nose, but who cares? It’s all for a good cause. If you really don’t want to sport the Red Nose look, then you can buy one for your car or truck instead! There is also a stack of other ‘nosey’ options such as pens, soft toys and jewellery.
- Try Red Nose Me. Raise awareness of Red Nose Day by creating a new profile picture for your social media.
- Donate. Donations can be made online, and all donations over $2 are tax deductible.
- Fund raise. Sell Red Nose Day products, or splash out and hold a morning tea, a casual day at work, a disco or a trivia night.
- Dare to Care. Set yourself a challenge, like not eating chocolate or drinking alcohol for a week, reading 10 books of poetry or riding a unicycle five kilometres. Create an online fundraising page and ask friends and family to sponsor you to raise funds.
Any amount of money you help raise could save a life.
If you’ve been affected by the sudden death of a child, SIDS and Kids offers a number of free support services, including counselling and a 24-hour support line (1300 308 307).
How do you recognise Red Nose Day? Let us know in the comments section below.
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