Text Alternative: Healthy Native Babies Project: Safe Sleep Train-The-Trainer Module 6 of 6

To view the original video, please go to https://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov/training/native-communities.

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Healthy Native Babies Project logo.

Healthy Native Babies Project:
Honoring the Past, Learning for the Future

A Collaboration Between the Healthy Native Babies Project Workgroup and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services logo.

NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development logo.
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Photo: Leah Henry-Tanner

Leah Henry-Tanner, BS
Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho

Photo: Geradine Simkins

Geradine Simkins
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Safe Sleep Train-The-Trainer

Training Location:
Yakama Nation Cultural Heritage Center
Toppenish, WA
August 7, 2014
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Workbook Chapters 3, 4, and 5
  • Strategies for Reaching Communities:
    • Knowing your audiences
    • Taking action
    • Planning and sustaining your project
Photo of child sitting on woman’s lap. (Here, and in the following sections, the camera cuts back and forth between Leah Henry-Tanner, the participants, and the slides.)
Leah Henry-Tanner: So, this section you can find in the workbook, the yellow workbook, chapters 3, 4, and 5. So, let's start thinking about ways to reach our communities and our different community members. The strategies in this lesson encompass three overarching activities: getting to know your audience; number two, taking action to spread safe sleep messages in the community; and then three, planning and sustaining a Healthy Native Babies Project here in your own community or with the people that you work with.

Who needs SIDS education?
  • Parents and Parents-to-Be
  • Foster Parents and Families
  • The Community
    • Elders
    • Youth
    • Other Family and Friends
  Photo of parents, grandparents, and infant.
Leah Henry-Tanner: Who needs SIDS education? I think we've been really clear as we've been working together today that it's everybody that needs SIDS risk-reduction education. Everyone who cares for infants or cares about babies needs SIDS education.

Parents and parents-to-be certainly are a key group that we want to reach. Also include foster parents because we know a lot of families–a lot of babies are living in foster situations often with relatives. And so, they need SIDS risk-reduction education. And then, everybody in the community–elders, as we demonstrated in the scenarios. Elders are a real resource for communities–for families. And so, they need the right information to be able to share with the families and everybody that they come in contact with.

Youth are also an important group that we need to reach. Often, youth are taking care of younger siblings or babysitting. So, they need to know the ways to reduce the risk of SIDS. And then, other families and friends.

So many people are working really hard, and they leave their children with trusted friends or other adults, and they watch the babies. So, anybody who takes care of a baby needs to have SIDS risk-reduction education.

Who needs SIDS education?
  • Child care providers are a critical audience for SIDS risk-reduction information.
Photo of woman holding baby in cradleboard with three girls around her.
Leah Henry-Tanner: Child care providers are also an important group that need to have SIDS risk-reduction education. Here in Washington State there's been some babies that are dying in child care places, and so there's been a lot of attention at the legislature. There was a roundtable that was convened a couple months ago, specifically addressing SIDS and child care providers. And so, there is definitely a need to educate those folks. So, home daycares and then other licensed daycares as well. Everybody needs SIDS risk-reduction education.
(Camera cuts to Geradine Simkins.) Geradine Simkins: Well, and one of the things that I find stunning is that 20 percent of the infants who die of SIDS are in the care of somebody other than the parent. And so, often that means in a child care situation. I mean, that's one fifth, right, of all the SIDS babies. That's a stunning statistic to me.

Who needs SIDS education?
  • Health Care Providers
    • Doctors
    • Dentists
    • Nurses
    • Pharmacists
    • Public Health Educators
  • Emergency Personnel and First Responders
  • All Community Members
Leah Henry-Tanner: We talked about this too. Health care providers also need SIDS risk-reduction education. We were talking about doctors and nurses who weren't necessarily giving good information to families. And so, having a connection to providers is also really important to share this information with them.

So, doctors and dentists, nurses, pharmacists, and public health educators, as well as emergency responders/first responders who are coming and having to come into some really intense situations–they also could benefit from SIDS risk-reduction education. And then again, all community members. Everybody should have this information. Everybody who takes care of babies should have this information.

Good Relationships

Photo of family with health care provider.

(Here, and in the following sections, the camera cuts back and forth between Geradine Simkins, the slides, and the participants.)
Geradine Simkins: So, good relationships, that's something that we were talking about. Did you plant that purposely to give that to me? [Laughter.]

