Illinois Department of Children and Family Services

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Press Release

    DCFS WORKS TO PREVENT SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME CASES (Letter sent to editors statewide)
Dateline

Springfield, II

July 30, 1998

  Dear Editor:

A study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and reported by newspapers nationwide, links a dramatic decline in reports of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) to a simple precautionary action taken by caretakers: placing babies to sleep on their backs, instead of their stomachs.

According to the report, the rate of SIDS death cases in the United States has been cut in half over the past five years, thanks to the nation’s "Back to Sleep" campaign, in which parents were told to put babies to sleep on their backs.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, which has supported the prevention campaign through grants to the Prevent Child Abuse-Illinois organization, encourages all Illinois parents and caretakers to protect infants through this simple, but vitally important measure.

Protecting children is a driving force that led most child welfare workers to enter this helping profession. And, like child abuse or neglect, protecting children from SIDS is a safety issue we treat very seriously.

That is why our Department this month sent "Back to Sleep" brochures to all 33,000 foster families and 13,000 licensed day care providers in Illinois.

Whether a child is among the 46,000 wards of the state, or the estimated 250,000 children served in licensed day care homes and centers, or among the millions of Illinois children who are our state’s most precious resource. Safety should be the paramount concern for all caretakers.

Placing babies to sleep on their backs is one way we can demonstrate this most critical concern.

Sincerely,

Maudlyne Ihejirika

Chief of Communications

    For Further Information Contact:
Maudlyne Ihejirika
Tel: 312-814-6847
TTY/TDD 312/814-6989

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