Pivoting During a Pandemic

Pivoting During a Pandemic

The year 2020 brought with it unprecedented challenges and opportunities to fulfill our mission to strengthen families, organizations and communities to prevent child maltreatment. Monitoring local and national health reports and directives regarding the spread of COVID-19 and the resulting school closures, reduced child care services and isolation placing children and families at greater risk of experiencing toxic stress and child maltreatment, and taking into consideration the often intense stress our employees and community partners were under at work and at home, Illuminate Colorado made many adjustments throughout the year in order to continue supporting the communities with which we partner. At the same time, we engaged in conversations on systemic racism, discrimination and inequities. We listened to and elevated families and communities with lived experiences.

2020 Annual Report

We learned, adapted and continue these tough conversations today because pervasive and systemic racism, both overt and passive, causes stress and trauma that can physically change a child’s brain and inhibit children from reaching their full potential. We know it is critical to address stress, trauma and the root causes of racism and white supremacy in order to create the conditions for children and families to thrive.

In the midst of it all, I am so proud of our staff and the support that we received from the community and the Paycheck Protection Program, which enabled us to avoid downsizing our staff or lessening our impact during the pandemic. As a small business employer, we’ve continued to find new ways to build our employees’ resilience and continue on a path toward a Colorado where all children and families thrive by:

  • launching a new innovative program, Illuminating Child Care, increasing access to child care for families addressing challenges;
  • bringing a new research-informed training to Colorado, Youth ThriveTM, focused on building protective and promotive factors with youth; and
  • facilitating a new collaborative space, the Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families, seeking to create the conditions for all children and families to thrive.

These are just some of the ways our organization was able to pivot during a global pandemic, highlighted in this annual report. Along the way, we learned from our experiences together, taking with us what works into the post-pandemic reality that awaits us all.

2020 Annual Report Timeline
Building a Fort on a Solid Foundation

Building a Fort on a Solid Foundation

Sometimes it is hard to quantify what it means to be a well-rounded parent, or in my case, father.  How many experiences should one provide their child?  How many activities should I be engaged in with her, personally?  How many lessons should she be signed up for?  I believe the answer is simple: as many as you both can handle.  That is just what we were doing until the pandemic hit and all our usual routines came to a screeching halt.  

We were unable to do the normal activities outside of the house and had to adapt very quickly to the new environment.  Except for the fact that I did not adapt as quickly as I should have, which was made more apparent to me by my daughter’s innocently brutal honesty when she shared her feelings about the situation and our household.

You see, her mother has the two story, 5-bedroom house, with the puppy dog and live-in boyfriend.  As for me, I’m offering a bunk bed slumber party with my daughter every night in our one bedroom, quite adorable, little “magic cottage”, as my landlord likes to call it.  Not that it’s a competition, (although it kind of most certainly is sometimes), but I am currently not in a place where I can compete. I was doing a good job of balancing it out pre-pandemic, trying to make up for what I couldn’t offer with fun, that is until the stay-at-home orders went into effect and all of the “fun” stopped. My then 4 year-old daughter made it very clear to me what side of the white-picket fence and rose garden I stood on.  It went something like this:

“I don’t like it here!  I want to go back home!  I want to go back to my family!  No, I don’t love you!  Mommy!  Mommy!  Mommy! . . .” After deliberating with this information for a long period of time, trying to reason with her, asking what we can do differently, encouraging her to think of some things to have more fun, she just kept repeating those incredibly hurtful comments and pulling my last thread of patience. 

So, I matched her intensity, and it went something like this: 

“I thought you liked this new place?!  We were in an unfinished basement before this for crying out loud!  You said you loved our new house!  Now you want to go back HOME with your FAMILY?!  How do you think that makes me feel?!  I AM your family too!  This IS also your home!  You can have a home and a family at mommy’s and a home and a family at daddy’s!  That hurts my feelings when you say that!  I’m trying over here!  What more do you want?!  I get it that your mom’s house is bigger, and you have more stuff to play with, but we do fun things too!  Have you forgotten about skiing, rock climbing, bike riding, hiking, camping, ice skating, roller skating, yoga, piano, and whatever else I can’t think of right now?!?!  We just can’t do a lot of them right now because everybody is sick!  You know, we have a big house in Texas with a huge a** backyard to run around in and a playscape to climb on!  You’ve been there!  I took you there when you were a year and a half, so I could fix it up to be a rental,  so we could move up here to Colorado, so your mom and I could both be close to you!  That’s where I could be right now, but I’m not!  I’m here, with you, because I choose to be!  Because I love you and I want to be with you!  There are a lot of other dads and moms that would not make this kind of sacrifice or would not have the means to do what I’m doing, so a little appreciation and gratitude would be nice!”

