SIDS Awareness Month
The beginning of SIDS Awareness Month coincided with a visit I had this week-end to a World War II Memorial, where the lives lost of young navy men were honored next to a Japanese Peace Garden. The dichotomy of the two was not lost on me. The Garden was in bad disrepair and closed for renovation, yet the peaceful energy remained strong. You could feel that peace had been achieved on both sides, but at what cost? The faces of these bright, young sailors were long gone and the remnants of Japan were in ruins such as this garden. It left me questioning, "When does one decide to fight for the sake of peace, for justice? For how long?".
The place reminded me of the children lost to SIDS and the many needless deaths mislabeled as SIDS that were actually caused by traditional crib bumpers. Does it really matter how someone dies once they are gone? They can never be replaced thereafter. How do you honor such a short life, whether it's a young baby girl or an eightteen year-old kid, who has given his life to a cause thousands of miles away. How do you celebrate their short life and ensure that it was not lost in vain. How do you honor the parents and family who lost their brother, their daughter?
You honor them with the truth, if anything. The truth that yes, SIDS, is an undiagnosed, unidentified event; however, the truth is there are ways to increase and decrease risks associated with it. Bringing awareness about those risks every October is the reason why we have such a month and why organizations like Keeping Babies Safe, Kids In Danger, First Candle and NIH's Safe Sleep program exist. It is also the reason why traditional crib bumpers should be legally banned in the United States by the Consumer Product Safety Commsion, not just in Maryland or Chicago or Canada. A minimum of 27 lost lives were linked to traditional bumpers and that is just a small survey among US infant deaths. Maryland's Coroner's Office is where their initative started because they were seeing just too many babies dying in their cribs. Many products have been federally banned and have killed far less children. Do we keep fighting until the truth is heard, until some sort of justice is served and that history is not repeated again? I say yes.