Every day, nine babies and young children die suddenly and unexpectedly in Australia – that’s a heartbreaking 3,000 little lives lost every year.

For these heartbroken families, Red Nose relies on Australians’ generosity to provide counselling and support to the thousands of Australian families experiencing the devastating grief of losing a baby.

Red Nose Day is on Friday 14 August and Red Nose Australia is aiming to raise $500,000 to help fund research and education into stillbirth and SUDI.

The aim is to reduce infant death in Australia from nine a day to zero.

 

What is stillbirth and SUDI?

Stillbirth is where a baby dies from 20 weeks and onwards in pregnancy. SUDI stands for Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy – the current term for SIDS. It occurs in babies aged under one-year-old.

What is known about stillbirth causes?

In Australia, over 50% of stillbirths that occur each year in the last weeks of an otherwise healthy pregnancy have no known cause or causes. But there are things parents can do to reduce their risk, including:

During pregnancy, mums-to-be should:
• Not smoke or be around people smoking
• Sleep on their side in the last trimester
• Be conscious of their baby’s movements, and seek immediate medical assistance if something changes
• Lead a healthy lifestyle.

There are many ways Australians can get silly for this serious cause in 2020, including:

Buy a Red Nose from any BIG W store or your little one will love The Wiggles Emma Red Nose Tee from Big W.

There are also limited edition Red Nose Day 2020 Face Masks available to purchase to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

 

Wear a Digital Red Nose, the filter is on Instagram or Facebook. Then, screenshot it, upload it and donate to Red Nose.

Digital Red Nose 1: Bouncing Noses

Watch the Red Noses bounce around as you wear Australia’s first digital Red Nose.On your phone access the Instagram Stories filter here  or Facebook Stories filter here

Digital Red Nose 2: Grow Your Nose

Raise your eyebrows to grow your own Red Nose. On your phone access this Instagram Stories filter here  or the Facebook Stories filter here

Find out more ways to get involved at Red Nose Day.

Giggle and Hoot presenter, comedian and father of one-year-old twins and a five-year-old, Jimmy Rees is also an ambassador for Red Nose Day.

Here, Jimmy, 33, opens up about fatherhood, the life-saving surgery that saved his seven-week-old son’s life and why he is encouraging everyone to support Red Nose Day and help save little lives.

What was your experience putting your kids to sleep when they were babies? 

Well, we had the twins in the same room for a while (in separate cots) and that was a little bit crazy. We quickly realised that Vinny was very , very loud. He would wake Mack up all the time and then of course both Tori and I were up holding a baby each.

We rearranged our house and gave them each a room and it was much better. With Lenny he was an angel sleeper for about nine months and then was a bit of a struggle, many nights spent patting him to sleep and laying down beside the cot slowly eating him.

What tips do you have for new parents about safely putting their babies to sleep? 

Something not to be taken lightly! It’s a bizarre feeling becoming a parent and being responsible for a little human. We always followed the Red Nose guidelines for safe sleeping such as placing the babies to bed on their backs with their feet at the bottom of their cots and always keeping their little faces and heads uncovered.

We even had a ‘respiration’ monitor for both Lenny and the twins for the first few months as we got used to having a baby in our house. Even though we were checking on our babies all the time, the monitor just gave us a little extra peace of mind.

Were you ever worried about putting your kids to sleep?

Yes, it’s heart wrenching to hear stories of SIDS and other experiences that people have gone through so yes we did but we made sure we followed the Red Nose safe sleep guidelines to help reduce the risk.

Can you talk briefly about your experience with one of your twin sons’ surgery at just seven-weeks-old?

After a simple tongue tie procedure went wrong he was rushed to hospital and needed emergency surgery to stop the blood loss in his mouth.

It was nothing the doctors had seen before with a baby so young. Mack was in resuscitation a number of times, the ENT surgeon who performed the surgery had just finished her shift and rushed back to the hospital as she was just on her way home in her car.

After they stopped the bleeding and the surgery was finished they sent him to the ICU in Randwick Children’s in Sydney. He spent a few days there and it was just the most frightening and emotional experience of my life.

The doctors and medical staff saved his life and we owe them a lot. My wife was there the entire time and she really felt the impact as she witnessed the terrifying scenes both at the place where the procedure went wrong and then at the ER and the ICU.

Why would you encourage people to support Red Nose Day? 

Babies are so precious and so vulnerable they need us to protect them. It’s hard to talk about with people and you never think anything will happen, without an explanation, to your child.

It’s easy to become relaxed and laid back about sleep, especially when you’re desperate but we need to have these conversations on the best practices for safe sleep because ultimately, it could save a life.

And more than anything we want to find out why nine children die every day and continue to fund research into further reducing that stat.