SIDS Program Manual SIDS & Infant Death Program Manual and Trainer's Guide Trainer's Guide

Risk Reduction Education

Developing SIDS Risk Reduction Campaigns

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The success of the BTS campaign illustrates that health communication strategies can effectively reduce the risk of SIDS or SUID. Specifically, health communication efforts by SUID/SIDS staff can:

  • Increase parent and caretaker awareness of SIDS as a problem.
  • Increase parent and caretaker knowledge of risk reduction methods.
  • Motivate parents and caretaker to follow safe sleep recommendations.
  • Influence parent and caretaker attitudes toward bedsharing.
  • Reinforce the importance of institutionalizing BTS messages within the community.

It is important to realize that health communication messages can not overcome availability or accessibility barriers. For example, messages addressing bedsharing can not overcome barriers such as the inability to purchase a safe crib.

There are many excellent free or low-cost resources and tools to assist health professionals in planning, developing, implementing and evaluating health communication efforts. One that many public health professionals are familiar with is CDCynergy.

Originally created for use within the CDC, CDCynergy has been adapted for use by public health professionals on a national, State and local level. CDCynergy is a multimedia CDROM used for planning, managing and evaluating public health communication programs. This innovative tool is used to guide and assist users in designing health communication interventions within a public health framework.

The planning model is designed to guide the user through systematically conceptualizing, planning, developing, testing, implementing and evaluating health communication activities while promoting accountability and the importance of evaluation. The user is presented with a step-by-step detailed tutorial, case examples and a wealth of resources including a diverse media library and cumulative evaluation plan. The program also provides the user with a link to a word processing template to aid in writing a detailed intervention campaign.

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