Something we were talking about in terms of how important it is that when we build those good relationships that we're most likely to get into people's minds and hearts.

Be consistent!
  • It is important to be consistent with your safe sleep messages:
    • Same information
    • Same messages
    • Same images and methods
  • Why is it important? SIDS risk is 8 times higher when a baby used to sleeping on her/his back is placed on tummy to sleep (even for “just a nap”)!
Geradine Simkins: So be consistent. It's really important to be consistent with the message. And, I think we were talking about that in that one group that you were in–same information, same messages, and same images and methods. So, it's not good for us to give this group this information, and then this group this information, because it's so confusing.

Because as Maria and I were talking about earlier, when we were raising our babies everything was different. All the information is different, so it's really important for those of us who are trying to reeducate the entire culture really, that we be–good information and messages but same images, same methods–be really consistent.

And, why is it important? Because if we, for example, help parents understand the importance–and their families understand the importance–of back sleeping, but then they take the infant to a child care center that doesn't have that kind of a protocol, and they sleep the baby on the stomach, those babies are eight times higher risk for SIDS. Babies who have already been back sleeping, and then are switched to belly sleeping. Isn't that an amazing statistic?

Be effective.
  • Use of fear, guild and shame is usually not effective in sustaining new desirable behaviors.
  • Focusing on effective actions that people can take to reduce the risk of SIDS is a more effective and respectful tactic.
Photo shows a mother with a health care provider in a medical office.
Geradine Simkins: Be effective. So, one of the things that these stations were really, really good for, and especially I think this one here where you're trying to teach people about that safe environment, is that guilt, fear, shame–all of those things are the wrong way to go at it. If we try to undermine a parent or a caregiver's innate love for and innate smarts and wisdom and knowledge, we're...we're...they're gonna shut us off.

So, it's important to use really good techniques when teaching, and to give praise and to congratulate people, and to just continue to let people know we understand that you, as the mother, father, caregiver, consider this baby the most important thing. You know? That you–we know that. We know you're smart. We know you want the best for your baby. So, always give the kinds of things that will open people's ears to hearing the parts of the messages.

You gotta make people feel good before they'll hear the message. Right? You don't make them feel good, they're not going to hear your message. They're going to turn you off.

Special Audiences

Hard-to-Reach Groups
  • Remember to consider “hidden” groups that need SIDS information.
  • Go to them if they are unable to come to classes, health fairs, and gatherings.
  • Collaborate with community outreach services to reach out to them.
Geradine Simkins: So, let's talk about some special audiences, some hard-to-reach groups. Remember, there's hidden groups all over our communities. Go to where they are because sometimes they might not be able to come to where you are for a variety of reasons. Go to classes, health fairs, gatherings, and collaborate with the community outreach.

What's really nice about this meeting and these kinds of sessions that we teach is that there are those of you from other groups, and you can cross...cross-pollinate and cross-train with one another. So, you know, this group might already know some things that this group might find helpful about going to, probably, hard-to-reach groups. You know, for sure. So, talk to one another.

Special Audiences
  • Homeless
  • The Incarcerated
  • Those Using Alcohol or Substances
  • Families Affected by Mental Health Problems
  • Families Affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), or Learning Disabilities
Geradine Simkins: So, here are some of the special audiences: the homeless, the incarcerated, those using alcohol or substances, families affected by mental health problems, and families that are FASD, FAS–yeah. So, these are the special audiences that really need our attention.

Reaching Out

When reaching out, be persistent.
  • Go to where the people are!
  • Use community outreach services.
  • Provide additional support for those affected by FASD, FAS, or other learning impairments.
Geradine Simkins: So, when reaching out, be persistent. Continue to go where the people are. It doesn't do us any good to have all this great information and all these wonderful brochures if they're sitting in the office somewhere and the people who are on the streets, or incarcerated, or don't have transportation don't ever see them. So, go out to where the people are.  

Safe Sleep Train-The-Trainer

This Concludes Module 6 of 6

For more information and materials about SIDS, reducing SIDS risk, or the Healthy Native Babies Project, contact the Safe to Sleep® campaign at:  1-800-505-CRIB (2742) or http://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov
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