Collaborative Research Partnership

La Trobe University

Between April-September 2018, River’s Gift partnered with Latrobe University, Safe Sleep Space and Soteria Safe Sleeping Advice in conducting an ethics approved Safe Sleep and Settling Knowledge survey.

The survey was conducted amongst more than 2,000 Australian participants and, disturbingly, it was found that there were substantial shortfalls in safe sleep and settling knowledge amongst portions of the participant cohort. The research paper is currently in development, with anticipation for it to be published in late 2019.

Global research evidence clearly represents that safe sleep practices heavily reduces the risk of an Apparent Life Threatening Event (ALTE) in sleep, helping to protect the lives of infants in their first year of life. Safe sleep practices play a major part in eliminating fatal sleep accidents and SIDS cases in infants, as current day research clearly shows that reducing potential stressors on infants is a critical piece of solving the SIDS puzzle.

Leveraging off the research project, a pilot safe sleep education program is being undertaken with the clear-cut objective of optimising safe sleep knowledge of Geelong parents, grandparents, health professionals and caregivers; helping to ensure the safety and survival of infants in our region. Beyond completion of the pilot program in late 2019, River’s Gift aim to continue delivering vital education services in 2020 onwards to key markets in Geelong, with an aim of extending the program nationwide in the future.