Every dollar helps as Red Nose faces unprecedented demand for services

Published 1:40pm 10 August 2022

Every dollar helps as Red Nose faces unprecedented demand for services
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

Moreton Bay residents are being asked to get a little silly this Friday by wearing a bright red nose to work and school to help raise much-needed funds to stop little lives being cut short.

Friday is Red Nose Day – a major fundraising and awareness campaign that aims to support grieving families who have experienced the loss of a child from stillbirth and Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) – an umbrella term used for all deaths that occur in babies aged 0-12 months where the baby dies while sleeping or in the sleeping environment.

It also includes deaths that occur due to overheating, suffocation, falling out of the cot, co-sleeping, smothering and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) – a specific medical term given when a baby dies in a sleeping environment but the actual cause of death cannot be determined.

Each day, nine babies and young children die suddenly and unexpectedly in Australia – that’s a heartbreaking 3000 little lives lost each year.

Red Nose Day CEO Keren Ludski says this year’s fundraising event is more important than ever, with the organisation facing unprecedented demand for baby and pregnancy loss counselling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re asking Australians to please give generously on Red Nose Day so that we can continue to meet this unprecedented demand for our support services,” Keren says.

“We provide extremely specialised and evidence-based support to parents who lose a baby – and this support is completely free for them to access any time - day or night.

“Please donate to Red Nose Day if you can because every dollar makes such a difference.”

From March 2021 to April 2022, Red Nose delivered more than 22,147 support sessions to devastated families whose baby or young child died – which is 8 per cent up on the previous year. These sessions include phone calls to the 24/7 support line, Walks to Remember, wellbeing activities and more.

Red Nose also delivered 3,417 treasured babies’ items to families whose babies had died – up 9 per cent on the previous year.

Every dollar helps as Red Nose faces unprecedented demand for services

Urgent warning to avoid weighted sleeping sacks and blankets

Parents and caregivers are being warned not to use weighted sleeping sacks or weighted blankets because they can compress a baby’s chest, leading to a possible lack of oxygen.

Red Nose is becoming increasingly worried about the number of products being sold in Australia and regularly marketed to new parents, particularly via social media.

Keren says Australian parents need to know that babies overseas have died from the use of these products.

Furthermore, Red Nose Australia Research Officer Charis Brown says “it is incredibly alarming to see weighted sleeping bags and weighted blankets being marketed directly to parents of infants, who are told these products may help their baby sleep better”.

“There is no research to support these claims,” Charis says.

“The reality is that these products can actually be unsafe for babies, and Red Nose is urging every parent to please never use a weighted sleeping product on their baby.

“We also want to ensure families with children, who have weighted blankets for adult use, are mindful of where they are kept and ensure they cannot inadvertently fall on a child or infant, leading to catastrophic results.”

Support the cause

Red Nose Merchandise can be purchased from the Red Nose website. You can purchase items like beanies and beanies that can be worn all year round, as well as plush toys, noses and pens. 

Every dollar raised on Red Nose Day directly funds their 24/7 support services for grief-stricken families, and the education program for new parents to help them keep their babies safe.

Funds also support investment in research to further determine the causes of SIDS and stillbirth, and what can be done to prevent these tragedies from happening.

You can also donate by clicking here


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