Annual SIDS Walk to be held in Washington Saturday

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


The 19th annual Iowa SIDS Foundation Walk for the Future will be held Saturday, Aug. 25, in eight cities across Iowa.

The SIDS walk is in its 11th year at Washington and will be held at Sunset Park. The annual walk is at 9 a.m. and registration for it begins at 8:30 a.m. The start will be in the north Pavillion of Sunset Park. The morning will feature door prizes, raffles, refreshments and kids? face painting. Walkers attending the event are encouraged to bring a photo of the baby they are walking in memory of to be displayed at the park.

It is the main fundraiser for the Iowa SIDS foundation, which is the statewide nonprofit that not only support families that have had a child who died of SIDS, but they also educate law enforcement and emergency personnel,? Patricia Lipski, organizer of the Washington SIDS walk, said. ?They also educate the general public in how to avoid SIDS.?

Lipski said Washington has amazing personnel, from the first responders to the police to the hospital staff. Tricia and her husband Tony?s second child died of SIDS, and Tricia said the local emergency personnel were very kind. She said that is not always true in SIDS cases, in which the authorities treat it as if it?s a crime scene.

?It is something we do to give back,? Lipski said. ?the foundation was very much there for us when Jacob died and it is one of the things we do as Jacob?s legacy.?

The walkers will traverse around the road that circles the New Dawn playground.

The Iowa SIDS Foundation helps educate families about how they can reduce the incidence of SIDS. One of their campaigns is the ?Back to Sleep? campaign, which encourages parents to lay their babies on their back instead of on their tummy until they are 1 year of age. Parents should also lay their babies on a firm mattress and refrain from using pillows, crib bumper pads or blankets over or under the baby. SIDS has been associated with warm rooms, so parents are encouraged to keep their babies? room at 65 degrees when they?re asleep.Lipski said that laying babies on their back seems counter-intuitive to people since they assume the babies would be more likely to choke on their own saliva. What is harmful about laying a baby on its stomach is that it can fall into a deep sleep and suffocate more easily.

Lipski said the attendance at the SIDS walk has been pretty consistent at around 100 people the last few years. She said she?s glad at the support she and other parents have received who has lost a child to SIDS. She sid there are some new families this year and she predicts an increase in attendance.