I calmly explained to her why I reacted the way that I did “because my feelings were hurt and sometimes even parents have ‘big feelings’ that are hard to manage, but it doesn’t mean that it is alright to yell and scream.”

Now before the “parenting police” come at me, quick to criticize others and shame parents for opening up about our struggles, I want to say that I am well aware that I did not handle that situation in the best fashion. I’m sharing this blog and my own experiences to help others and shine a light on parenting strategies that support physical, cognitive, language, social and emotional development, critical to helping our children reach their full potential. 

I know most of my response to her was my ego talking.  After yelling about the house for an extended period, cleaning things, throwing things away, and opening/closing doors aggressively, probably the only good thing I did was at the end of my rant, I told her that I am going to go to another room and take three deep breaths so I can calm down.  

Obviously, I missed the mark on that one earlier, but later is better than never, I suppose.  When I came back to her room, a little more clear headed, I found her scared, hiding from me at the top of her bunk bed. That sinking feeling of regret began to weigh heavy in my chest. I picked her up and brought her to the couch, holding her, rocking her and apologizing.  

I calmly explained to her why I reacted the way that I did “because my feelings were hurt and sometimes even parents have ‘big feelings’ that are hard to manage, but it doesn’t mean that it is alright to yell and scream.”  I reminded her that she is allowed to remind me to take my three deep breaths when she sees me getting upset or frustrated just like she reminds me to clean up my language when she hears me use a cuss word.  

This routine isn’t to impose her responsibility over my emotions, quite the contrary. It allows her the freedom to impose the same behavior corrections on me as I do for her.  This allows her to see that adults can also make mistakes and helps me model the proper way to accept constructive criticism while also reminding me to model good behavior for her.  The same kind of behavior I expect from her. But most importantly, it gives her skin in the game and a sense of ownership within our household and the household rules, which can be a very empowering and a confidence building experience.  It’s not whether the actions in this case were right or wrong, this is just what parenting looks like sometimes when we get overloaded by stress. A feeling we all became familiar with in the midst of stress induced by the pandemic which continues today.  

What is most important from this exchange is the lessons we both learned from the experience and how we recovered from it. I certainly learned about instilling more patience in my response times and that my daughter’s feelings on certain aspects that I may not necessarily agree with are legit and should be treated as such, even if what she has to say can feel hurtful to me/my ego.  

At the end of the day, I am the adult and I should be able to do better.  I believe what she learned from that experience is that words are powerful and they can really hurt people’s feelings and a bad reaction to her words, like mine, is a possibility. I also believe she learned that adults, too, are not perfect. We make mistakes just like she does, but when we do, we recognize the mistake, apologize and try to move forward.  

I think a potentially negative outcome from that experience may now be that she is a little more hesitant, not feeling safe to speak, believing that I may become angry in the fashion I did again.  Like, I may have broken the trust with her for open and honest communication due to my reaction.  That being said, it is not always a bad thing to take a pause before one decides to speak and maybe also decide not to speak at all after calculating the unproductive outcome that may transpire.  

 

It was the beginning of setting the groundwork for a good foundation based on trust, love, open communication and teamwork.  We both went to work thinking of different indoor activities and ideas that we could do together and things she could look forward to doing with me when it was time to come back after her week with her mother.

The other side of that coin is a willingness to then lie about the truth of what we are feeling to avoid potential consequences or a conflict; which is exactly what I noticed manifesting months after I “lost it during the pandemic” and something we are both happily working on together to solve.

It was the beginning of setting the groundwork for a good foundation based on trust, love, open communication and teamwork.  We both went to work thinking of different indoor activities and ideas that we could do together and things she could look forward to doing with me when it was time to come back after her week with her mother.  Since we had a collection of Amazon and Costco boxes, the first task was to build a fort!  We both helped build it and paint it and continuously add her artwork to it that she brought home from school.  It was basically two stories and took up most of the living room, but was well worth the tight squeeze with all of the memories we created with it.  The fort led to other fun things for us to do together, like our activities board filled with things like yoga, hiking, piano practice, letter sounds, bike riding, roller-skating and Spanish practice.  

