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First Candle

All Donations fund our education program to raise SIDS awareness across the country.

First Candle

First Candle was started in 1987 as a national non-profit organization that united parents, caregivers and researchers nationwide with government, business and community service groups to advance infant health and survival.  

Fast forward to 30 years later and we are still here and pushing forward at a higher level to deliver our message to increase public awareness, participation and support in the fight against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Stillbirth and other Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths.  

Every year there are 3,500 sudden, unexpected infant deaths in the United States.  These deaths occur among infants less than 1 year old and have no immediately obvious cause. Of these, as many as 80-90 percent may be the result of unsafe sleep practices.  More than 24,000 babies are stillborn every year, with more than half occurring during the last trimester of pregnancy.         

In order to save as many precious lives as possible, First Candle ensures that lifesaving messages are delivered to parents, family members, caregivers, and nurses frequently and consistently.  During the past year we developed a proprietary Hospital Self-Assessment Tool to help hospital staff evaluate the education they provide to prenatal and newborn parents, hosted educational safe sleep/SIDS prevention/breastfeeding events on military bases, hosted safe sleep child care education training seminars to insure that caregivers are up-to-date on current childcare practices, and we continue to train volunteers to provide peer support to grieving families while distributing bereavement materials to all those families who contact us for help.

Since 1994, First Candle has been a co-sponsor of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) led Back to Sleep campaign now called Safe to Sleep ® Public Education Campaign.  Other campaign co-sponsors include the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs.  The Safe to Sleep® campaign encouraged parents nationwide to have their infants sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS. First Candle is a preeminent organization focusing on reducing the rate of SIDS, stillbirth and unsafe sleep practices nationwide.      

First Candle provides nationwide outreach, partnerships and achievements in research, bereavement, advocacy, training and education.  Taking care of our youngest citizens is a first step towards fostering the thriving communities.  First Candle is committed to saving the lives of our most precious assets, our children.