Red Nose (formerly SIDS and Kids) launched its new name and a pledge to eliminate all preventable deaths in babies and small children at an event at Parliament House in Canberra last Thursday.
Each year in Australia 3,200 children under the age of four die suddenly and unexpectedly. Red Nose has pledged to reduce that to zero.
Red Nose CEO Assoc Prof Leanne Raven said the name change reflects that the organisation not only targets deaths from SIDS but all sudden and unexpected deaths from 20 weeks’ gestation to four years of age.
“We think that many of those deaths are preventable and we can certainly do some things about it as we have in terms of reducing the incidence of SIDS in our community.”
Red Nose has reduced sudden infant deaths in Australia by 80% since introducing safe sleeping campaigns in 1989.
Red Nose’s Chairman Graham Henderson said ,“We now have a broader focus for our efforts, not only SIDS but all sudden and unexpected deaths in infancy and childhood, stillbirths, miscarriages; all of those things and also other preventable causes of deaths in young children – drowning, accidental injury.”
Red Nose Board Member and Professor of Perinatal Medicine at the University of Queensland, Prof Paul Colditz, said Australia ranks only number 17 in the world in infant deaths, but new technologies and good data would help researchers achieve improved outcomes.
“We’ve got a vision here from Red Nose and it’s achievable … Australia has a very proud tradition in being able to deliver in this research space – it can and it will with Red Nose’s support.”
Red Nose also announced the launch of the new Grief and Loss website rednosegriefandloss.com.au. The website contains the stories of bereaved parents told in their own words, a place to post a message in memory of a child, and an online referral form to help health professionals connect their clients with Red Nose.
Red Nose General Manager of Research, Advocacy and Change, Jill Green said “this platform will expand the reach of our services and connect individuals and families to a range of support options and guide them through their journey with grief, giving practical advice, some things we don’t think about: how do we organise a funeral? What choices do we have? How do we say goodbye? What about going back to work? What should we say to our colleague who is returning to work?”
Bereaved parent Nikki Huang spoke about the support she and husband David received from Red Nose following the death of their son Lucian over two years ago at just five months old.
“With the help of these invaluable services provided by Red Nose – the 24 hour bereavement hotline, the counselling service, the support group facilitation, and of course the annual memorial service – the impossible has become possible: we’ve survived and happiness and joy have come back into our lives.”
Speaking at the event in support of Red Nose’s work were Labor MP Terri Butler and Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer, who said “all parties are absolutely united on the need to shine a light on these very, very important issues”. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and other MPs posed for photos with red noses. [see gallery right]
Visit the Red Nose Grief and Loss website here rednosegriefandloss.com.au.
Read Red Nose’s pledge to Australian families here rednose.com.au/page/introducing-our-pledge-to-australian-families.
Watch a video of the Canberra launch event here.