For each activity on our board she would get a sticker to put on a sticky note pad next to the activity.  When she got three stickers on an activity, she would transfer the stick note pad to another board where she could earn 5 minutes of screen time with Kahn Academy Kids/ABC Mouse, OR she could add up more sticky note pads to bake cookies with Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa over zoom! This then lead to me purchasing my first board game for her, (Candy Land), and gracefully teaching her the art of losing with good sportsmanship.  😊  

The final addition to our pandemic forced shift of “fun” came in the form of card games (I hate card games, by the way).  But, this one actually turned out to be a great learning experience for me as well, considering I did not think that a four and a half year old could grasp the idea of some of these card games, like memory, Slap Jack, and Goldfish, and I did not think I would have so much fun watching her learn the games?!  Nevermind the fact that I had to reread the directions on how to play most of these games.  Ha!  The time together turned out to be some of the best bonding we have ever done, partially because of the adversities we had to overcome and the determination to push through it as a team.  

It all started with that breakdown in communication, where we hurt each other’s feelings, had to set new expectations in our relationship and rebuild the trust on a solid foundation. . . . A foundation perfect for a fort that would take up my whole living room for almost a year until we were finally ready to take it down so we could put up our Christmas Tree.  That fort became the quintessential metaphor for what we were going through as a family and possibly what our society was going through as a whole.  The building of that fort is something I will never take for granted and never ever forget in reflecting on the true purpose that it actually served.

About the Author

About the Author

Adam N. S. Combs is a blog contributor helping to illuminate the protective factors in his family’s life by sharing his experiences as a father, military veteran and Circle of Parents facilitator through storytelling.

Shaping Colorado’s Early Childhood Landscape

Shaping Colorado’s Early Childhood Landscape

Colorado is at a turning point. Due to the passage of House Bill 1304 Early Childhood System, the state is embarking on a journey to redesign how the state structures early childhood programming by creating a new state Department of Early Childhood, effective July 1, 2022. Over the course of the next year, the Early Childhood Leadership Commission will be developing and approving a transition plan–with input from families and professionals across the state. There is no bigger opportunity for Coloradans to inform systems alignment for family well-being for families with young children–which is why I’m humbled and honored to be named to the Early Childhood Transition Advisory Group. 

 

As a member of the Early Childhood Transition Advisory Group, I’ll be bringing both Illuminate Colorado’s research-informed family strengthening perspective to the process as well as my experience as a mom of three. Our systems will work better for Colorado families when they are built by Colorado families. 

Healthy brain development is a building process that begins before we are born. The interaction of genes and experiences shapes the developing brain and relationships are the active ingredient in this serve and return process. Cognitive, emotional and social capacities are intertwined, and learning, behavior and physical and mental health are interrelated over the course of our lives. Supporting positive experiences and loving relationships create a strong foundation that helps ensure that a child builds the skills necessary for a lifetime of well-being. 

With a holistic, strengths-based perspective, we can strengthen families by building on what’s working while transforming what isn’t. As I engage in the process, the following will be top of mind:

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What the research has shown about the five Protective Factors that have the power to prevent and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. 

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The ideas and perspectives voiced through the Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families.

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Bold, broad, and universal approaches to supporting family formation and expansion–including home visiting and programs that facilitate social connections for new parents.

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Our unique opportunities for proactive community-based support for families impacted by substance use.

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Considerations for expanding accessibility and affordability of child care and early childhood education for all families with young children.

Join me in shaping Colorado’s early childhood landscape.

ADD YOUR VOICE to the process by participating in one of the many Early Childhood Transition Planning’s engagement opportunities.

SIGN UP for regular updates on the Department of Early Childhood Transition Planning and Universal Preschool Recommendations process.

What good was his diagnosis anyway?

What good was his diagnosis anyway?

I finally realized my adult son was not going to be able to live independently when he couldn’t hold down a job and had several arrests for theft. It was not fun going to court or visiting him in jail. I was seriously afraid he’d end up in prison.

