September is National Baby Safety Month. In this podcast, Kirk Schreiber, CTF Executive Director, discusses the steps to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) with Lori Behrens, Executive Director, SIDS Resources. They talk about the basic recommendations for providing a safe sleeping environment for infants and how to reduce the risk of SIDS. Through the ABC’s of Safe Sleep, listeners are given specific guidelines on how they can prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome while providing the safest sleeping environment for their children.
September is National Baby Safety Month in which the Missouri Safe Sleep Coalition is focusing on Safe to Sleep practices for infants. The Coalition has been convening over the last several months with the goal of increasing efforts of safe sleep awareness and education across the state. Coalition member agencies include the Children’s Trust Fund, Children’s Mercy Hospital – Kansas City, MO Department of Health & Senior Services, MO Department of Social Services, State Technical Assistance Team, Mother & Child Health Coalition, and SIDS Resources. During September, the Coalition is spreading the safe sleep awareness message via a unified social media campaign, in addition to CTF’s Safe to Sleep Media/Social Media Campaign that includes radio announcements; web promotion; metro transit advertising in St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield; and refreshed Safe to Sleep materials available free to Missourians.
“Infant deaths due to suffocation and strangulation related to unsafe sleep environments are preventable. While this is a message that resonates throughout the year, Baby Safety Month gives us an added opportunity to increase the awareness as a group,” said Paula Cunningham, Children’s Trust Fund Public Affairs & Education Coordinator. “If parents and other caregivers only remember one thing about safe sleep for their babies, it is this…Safe to Sleep is as simple as ABC. Babies should sleep Alone, on their Backs in a Crib,” said Cunningham.
Know the key Safe to Sleep messages to keep babies safe & reduce the risk of SIDS & other sleep-related causes of death:
- Place baby on his/back to sleep alone, for naps & night time, to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Place your baby in a safety-approved crib, bassinet or portable play area with a firm sleep surface & fitted sheet.
- Do NOT place baby to sleep on an adult bed or other soft mattress, waterbed, sofa, chair, beanbag, pillow, cushion, other soft surface or in a car seat.
- Remove all soft objects, toys, blankets, bumper pads, pillows from the baby sleep area.
- Dress baby in a sleeper/sleep sack instead of using a blanket or other covering..
- Put baby to sleep alone in a separate sleep such as a crib or bassinet, but in the same room where you sleep. Bed sharing is dangerous.
For more information about safe sleep for babies go to:
Children’s Trust Fund
National Institute of Child Health & Human Development
Listen to Radio PSA – 5 Steps for Safe Sleep
Listen to Radio PSA – ABC’s of Safe Sleep
The Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) Board of Directors recently awarded over $1.7 million in funding for State Fiscal Year 2017 to support 88 different organizations throughout Missouri for the prevention of child abuse and neglect and to strengthen families. The funds were awarded after a competitive grant and review process, and will be used to support evidence-based and promising programs including home visitation, safe crib, parent education, crisis nursery, fatherhood support, sexual abuse prevention, and community collaboration. Several grants will also address training needs including Stewards of Children focusing on child sexual abuse prevention & awareness, online training for mandated reporters of abuse, building Strengthening Families Protective Factors, and Parent Cafes’. The CTF Board invested additional dollars in public education and awareness bringing the total in prevention funding to just over $2 million dollars for the year. Public education campaigns focus on Strengthening Families, Shaken Baby/Abusive Head Trauma Prevention, safe sleep environments, child safety in or around vehicles (Not Even For A Minute), emotional abuse and neglect prevention, positive parenting, realistic expectations of children and stress reduction.
CTF receives funding from dedicated fees on marriage licenses and vital records, voluntary contributions designated on the Missouri State Income Tax Return, sales of the specialty CTF license plate, general donations, interest income from the Fund, and a Federal grant. Grants are awarded for one year with the possibility of renewal for an additional four years based on the performance outcome of the program and the availability of CTF funds. During the last three years, the grantee is required to fund an increasing proportion of the program’s cost.
Established by the Missouri General Assembly in 1983, CTF is Missouri’s non-profit foundation for child abuse and neglect prevention. In its 33-year history, CTF has awarded over $58 million dollars of non-general revenue funds for prevention programs throughout Missouri.
Never Leave Kids Alone in Cars…Period!
With extreme temperatures building across Missouri and much of the country, the Children’s Trust Fund reminds everyone to never leave a child alone in a vehicle. Missouri CTF’s ongoing Not Even For A Minute Campaign encourages parents and caregivers to NEVER leave children unattended in or around vehicles. Left alone in a vehicle for a short time, a child is in danger of heat stroke, dehydration, overheating, hyperthermia, injury, abduction and even death.
Our friends from the national organization KidsAndCars offer the following simple tips for parents & caregivers to keep kids safe & prevent tragedies:
- Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.
- “Look Before You Lock” – Get in the habit of always opening the back door to check the back seat before leaving your vehicle. Make sure no child has been left behind.
- Create a reminder to check the back seat.
- Put something you’ll need like your cell phone, handbag, employee ID or brief case, etc., in the back seat so that you have to open the back door to retrieve that item every time you park.
