The work of Infant Loss Resources is captured in its mission to promote safe practices which reduce the risk of infant death. This work of reducing the infant mortality rate directly impacts the communities of color in our region. Of concern and the driver for Infant Loss Resources is the infant mortality rate of black babies. Since 2014, St Louis has had 127 total cases of Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID) the highest of all the regions in the state. Of this 127 deaths, 73% occurred in Black/African American babies. According to the MO Department Social Service, in 2017 Black infants are 7x more likely to die of sleep related deaths in Missouri.
This project seeks to expand and take a comprehensive approach to ensure educational programming on safe sleep is reaching all potential caregivers, whether that be mom, dad or grandparents. Efforts will specifically target the Black Male community on safe sleep practices by establishing culturally relevant information to the community. When male engagement takes place, data validates that training and exposing fathers and social networks to appropriate safe sleep patterns can increase the potential for keeping babies safe.
With this in mind Infant Safe Sleep " Babies and Barbershops" project was developed. Barbers are trained to become Safe Sleep Champions to educate community/customers on safe sleep practices to reduce the risk of infant death.
Funded by Chicago, IL (November 2021)