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Infant Care and Infant Health: For Researchers and Health Care Providers

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  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Branch (IDDB)
    NICHD’s IDDB (formerly the Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Branch), part of the Division of Extramural Research (DER), sponsors research and research training aimed at preventing and ameliorating intellectual and related developmental disabilities.
    • NICHD’s Newborn Screening Translational Research Network (NBSTRN)External Web Site Policy is a resource for investigators engaged in newborn screening related research. NBSTRN’s goal is to facilitate research to improve the health outcomes of newborns with genetic or congenital disorders through an infrastructure that provides the research community access to robust newborn screening resources.
  • Pediatric Growth and Nutrition Branch (PGNB)
    The PGNB, part of the DER, is the focal point within the NICHD for nutrition science and pediatric endocrine research and training. The PGNB is supporting several areas of research pertinent to infant care and infant health. For example, the Growth and Development program is focusing on basic research about growth-promoting polypeptides and hypothalamic-releasing factors that interact to influence normal growth and physiological development. PGNB also supports basic and clinical studies of the etiology of growth retardation and treatment for this disorder.
  • Pregnancy and Perinatology Branch (PPB)
    The mission of the NICHD’s PPB, part of the DER, is to improve the health of mothers and children, with focuses on maternal health, pregnancy, fetal well-being, labor and delivery, and the developing child. The PPB supports research to determine the basic mechanisms of normal and disease processes; identify new treatments, methodologies, and preventive strategies; assess the dissemination and actual impact of therapeutic and preventive interventions; and increase scientific resources through recruitment and training of investigators.
    • The NICHD Neonatal Research Network (NRN) is a collaborative network of 18 neonatal intensive care units and a data coordinating center, formed in 1986. NRN’s mission is “to facilitate the advancement of neonatal care by establishing a network of academic centers that, by rigorous patient evaluation using common protocols, can study the required numbers of patients and can provide answers more rapidly than individual centers acting alone.”
    • NICHD’s Prenatal Alcohol and SIDS and Stillbirth (PASS) Network was formed in 2003 as a partnership between the PPB and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders joined this partnership in 2009. PASS is designed to conduct community-linked studies to investigate the role of prenatal exposure to alcohol in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as stillbirth and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs), and how SIDS and these other outcomes may be interrelated.
  • Division of Intramural Research (DIR)
    Research within the NICHD’s DIR includes the development of vaccines for bacterial diseases, especially those found in children. DIR investigators study, uncover, and reevaluate clinical, epidemiologic, and immunologic data. They evaluate investigational vaccines suitable for clinical study in experimental animals and then submit them to the appropriate institutional review board and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for evaluation of their safety and immunogenicity in adults, children, and infants, and, finally, for their efficacy.
  • Safe to Sleep® Public Education Campaign
    The NICHD is the lead agency in support of the Safe to Sleep campaign. This important educational effort, formerly known as the Back to Sleep campaign, focuses on actions parents and infant caregivers can take to help infants sleep safely and to reduce the risk of SIDS and other causes of infant death. The Safe to Sleep® campaign incorporates the NICHD’s research findings on SIDS, as well as the latest safe sleep recommendations.
  • American Association of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD): Guideline on Infant Oral Health Care External Web Site Policy (PDF - 66 KB)
    In this document, updated in 2011, the AAPD proposes recommendations for preventive strategies, risk assessment of oral health, anticipatory guidance, and therapeutic interventions to be followed by dental, medical, nursing, and allied health professional programs.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): Guidelines for Safe Sleep and SIDS Risk Reduction External Web Site Policy
    This 2011 report updates the AAP's recommendations for further reducing sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related deaths of infants.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics, Policy Statement on Circumcision External Web Site Policy
    This statement discusses the benefits and risks of circumcision as well as other factors to consider when discussing the procedure with families. It recommends use of procedural analgesia if circumcision is performed.
  • Child Health USA 2011
    This report of the Health Resources and Services Administration (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) is the 21st annual statistical report to highlight the health status and service needs of America's children. It provides data to practitioners of child health to assist them in planning, developing, and implementing effective programs to meet public health challenges related specifically to children. The report contains easy-to-access graphs and charts summarizing significant indicators of children's health status and offers statistics, figures, and references.
  • Datasets from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD)
    The SECCYD is a comprehensive longitudinal study initiated by the NICHD in 1991 to answer questions about the relationships between child care experiences, characteristics of child care, and children's developmental outcomes. Qualified researchers may apply to use the datasets.
  • Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies External Web Site Policy
    This report by the Institute of Medicine reviews factors related to overweight and obesity among children from birth to age 5 years, with a focus on nutrition, physical activity, and sedentary behavior. It recommends policies that can alter children's environments to promote the maintenance of healthy weight. The first years of life are important to health status and well-being throughout the life span, and preventing obesity in infants and young children can contribute to reversing the epidemic of obesity in children and adults.
  • NICHD, Continuing Education Program on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Risk Reduction: Curriculum for Nurses
    Knowing SIDS risk-reduction techniques and how to communicate effectively with parents and other caregivers about this problem can help nurses make a difference in just a few minutes. This free continuing education (CE) program on reduction of the risk of SIDS offers 1.1 CE credit hours from the Maryland Nurses Association.
  • NICHD, Healthy Native Babies Training Resource (PDF - 3.59 MB)
    The information and materials created for the Healthy Native Babies Project were crafted and revised with the feedback of American Indian/Alaska Native community members, who used the messages at numerous trainings held in U.S. Northern Tier communities. The aim of this resource is preventing SIDS in American Indian/Alaska Native communities
  • NICHD, SIDS Risk Reduction: Continuing Education for Pharmacists
    This free CE activity, developed by the NICHD and its pharmacist partners, explains the latest research on SIDS and SIDS risk reduction and outlines how pharmacists can help spread safe- sleep messages to parents and caregivers in just a few minutes. By completing this course, pharmacists can earn 0.125 CE units from the Maryland Pharmacy CE Coordinating Council.
  • NIH Fact Sheet: Infant Health (PDF - 412KB)
    This two-pager published in 2010 highlights some of the transformative research developments made possible through NIH that have improved outcomes for infants. It also outlines some of the challenges ahead.

Please note: Links to organizations and information included on this page do not indicate endorsement from the NICHD, NIH, or HHS.​​​

Last Updated Date: 05/09/2014
Last Reviewed Date: 04/12/2013
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