Your Health Matters: Le Mars woman educates community about SIDS through memorial walk

The 2nd annual SIDS Walk will be held in Le Mars this Saturday


Published 08/24 2016 08:10PM

Updated 08/24 2016 11:01PM

"It makes me sad, because I don't wish on anybody the torment and the grief and the despair of losing a child, says Pam Jeneary of Le Mars.
For decades parents have been told how best to keep baby safe while they're sleeping, to reduce the risk of SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. But, many still aren't taking it to heart.
A new study says moms and dads are still practicing unsafe sleep habits, like putting bumpers in cribs and putting baby to sleep on their tummy.
One local mom is working to educate families in memory of her own son.
Even after 30 years, there are some memories that will never fade.
Pam Jeneary says, "... saw the ambulance and the helicopter, and I knew something was really, really wrong."
Pam Jeneary's son, Stevie, stopped breathing at daycare when he was four-months-old. There wasn't anything anyone could do, and no real explanation. Stevie's death is considered to be SIDS or Sudden Infant Death.
Pam says, "There is no cause right now, that's what so frustrating for a lot of parents, but we have a lot of things that we have found that reduce the risk of SIDS."
Safe sleep to keep baby's airway open is number one.
Pam says, "We always put baby on their back and nothing in their crib, but a solid mattress and a tight fitted sheet."
Education is the key to reducing the number of SIDS cases, and that's why Pam and her family have organized a walk in their hometown of Le Mars.
On Saturday they'll walk this route in memory of Stevie and the other babies in Northwest Iowa who didn't make it to their first birthday.
Pam says, "When you've lost a child or a loved on of any matter, you want them to be remembered, so this is what we're doing, we're remembering them, we're honoring them, and we're raising money to help fun safe sleep awareness."
Proceeds from the walk allow SIDS experts to travel around the state to educate new parents and caregivers about safe sleep. A portion also goes to research to continue to look into why SIDS happens.
If you'd like to take part in the walk it's this Saturday morning at the golf course in Le Mars. Here are the details:
Willow Creek Golf Course
935 Park Lane
Le Mars, IA
Registration begins at 8:30am, Walk begins at 9:30am
Planned activities include a family walk, raffle, door prizes, over 100 silent auction items, a memorial balloon release and refreshments.
And, here are some more tips about safe sleep:
Put your baby to sleep in a crib or bassinet.
Always put baby on their back.
And, there should be no toys or pillows or blankets in their crib.
Babies are at greatest risk between one and four-months-old.
You can find more resources from the Iowa SIDS Foundation through this link.

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