This Year's Project: Preventing Infant Deaths
About Our Organization
We provide programs, equipment and services for sick and injured Siouxland kids and their families. In the last year, children and babies came through our door 24,553 times for treatment and services. We are best-known for helping sick and injured children in our Emergency Department and our Pediatric Unit as well as premature babies in the region’s only Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. We purchase large items like life-saving equipment and small items like super hero capes or crayons. Our CMN program also serves healthy babies by funding critical newborn screenings and bassinets to keep mom and baby close in the same room. By helping healthy deliveries, we celebrate every child as a miracle. We also fund vital programs that serve our patients as well as the community-at-large. Some of those programs include the HEARTS Program, which helps families grieving the loss of a child or baby, the Baby Weigh Clinic which is a free clinic open every Monday at the hospital and helps tracks baby's growth and development, the Family Assistance Program which helps fund resources and equipment at home for children with medical needs and the Pediatric Injury Prevention Program, which provides free itmes intended to prevent injuries.
Current Project: Preventing Infant Deaths
In the last 18 months, the UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's Emergency Department has seen a disturbing trend in Siouxland. The number of babies dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and accidental suffocation are on the rise. Many of the babies who passed away due to accidental suffocation were not placed in cribs. They were sleeping on couches, chairs, in adult beds or with adults.
Children's Miracle Network and St. Luike's Emergency Department created the Pediatric Injury Prevention Program 3 years ago to reduce the number of preventable injuries such as head injuries from bike crashes, near-drownings and sledding accidents. This program is currently being expanded to include other preventative measures, including safe sleep practices, education and materials. St. Luke's is working with the Siouxland District Health Department and Woodbury County Sheriff's Department to promote safe sleep practices. This summer, we decided to take our Pediatric Injury Prevention Program a step further and provide Safe Sleep Kits free of charge. No family should have to suffer the loss of a baby because they cannot afford safe sleep practices or aren't aware of them.
Each Safe Sleep Kit costs $88, and we are currently giving out, on average, one kit a day. The Safe Sleep Kits are designed to provide families with items that will help reduce the risk of unsafe sleeping deaths. They will equip parents and caregivers with everything they need to practice infant safe sleep including a Cribetter, a Halo sleep sack, safe sleep instruction materials, a magnet with the ABC's of safe sleep, a Soothie pacifier and a safe sleep DVD. The kits come in both English and Spanish languages.
Many families do not have the funds to create a safe sleep environment for their baby. Other do not know the important of these safe sleep steps. We need your help to raise $1,760 whilch will fund 20 new safe sleep kits for some of our new mothers and emergency department visitors. A small investment can help save the life of a Siouxland child.
Pediatric Injury Prevention Program
UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's Children's Miracle Network believes we have a responsibility to not only treat traumatic injuries but prevent them as well.
The statistics on preventable injuries are staggering:
- Two children under the age of 14 die every day from drowning.
- The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates 30% of kids do not wear helmets when they ride a bike.
As a result, head injuries account for 62% of all bike injury fatalities. In the spring of 2016, St. Luke’s Emergency Department approached St. Luke’s Children’s Miracle Network with the idea to partner and create the Pediatric Injury Prevention Program. While St. Luke’s Children’s Miracle Network is perhaps best-known for treating illnesses and injuries, we saw this as an opportunity to impact our community in a new way—by preventing a life-changing injury or even death. In its first year, the program provided 100 free life jackets and 200 free bike helmets to kids at local events. Emergency Department staff are on hand to measure children to ensure the proper helmet or life jacket fit and educate kids and families on proper equipment use and preventing injuries.
In 2017, the program more than doubled and expanded to include the Department of Natural Resources. In 2017, 2 Life Jacket Loaner Stations were established at local lakes to ensure that every child has access to a recreational life vest with the understanding it will be returned for another child to use in the future. More Loaner Stations are planned. So far in 2018, 500 bicycle helmets have been given away. Our goal with Big Give is to fund 2,000 helmets and more than 650 life jackets. Each helmet costs $5, and each life jacket costs $15.