Family Uses Own SIDS Experience to Educate Others

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - There's nothing sweeter than a precious "sleeping" baby. But that image is one which will forever be changed in the minds of a Region 8 family who lost their son and brother to SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, one year ago this week.

The Moore's say they're not looking for pity, but awareness, so that no one else has to know their pain. There's no wiping away the feelings of frustration, doubt and gut-wrenching pain the Moore family has felt over the death of Blaise William Henry Moore.

He was just 2 and a half months old when Andrea and Justin Moore got the call that something was wrong. He didn't wake up from his nap at the babysitters.

"It was so hard to see him laying there and to know that at some point, he had needed me and that i wasn't there for him," says Andrea.

"We couldn't touch him. We just stood there and looked at him," adds Justin.

Because Blaise was at a caregiver's home when he was found to be unresponsive, his body had to be sent to the state crime lab for an autopsy. The Moore's grief was compounded by the fact that they could not so much as even touch or hold him after learning of his death, due to evidence rules and procedure.

Months later, the autopsy would reveal little Blaise died of SIDS and since then, the Moores have become actively involved in educating others about it, something Andrea says doesn't discriminate and doesn't care who you are.

"Lots of us were swaddled and put on our tummies and patted to sleep and we slept fine and we did. However, what we don't know is which baby is susceptible to SIDS. That's the trick. Finding out which one that is is impossible apparently. And so you find out the hard way." says Jonesboro Pediatrician Dr. David Matthews.

But there is one way to reduce your risk of SIDS and that is to put your baby to sleep on it's back. Statistics shows that by doing so, you can reduce the infant's risk by half.

Also, sleep surfaces matter. Babies who sleep on or under soft bedding are more likely to die of SIDS. Watch out for stuffed toys near them too. Dress them in light clothing and room temperatures comfortable for an adult. And do not smoke or use drugs around your baby.

The Moore's took yesterday off from work and school to remember Blaise. Though not very old herself, 8 year old Alissa talked about feeding and taking care of him.

"I think he was a good brother and he loved his big sister alot," she says.

Justin, a volunteer fireman, was honored when the Oak Grove Fire Department named a vehicle in honor of his baby son. And Blaise is remembered on their own vehicles, in photographs, blankets and paintings, one of which was done by Alissa herself.

Loving Kids, No SIDS is an awareness group that raises money for education at the Greene County Tech Primary School where Andrea teaches kindergarten. If there is one single message she wants everyone to know is: put your baby to sleep on their back and share that with everyone who will take care of your child.