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ASU hosts Infant and Child Death Awareness and Prevention Day

October 11, 2006

Arizona State University and MISS Foundation join forces to present Infant and Child Death Awareness and Prevention Day. The annual event is designed to raise awareness of infant and child death and discover ways to help prevent untimely childhood deaths. Local health and safety experts, organizations and volunteers will be on hand to help educate families on child safety and health issues, and provide bereavement resources.

The annual information fair is sponsored by the MISS Foundation, the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation, the ASU Department of Social Work, Scottsdale Healthcare, Phoenix Children's Hospital and the National Association of Social Workers. The day-long event begins at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 25, on the Fletcher Library Lawn, ASU’s West campus, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road.

“We are so pleased to be able to provide these vital resources to the community in an effort to keep our children healthy and safe,” said Joanne Cacciatore, faculty associate and IVE program coordinator in the department of Social Work located in the College of Human Services at ASU’s West campus. “I encourage everyone to join us for this very important event.”

Activities include demonstrations by the Phoenix Fire and Police departments on precautionary measures parents can take to ensure children ride safely in vehicles and remain safe around water. Fire officials will also demonstrate proper CPR techniques. MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) will also discuss the dangers of drunk driving, and will simulate an intoxicated level of impairment with special glasses.

Experts will be available to help families who have lost children get connected with available resources in the community. Families will also discover ways to help themselves cope with the tragedy of losing a child. Parents and family members who want to remember a child are encouraged to bring photos, letters or mementos to attach to the “Wall of Mourning.”

“The Wall of Mourning was designed as a way to acknowledge a family’s grief and to honor those precious children who died too soon,” said Cacciatore. “Anyone who has lost a child is welcome to participate in this special memorial.”

Professionals and caregivers from the community are also encouraged to attend a public workshop, “The Power of Compassion: Psychosocial Care after Perinatal/Infant Death. The workshop, which starts at 6 p.m., features bereavement photographer Todd Hochberg and Cacciatore. Hochberg will share his personal reflections through an experimental multimedia presentation and Cacciatore will present on effective care in perinatal death.