Seven different fundraisers are planned across the state Saturday for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.
It is the number one disease that claims the life of babies under the age of one. One of the fundraisers is in Le Mars — where Pam Jeneary serves on the board of directors with the Iowa Association of SIDS. She and her husband Tom lost a child due to SIDS.
“About 38 years ago now already. Our son Stevie Michael passed away from SIDS when he was four months and three days,” Jeneary says. Jeneary has taken on an active role following her son’s death in calling attention to SIDS, including organizing fundraisers to help with SIDS research.
Jeneary says researchers still don’t know the reasons why some babies die “At this point I think there’s just a lot of hypothesis about what is causes SIDS. To my knowledge there hasn’t really been anything specific that is causing it,” Jeneary says. She says the fundraising goes toward helping scientists and medical professionals trying to better understand the cause and a cure. There have been some steps taken to try and prevent the deaths.
“We have since 1995 done ‘back to sleep baby’ — which has reduced the risk of SIDS — putting babies back to sleep on their back, having a fitted sheet on their mattress with no bumper pads, no blankets. They really require that you use a sleep sack,” according to Jeneary. “Those are things that seem like they have helped somewhat.”
Jeneary says statewide, the organization has a goal of raising at least $50,000. Nearly 2,000 infant deaths nationwide each year can be attributed to SIDS.
(By Dennis Morrice, KLEM, LeMars)