Assisting Families Through a Life-Altering Experience
Ohio’s public health nurses and social workers play a vital role in the early intervention of a sudden and unexpected infant death. The public health professionals who provide early intervention, support, counseling, and comfort to the family after the baby’s death have the fundamental job of assisting them through this life-altering experience.
The Ohio Revised Code 313.121 requires public health departments to offer information, counseling and other supportive services to families immediately following notification of a SIDS death. Although other infant deaths are not specifically detailed in this law, it is hoped that all public health personnel will provide similar services to these bereaved families as well. The Ohio law regarding the reporting of SIDS and the provision of support to families of SIDS victims can be accessed online.
For many families, the home visit is the cornerstone of bereavement support. The public health professionals making the home visit are in a unique position to address the family’s needs and can help alleviate guilt, pain and suffering by providing information in a sensitive manner; explaining autopsy results, providing community resources, and offering guidance for surviving children. Parents who receive home visits report the visits make a positive impact on the grieving process.
To download the newly revised public health nurse manual which provides health professionals with information and resources to assist families after the sudden, unexpected death of a baby, please click on the link below.
Newly Revised 2016 - A Guide for the Sudden Infant Death Home Visit (November 2016)
Produced by: Baby 1st Network
Funded by: Ohio Dept. of Health, Bureau of Maternal, Child and Family Health
Report of Family Contact - revised Nov. 2011 (formerly the Infant Death Home Visit Report)
Produced by: Ohio Department of Health - Sudden Infant Death Program
For additional information: The Ohio Department of Health
September 2012 - Safe to Sleep Campaign, NIH expands safe infant sleep outreach effort
Eunice Kennedy Shriver, National Institute of child Health & Human Development