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Take a step for premature babies

Walk for Prems uses exercise to show compassion for the thousands of premature newborns every year.

Each year thousands of Australian babies are born premature or sick. For their families, this can understandably be a very distressing experience.

The help of organisations like Life’s Little Treasures Foundation – which provides support, resources, information, community groups and financial and material assistance to families – can make all the difference during this stressful time.

And this Sunday, you have the perfect opportunity to show your support too.

Walk for Prems is a family-friendly 5 km walk, held in leafy locations all around Australia. The money raised from the event goes towards Life’s Little Treasures Foundation, helping them to continue providing vital services and support.

Families walking in Walk for Prems event

5 things you should know about premature birth

A premature baby is one who is born before 37 weeks gestation. Most of these babies grow up to be healthy children, with no long term health problems.

But tragically, some die as a result of being born before their organs can develop properly – and others have some serious health complications.

Here are some facts you should know:

1. Premature birth is the number one cause of newborn fatality.

2. Over 45,000 babies are admitted into neonatal intensive and special care units every year in Australia.

3. This is over 14.5% of all babies born and makes over 115 admissions every day.

4. 1300 of these babies weigh less than 1 kg – less than a bag of sugar.

5. Some of the most common complications for a premature baby include lung disease, feeding difficulties, temperature control difficulties, apnoea (when breathing stops for a short period of time), bradycardia (slowing down of the heart rate) and jaundice. Some babies born very premature can also develop severe disabilities, including cerebral palsy.

[Sources: Life’s Little Treasures Foundation and Better Health Channel.]

Walk for Prems

Over past three years, Walk for Prems has raised nearly half a million dollars, and the goal this year is $250,000.

The walk will take place at seven locations across Australia:

• Sydney Park, St Peters, Sydney

• Albert Park Lake, Albert Park, Melbourne

• Sandgate Foreshores Park, Sandgate, Brisbane

• Sir James Mitchell Park, South Perth Foreshore, Perth

• Bonython Park, Adelaide, Adelaide

• Tuggeranong Bartlett Place, Greenway, Canberra

• Royal Park, Launceston

After the walk, relax and enjoy a range of family-friendly activities including music, a jumping castle and face-painting.

Find out more and sign up at walkforprems.org.au

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