As Red Nose celebrates the 30th anniversary of Red Nose Day Friday 29 June, the charity’s progress in reducing sudden and unexpected death in infancy is highlighted through three new imminent research and education projects.

Red Nose’s new still birth research project will explore maternal sleep position in late pregnancy as being a potential risk factor for stillbirth, with researchers working to determine the most effective way to encourage pregnant mothers to sleep on their side during the third trimester. The project is led by Dr Adrienne Gordon from Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, who is a member of the Red Nose National Scientific Advisory Group (NSAG). “With three in 1000 Australian and New Zealand pregnancies resulting in stillbirths beyond 28 weeks, this is a tragedy with devastating long-term effects for far too many families … Our project will assess evidence to inform public health messages for pregnant women and health professionals regarding sleep position,” said Dr Gordon.

This year has also seen Red Nose, in partnership with the University of Adelaide, launch a book titled SIDS, Sudden Infant and Early Childhood Death: The Past, the Present and the Future. Distributed as both a paperback and a free e-book, there has never been a book that covers SIDS in such detail. Red Nose has also launched the Red Nose Safe Sleeping eLearning course for early childhood educators across Australia. Based on the Red Nose Safe Sleeping education campaign, this course equips educators with the knowledge and skills to implement evidence based recommendations for reducing the risk of sudden unexpected death in their centres.

Of these projects, Manager of Health and Advocacy from Red Nose Jane Wiggill says, “As Red Nose Day celebrates its 30th anniversary of fundraising to save Australian children’s lives, we’re proud to be funding a critical research project aimed at reducing late-term stillbirths, and also being at the forefront of two significant education projects.”

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