I regret waiting to get a diagnosis until he was 23 and by that point I was desperate. What was I thinking? (“It is expensive; we know he has issues, but why get a diagnosis?”) Now I understand the importance of a diagnosis and want to share our story—how it helped my son, and me,  to become Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) aware.

Early diagnosis is very important. Ensuring access to quality and affordable diagnostic services can support families in receiving additional services and support. Getting a diagnosis of a FASD for yourself, your child or loved one can result in additional support to thrive into adulthood, like developmental disability services or educational services. Here are my six reasons to get the diagnosis:

 (Dana Cadey / For the Camera) Emmaus Holder, left, is pictured with fellow FASD advocate Marilyn Fausset and blog author, featured in Colorado Daily article Cross-country bicyclist raises awareness and connects with local advocate for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

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An evaluation from an FASD-aware neuropsychologist and the resulting report, with a fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) diagnosis, helped me explain my son’s behaviors—like can’t vs. won’t. I look back and see so many times when I thought “he wouldn’t.” Now I realize “he couldn’t.” I realize that although he had many diagnoses over the years, FAS trumps them all. It’s brain damage. I now understand his behaviors in an informed light. I can focus on interventions recommended by FASD experts and parents.

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In Colorado, an FASD-related diagnosis, coupled with a low adaptive score, qualified my adult son for developmental disability (DD) services. No need for a low IQ. I often think this was life-saving (not to mention money-saving). My son receives SSI, Medicaid, and he has a comprehensive DD waiver and lives in a host home, with all his support services Medicaid-funded. 

PROTIP – For children, an early diagnosis combined with DD services can help you avoid a long wait list for adult services.

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My son is an adult. He doesn’t want to live with me (and vice versa). Can I be mom the same way to an adult as to a child? No. Services based on his diagnosis gave us this option—he lives outside our home—and somebody else handles his medical visits and meds. And he knows (to an extent) why life has been so challenging for him—the fetal alcohol exposure. He is not at fault.

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 If I’d known about his FAS sooner, I believe his education (especially his special education supports and accommodations) could have been more geared toward his true needs/his real disability. 

PROTIP – Colorado recognizes an FASD diagnosis as “Other” to qualify for special education services.

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If my son gets in trouble with the law again, I know I can ask them to consider his disability. We already experienced a lowered sentence and charge after I could attest that he had just qualified for DD services. 

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I have recently applied for social security benefits (I’m at that age!). My son will qualify for additional social security payments based on my social security, as an adult disabled child.  Now, and when I pass, he will receive money to help with living expenses. 

PROTIP – Diagnosis before age 23 would have helped on this one!

I think back to when we signed our son up for culinary arts classes at Colorado Mesa Community College. He was living in the dorm, with support in place. If I’d had the diagnosis before that, I would have saved a lot of money—and avoided a failure. The neuropsychologist’s report pointed out that he couldn’t (not wouldn’t) handle such a setting–not with his poor executive functioning. Unknowingly, I set him up to fail. 

I look at the importance of a diagnosis. We want our kids to succeed as best they can. For them to do so, we need to see them as they are–to know the truth, informed by an FASD-aware diagnosis. The truth of FASD is that support can be tailored to the individual–to how their brain and body works. My son deserves that, and I owe that to him and now hope to help other families both follow and avoid walking in my footsteps. 

PROTIP – It can often be difficult for families to find a provider in Colorado equipped to make an FASD diagnosis. So, members of the Substance Exposed Newborns FASD Workgroup and families impacted by FASD, including myself, worked together to create a list of providers equipped to diagnose under the FASD umbrella. Illuminate Colorado, home to the Colorado Chapter of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS), is committed to ensure this list remains a resource for families into the future. 

About the Author

Marilyn Fausset is a mother committed to sharing the experiences of her family impacted by FASD through the story-telling Becoming FASD Aware blog series.

Family Voice Makes a Difference Illuminating Systemic Change

Family Voice Makes a Difference Illuminating Systemic Change

Families are experts on their children and by extension the programs intended to support them in strengthening their families and addressing challenges. It is for this reason that Illuminate Colorado looks to parents and caregivers with lived experiences as the driving force within coalitions and networks focused on systemic change. We connected with three Coloradans giving voice to their experiences through two collective spaces “walking the walk” so to speak when it comes to the family voice movement to get their reflections on the impact Illuminate is having in the field.  

