Health & Safety
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the sudden and unexplained death of an infant one month to one year of age. Despite significant research, there continues to be many questions about SIDS left unanswered.
What we do know:
- SIDS is the leading cause of death among babies one month to one year of age.
- More SIDS deaths occur in colder months.
- Infants placed on their stomachs to sleep are at much higher risk for a SIDS death than infants placed on their backs.
- African American infants are twice as likely and American Indian infants are three times more likely to be at risk for a SIDS death than Caucasian infants.
- Other SIDS risk factors could include:
- Poor or a lack of prenatal care, drinking, smoking or drug use during pregnancy
- Low birth weight or premature birth
- Teenage mothers
- Exposure to smoke after birth
- Overheating during sleep
- Stomach sleeping
What Can a Parent Do to Lower the Risk of SIDS?
- Place your infant on his back or side to sleep at naptime and at night.
- Place your infant on a firm mattress without soft, loose bedding in the sleep area. All pillows, stuffed animals, blankets, and other soft items should be removed.
- Do not allow your infant to overheat during sleep. The room temperature should be comfortable for an adult.
- Insure that your infant's head and face are uncovered during sleep. Use warm sleep clothing so that no covering is needed.
- Create a smoke free zone around your infant both before and after birth. Make sure that no one smokes around your infant.
- Take your infant to his pediatrician for regular well baby check ups.
- Talk with all of your infant's caregivers about SIDS safety.