Macey Whittaker SIDS Awareness 5K

PRINCETON — The Princeton Community Hospital Auxiliary invites the public to participate in the Macey Whittaker SIDS Awareness 5K Walk/Run on Saturday, March 28, to support SIDS Awareness.

The Second Annual 5K walk/run is the primary fundraising event to support SIDS Awareness in Mercer County and southern West Virginia. The walk commemorates the short life of Macey Whittaker, born at Princeton Community Hospital in 2010, and honors the memory of all infants lost to SIDS and other infant deaths.

According to kidshealth.org, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death among infants 1 month to 1 year old, and claims the lives of about 2,500 each year in the United States. SIDS is the sudden and unexplained death of an infant who is younger than 1 year old. It’s a frightening prospect because it can strike without warning, usually in seemingly healthy babies.

Because SIDS is so difficult to diagnose and occurs most commonly between the ages of 2 and 4 months during the night, it is vitally important that the sleeping environment of every child be as safe as possible. One of the guidelines for infant safe sleep is that the baby sleep with only a diaper, sleeper and light blanket, or sleep sack. Most SIDS deaths are associated with sleep and that is why the sleep sacks are so important.

As part of safe sleep practices, all infants born at PCH are placed in a sleep sack shortly after birth and kept in one while there. Parents and caregivers are educated on safe sleep practices while in the hospital and home volunteers visit each home after the parents leave to insure that safe sleep practices are being carried out and to answer any questions about safe sleep.

Terri Dart, coordinator of the SIDS Awareness walk/run states, “This event will help insure that we can continue to give every baby born at Princeton Community a sleep sack. Last year, the hospital gave out over 500 infant sleep sacks.”

All proceeds raised from this race will go towards the purchase of infant sleep sacks for all of the babies born this year.

Early registration is underway for the walk/run and all entries need to be turned in by 4:00 p.m., Monday, March, 23. There is a $15 fee for each participant. There will be late registration on the day of the race beginning at 7:30 a.m. The late fee is $20 for each participant. Registration is at the Outdoor Shelter at the Princeton Recreation Center. Starting line for the race is at the far end of the PCH parking lot. Participants will walk over there after registration. The course will go through the Princeton City Park.

This is a family event and walkers, as well as runners, are encouraged to come and enjoy a day of fun for a good cause. This year there will be races for the younger set with a baby crawl and toddler walk inside the Princeton Recreation Center.

Dart urges everyone to come and, “strap on your tennys and stroll through the city park for a really great cause.”

For more information or special accommodations, contact Terri Dart at 304-487-7507 or tdart@pchonline.org.

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