Increasingly, there is an effort to involve parents and caregivers from all walks of life in the decision-making process of systemic change, as well as program improvement. “Nothing for us without us! It is important that we listen and honor lived experience. We need to uplift and celebrate lived experience by saving them a seat at the table,” said Heather Hicks, a mother of two and a family voice representative for the Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families. “The Partnership”, as it’s more commonly known, is a collaborative space aiming to create conditions where children and the adults in their lives can thrive. The Partnership is building collaboration at the state and local level to align funding, priorities, regulations, outcome measures and implementation – across sectors and jurisdictions to create a strong family well-being system that supports families. As the backbone support team for the Partnership, Illuminate is guiding vision and strategy, supporting aligned activities, establishing shared measurement practices, cultivating community engagement and mobilizing resources in support of this collective effort. 

“I have worked in various spaces similar to the Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families. I have been the parent that professionals have refused to listen to. I have been that parent that professionals look in the face and nod their heads then do nothing. I have been the parent that has continued to cry out and strive for equitable spaces for families so that they come and participate in the decisions that are being made for them. I have been the parent that has spent years fighting for change and has seen very little transpire from it. So to come from that and walk into a space where Illuminate has opened their arms and hearts to not only hear what we have to say, but to boldly act upon what we have to say – it is a beautiful thing,” said Hicks. 

Hicks and Fikile Ryder, another mother of two engaged as a Partnership family voice representative, have been involved in this collaborative space for more than a year now. They both co-founded the Partnership Family & Caregiver Space and serve on the leadership team for the Partnership. “Illuminate is an unsung leader in the equity charge for lived experience. What makes them special is that they lead with compassion and heart. As an organization, they have unconditionally supported our asks and needs,” shared Ryder.

When the two women spoke to the Partnership leadership team about fair compensation for families and lived experience working with the Partnership, they said it was an extremely awkward and difficult conversation to have. As women, they felt the social constraints against them that make it even more difficult to advocate and ask for compensation for their time and talent. Reaching out to Illuminate to talk about how they were feeling was a moment the women recognized as the moment “the tables turned a little bit and they felt like equals who were being valued and heard”, crediting Illuminate for acting quickly to strive towards a solution. “We were met with support, kindness, advocacy, ideas, kind words and overall love. This was a turning point for the Family and Caregiver Space,” said Ryder.  

From that moment on efforts were made to demonstrate a real commitment to equity within the Partnership by compensating family voice representatives for their time away from their personal and professional lives, increasing pay for family voice partners to $50 per hour. And while Illuminate is heartened to hear that the process of getting to this milestone in family voice compensation felt positive and swift, Illuminate is also quick to credit philanthropic support and a shared desire among all of the Partnership Leadership Team for this additional investment. It is unique among the collective spaces that Illuminate supports right now, however, honoring the lived experiences of families is not. The Colorado Substance Exposed Newborns Steering Committee was established in 2008 and is a subcommittee of the Colorado Substance Abuse Trend and Response Task Force. In 2019, the Family Advisory Board (FAB) to the steering committee was formed in order to elevate the voices of families who have experienced, directly or indirectly, the impacts of substance use during pregnancy.

Diane Smith is a mother of three who has a leadership role within this steering committee, as well as the Family Advisory Board. “It is important to involve families with lived experiences as voice partners in program improvements and systemic change because it is the best way for our systems to evolve. When people are trying to identify what works, what doesn’t work, and how we change things for the next family, it is important for families to give input and share their experience,” said Smith.   

The FAB has been instrumental to the understanding of barriers in seeking support, health care, including treatment and other services, and informing of priority-setting within the steering committee to raise awareness and best serve the needs of families impacted by substance use. Stepping into an advocacy role like this one can be hard for parents and caregivers and Smith points to a strong relationship with Hattie Landry, Illuminate strategic initiatives manager for making her experience a positive one. 

“It is important for FAB members to feel like they are vetted into the situation and feel comfortable with the group of individuals before they share their story. Hattie makes us feel comfortable, she shows a lot of empathy as a person and colleague,” said Smith. When asked what decision-makers can do to support family voice partners and what non family-voice partners can do to create spaces where everyone feels valued and heard, Smith reminds organizers to be flexible and meet families where they are at by communicating by phone, email, text or even in person to ease the stress of sharing their story. 

