HOW SPECIAL KIDS, SPECIAL CARE HELPS FAMILIES
- Caring Connections: Family Support Grants
- Safe Sleep Going Home
- Safe First Year Information for Parents Link
Through Special Kids, Special Care we support families whose baby or young child was in the NICU due to prematurity or who has special health care needs. We assist families by connecting them with public health nurses, mental health specialists, or developmental therapist who are familiar with the special needs of these infants, young children, and families.
Consultation is also available regarding other resources, community parent supports, and follow-up assistance. Assistance may be provided to families in the Rocky Mountain Region by connecting them with their local state organizations.
Caring Connections: Family Support Grants
Family Support Grants are available for health support services and other assistance that is not covered by other programs, organizations, or insurance for families in Colorado thanks to our generous donors and grantors.
Grant application are accepted for:
- Infant cribs to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) through the Cribs for Kids Program®
- In-home lactation consultation by lactation consultants who work especially with premature and medically fragile infants
- Respite care
- Consultation regarding questions about feeding, sleep, development, infant behaviors or crying
- Scholarships for Preemie Infant Massage classes Infant Massage Class for Parents of Preemies and Very Young Infants
- Infant baby carriers
In order to obtain a Family Support Grant, a family’s healthcare provider, public health nurse or early intervention provider must submit the one page Family Support Grant Application available on the link below and fax it to the private fax number on the application. It is very helpful if all the information is provided and the circumstances of the family are explained on the application. If there are special circumstances or needs of the family please contact us through the Special Kids, Special Care Contact Us page. All information on the application is considered confidential and we maintain HIPAA confidentiality requirements.
We recommend that the family also be connected with the local public health nursing program that supports families of premature, medically fragile and at-risk infants.
The Safe Sleep Going Home Program was begun because premature, medically fragile and at-risk babies are at greater risk for Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Through the generous grants we have received for the Safe Sleep Going Home Program we are able to infant cribs through the Family Support Grant Program and “Halo wearable sleep sacks” through the NICU staff for families in need whose baby is being discharged from the NICU. The sleep sack wearable blankets are recommended for infant sleep instead of a blanket. By providing, the infant cribs and sleep sacks we hope to reinforce the education parents receive from the NICU staff before discharge or from the public health nurses and early intervention therapist that follow-up after discharge.
A, B, C’s of Safe Sleep
- Allow your baby to sleep in your room in a crib or bassinet next to your bed, ideally for the first six months.
- Avoid crib bumpers, pillows, blankets, toys, and waterbeds, or soft mattresses in the crib that may cause suffocation
- Avoid taking anything (medications, alcohol, drugs) that keeps you from awakening easily for your baby.
- Avoid sleeping with your baby on a couch or allowing your baby to sleep on a couch
- Avoid smoke exposure
- Avoid overheating
- Back to sleep for every sleep
- Blankets only for swaddling when fussy or difficulty sleeping and only for the first 2 months, then use a sleep sack
- Breastfeed your baby if at all possible and seek help with breastfeeding if you have any questions or difficulties
- Can Do: Use supervised tummy time play only when awake
- Can Do: Hold your baby for feedings
- Can Do: Stay up to date with immunizations
- Can Do: Use a pacifier for comfort and after breastfeeding Is going well
American Academy of Pediatrics Safe Sleep Practices:
- Always place babies to sleep on their backs during naps and at nighttime. Because babies sleeping on their sides are more likely to accidentally roll onto their stomach, the side position is just as dangerous as the stomach position.
- Avoid letting the baby get too hot. The baby could be too hot if you notice sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash, and rapid breathing. Dress the baby lightly for sleep. Set the room temperature in a range that is comfortable for a lightly clothed adult.
- Consider using a pacifier at nap time and bed time. The pacifier should not have cords or clips that might be a strangulation risk.
American Academy of Pediatrics Safe Sleep Environment
- Place your baby on a firm mattress, covered by a fitted sheet that meets current safety standards. For more about crib safety standards, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Web site at http://www.cpsc.gov.
- Place the crib in an area that is always smoke free.
- Don’t place babies to sleep on adult beds, chairs, sofas, waterbeds, pillows, or cushions.
- Toys and other soft bedding, including fluffy blankets, comforters, pillows, stuffed animals, bumper pads, and wedges should not be placed in the crib with the baby. Loose bedding, such as sheets and blankets, should not be used as these items can impair the infant’s ability to breathe if they are close to his face. Sleep clothing, such as sleepers, sleep sacks, and wearable blankets are better alternatives to blankets.