First Candle

Our Mission

First Candle is one of the nation’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to safe pregnancies and the survival of babies through the first years of life. Our priority is to eliminate Stillbirth, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID) with programs of research, education and advocacy. First Candle also provides 24/7 bereavement support for grieving families.

Activity

  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    Can SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) be inherited?

    At this time there is no direct link to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and genetic predisposition. Metabolic disorders, which can be inherited, have at times been mistaken for SIDS.

    One such disorder, medium chain acylCoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCAD), prevents the infant from properly...Read More
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    First Candle answered:

    What tests can be done if my baby isn't kicking enough?

    Once you report decreased activity, your doctor should have you come to the office or go directly to your hospital’s labor and delivery unit. There are other tests that can be done to check on your baby’s health. For example:
    • Nonstress test - monitoring your baby’s heart rate in response to its
    ...Read More
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    First Candle answered:

    Can abuse be misdiagnosed as SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)?

    While cases of abuse misdiagnosed as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) grab the media spotlight, it is actually far more common for the families or caregivers of SIDS victims to be unjustly accused or suspected of wrongdoing. By medical definition, the term SIDS is a postmortem diagnosis affixed when...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    What are the signs of premature labor?

    It's important to know the warning signs of premature labor. Call your doctor if you have one or more of the following symptoms:
    • contractions (abdomen tightening like a fist every 10 minutes or more often)
    • vaginal bleeding or leaking fluid
    • pelvic pressure (like your baby is pushing down)
    ...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    Are some ethnic groups more prone to SIDS than others?

    Some ethnic groups are more prone to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) than others. African American babies are nearly two-and-a-half times more likely to die of SIDS/Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SUID) than Caucasian babies, and Native American babies are nearly three times more likely to die...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    What is sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)?

    Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the diagnosis given for the sudden death of a baby under one year of age that remains unexplained after a complete investigation, including an autopsy, examination of the death scene and review of the symptoms or illnesses the baby had prior to dying and any...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    Is my baby's flat head dangerous?

    Also known as “positional plagiocephaly”, experts agree that a flat head is rarely a serious condition and can be avoided if parents make a conscious effort to change the direction the infant’s head faces when they are on their backs.

    In the vast majority of the cases when a baby develops a flattened...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    Are some babies at higher risk for SIDS than others?

    Some babies are definitely more at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) than others. Babies in the following categories have a higher risk of SIDS:
    • Babies born to mothers who smoke during or after pregnancy.
    • Babies placed to sleep on their stomach or side.
    • Babies who share a sleep
    ...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    Is it okay for my baby to sleep on her side?

    In 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended both the side and the back sleeping position to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). In 1996, however, after reviewing data from various new studies, they revised their recommendation to back sleeping as the only safe...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    What should child care providers do if a child dies of SIDS?

    If a child dies of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), child care providers should:
    • Inform parents of other children in your care that an emergency occurred and offer them information about children and bereavement.
    • Debrief your staff and offer support and information on SIDS and bereavement
    ...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    Can pacifiers help prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)?

    Recent research shows that pacifiers can greatly reduce a baby’s risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Experts recommend providing your baby with a pacifier EVERY time he or she is placed down to sleep.

    While the exact safety mechanism is not yet known, there are many possibilities for this...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    What is the Collaborative Home Infant Monitoring Evaluation (CHIME) study?

    The Collaborative Home Infant Monitoring Evaluation (CHIME) is a multi-center study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). It was initiated in 1991 and employs a specifically commissioned monitor with multiple innovative capabilities, including substantially...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    How common are bad reactions to vaccines in children?

    There is a possibility of reacting to vaccines. However, most reactions are usually mild. While we are aware that serious adverse outcomes such as high fever, seizures, convulsions and even death -- though rare -- may occur in a very few children, the risk of leaving a child unprotected against such...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    Is enough research being done on SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)?

    Scientists are exploring the development and function of the nervous system, the brain, the heart, breathing and sleeping patterns, body chemical balances, autopsy findings and environmental factors. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), like other medical disorders, may eventually have more than...Read More
  • First Candle
    First Candle answered:

    What is the difference between co-sleeping, room sharing and bed sharing?

    Co-sleeping is a term used by many as an umbrella for anything from bed sharing to room sharing and anything in between. It is a vague term that is very confusing for parents. This confusion can be cleared up by using two distinct terms, bed sharing and room sharing.

    Bed sharing is the practice of falling...Read More