Five Things We've Learned from Collaborating with Family Partners

Illuminate’s work within the Spectrum of Prevention fostering coalitions and networks to ensure continued progress on policy priorities, identify opportunities to protect existing policies that are serving families and enhance policy implementation has expanded over the last several years. The organization now supports eight different collaborative spaces to advance child maltreatment prevention in Colorado, with Landry facilitating discussions with family voice partners across many of these spaces. She gives five quick tips for organizations and collaborative spaces based on what we’ve learned from collaborating with family partners: 

  1. Ask family voice partners what their goals & visions are for systems-level projects.
  2. Involve family voice partners from the very start of projects.
  3. Don’t make assumptions about what families need. Ask questions, listen, learn, adapt, and grow.
  4. Provide equitable compensation to family voice partners for their time and expertise.
  5. Support family voice partners and non family-voice partners to create spaces where everyone is and feels valued and heard, creating equitable decision-making processes. 
New Federal Safety Standard for Infant Sleep Products Help Make Smart Choices to Keep Kids Safe

New Federal Safety Standard for Infant Sleep Products Help Make Smart Choices to Keep Kids Safe

When you walk into any store to buy something for a new baby on the way, you assume that the products on the shelves are safe, but those who’ve spent some time learning about safe sleep recommendations and guidelines know that isn’t the case when it comes to infant sleep products. Earlier this month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the approval of a new federal rule to ensure products marketed or intended for infant sleep will provide a safe sleep environment for babies under 5 months old. Beginning in mid-2022, any product intended or marketed for infant sleep must meet a federal safety standard—a requirement that does not exist today. 

The new mandatory standard will effectively eliminate potentially hazardous sleep products in the marketplace that do not currently meet a CPSC mandatory standard for infant sleep, such as inclined sleepers, travel and compact bassinets, and in-bed sleepers, which have been linked to dozens of infant deaths. Popular products formerly referred to as “inclined sleep products” include several styles that have been recalled over the years. In fact, just this week, Fisher-Price announced a recall of thousands of baby soothers, gliders after 4 infant deaths, including one baby from Colorado.  

“This change will be historic and save lives in Colorado,” said Kate Jankovsky, childhood adversity prevention manager with the Violence and Injury Prevention-Mental Health Promotion Branch of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and member of the Colorado Infant Safe Sleep Partnership. “This will make it easier for all consumers to buy, use and give infant sleep products as gifts. Today, many people are unknowingly buying products known to be unsafe for an infant to sleep.” 

The lack of regulation of infant sleep products and the abundance of unsafe sleep objects and devices manufactured and sold throughout the United States has frustrated advocates, health care professionals and parents who have lost children, alike, for years. Dr. Sunah S. Hwang, the Lula O. Lubchenco Chair in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine and Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Perinatal Health Services Research with the University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics Section of Neonatology, highlighted the need for action by the Commission in The Call to Translate Data Into Action to Prevent Infant Death published just last month. Stating “[a]lthough states such as Ohio, Maryland, and New York have banned
the sale of unsafe items such as crib bumpers, these soft bedding objects continue to be manufactured,
marketed, and sold. The Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously in 2020 to proceed with developing a federal safety rule that would ban the sale of crib bumpers that limit airflow. We eagerly await
the results of the federal rulemaking process.” Hwang highlighted the fact that

of SUID cases categorized as “explained” or “unexplained–possible suffocation,” 74% of airway obstructions were due to soft bedding. In short, 1145 infants may have survived their first year of life had soft bedding not been used during their sleep.”

Later this year, the Commission expects to consider federal safety standards for crib bumpers and crib mattresses. CPSC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have long warned of the dangers of bed-sharing or co-sleeping. The new rule does not take any action against bed-sharing without sleep products. Instead, it shifts responsibility to manufacturers to assist parents who want to bed-share, by requiring them to produce only products that are safe to do so. The new rule also does not extend to items that are expressly not intended or marketed for infant sleep, such as swings and car seats.

 

As a reminder, the safest place for a baby to sleep is a flat, bare surface dedicated to the infant. The Colorado Infant Safe Sleep Partnership is actively recruiting members interested in getting involved to support families, providers, organizations and policymakers to increase infant safe sleep practices and address related barriers and disparities, through education, practice change and systems improvement. 

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