- Keep a large stuffed animal in the child’s car seat. When the child is placed in the car seat, put the stuffed animal in the front passenger seat. It’s a visual reminder that the child is in the back seat.
- Make sure you have a strict policy in place with your childcare provider about daycare drop- off. Everyone involved in the care of your child should always be aware of their whereabouts. If your child will not be attending daycare as scheduled, it is the parent’s responsibility to call and inform the childcare provider. If your child does not show up as scheduled; and they have not received a call from the parent, the childcare provider pledges to contact you immediately to ensure the safety of your child. (this is very similar to the ‘absence-line’ used by most elementary, middle and high schools)
- Keep vehicles locked at all times, even in driveways or garages. Ask home visitors, child care providers and neighbors to do the same.
- Keep car keys and remote openers out of reach of children.
- If a child goes missing, immediately check the inside passenger compartments and trunks of all vehicles in the area very carefully, even if they are locked. A child may lock the car doors after entering a vehicle on their own, but may not be able to unlock them.
- Be especially careful during busy times, schedule changes and periods of crisis or holidays. This is when many tragedies occur.
- Use drive-thru services when available (restaurants, banks, pharmacies, dry cleaners, etc.) and pay for gas at the pump.
- If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. Call 911 immediately. If the child seems hot or sick, get them out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.
Please share these important safety tips with your childcare providers, teachers, relatives, friends, family & neighbors. And always remember to keep your pets safe from hot cars as well. It could save a life! Not Even For A Minute public education materials can be ordered free of charge.
Children’s Mental Health Week is a critical time to bring awareness to the mental health needs of children and youth in Missouri. Approximately 13–20 percent of children living in the United States experience a mental disorder in a given year. Poor outcomes for these children can be prevented with early intervention and access to appropriate services. Focusing attention on children’s mental health educates the public, helps build understanding and acceptance, and helps diminish harmful stigma.
The Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH) has developed tool kits, posted fact sheets and other materials to help assist local areas in designing activities and events that raise awareness about children’s mental health. Facebook and other social marketing tools are also available to local organizations to use throughout the month of May.
Additional tools and resources are available on the DMH website and:
Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) Board member Nanci A. Bobrow, Ph.D., St. Louis, was honored by Nurses For Newborns (NFN) on April 17, 2016 at the 18th Annual A Night for Newborns Dinner Auction presented by World Wide Technology, Inc. Dr. Bobrow is the 3rd recipient of the Champion for Families Award, a special award honoring those who dedicate their lives to helping children.
Dr. Bobrow, a licensed psychologist, served on the CTF Board of Directors from 2000 – 2008 and was appointed in 2012 by Governor Nixon where she continues in this position. She was CTF Board Chair from 2005 – 2007. She has been a member of the NFN Board of Directors since 2007 and served as Board President 2010 – 2012. Dr. Bobrow is also active with the St. Louis Crisis Nursery, Vision for Children at Risk and the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) St. Louis Section and previously served on the State Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board. She has several publications, honors and awards including the 1996 Woman of Achievement Award.
Nurses for Newborns provides a safety net for families most at-risk in order to prevent infant mortality, child abuse and neglect by providing in-home nursing visits which promote healthcare, education, and positive parenting skills in Missouri and Tennessee.
Wiseman is an attorney with Husch Blackwell law firm in St. Louis and a graduate of Washington University School of Law. He is an assistant coach of the law school’s national moot court team, and had been a member of the team while in law school. Wiseman was president of the student body at the University of Central Missouri, where he earned his undergraduate degree. He and his wife, Eve, are the proud parents of two children. Wiseman replaces Susan Block, St. Louis, who has served on the Board since 2009. The Governor has appointed him for a term ending Sept. 15, 2018.
The CTF Board of Directors is comprised of twenty-one volunteer members, seventeen of whom are public members appointed by the Governor, with twelve of those members requiring confirmation by the Senate, two from the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House, and two from the Missouri Senate appointed by the President Pro Tem. Public members may serve up to two consecutive 3-year terms.
The Family & Community Trust (FACT), recently released the 2016 Missouri KIDS COUNT Data Book documenting the status of children in all 114 Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis. The annual report is a collaborative project of FACT, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis (OSEDA) -University of Missouri, the Children’s Trust Fund (CTF), and 20 Community Partnerships from across the state. The book was released during an April 5 press conference at the University of Missouri.
The report provides an annual, state and county-level analysis of
child well-being measuring indicators of Economic Security, Child Protection and Safety, Education and Health. Data for the report is compiled from more than 80 federal, state, county and municipal sources by OSEDA.
To examine trends over time, Missouri KIDS COUNT compared the most current data (2014) to 2010 baseline data, which revealed that seven outcome measures improved in Missouri during this time period including: births to teens, unintentional injury, annual high school dropouts, births to mothers without a high school diploma, infant mortality, child deaths and low birth-weight infants. Outcomes that worsened during the same time period include children under 18 in poverty, child abuse/neglect and family assessments, and children entering/re-entering state custody.
Primary funding for the project is provided by Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Children’s Trust Fund.