What is SIDS and SUID?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexplained death of an apparently healthy infant younger than one year of age.  SIDS is the unexpected death of an infant which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including the performance of a complete autopsy, death scene investigation, and review of the medical history.  SIDS is known as a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning all other medical causes that may have contributed to baby's death have been examined and excluded.

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Safe Sleep Education

A variety of educational safe sleep materials are available free of charge for Iowa families and providers.  Materials, posters and requests for safe sleep presentations may be requested by contacting our main office. 

Safe Sleep Brochures & Crib Cards:  We offer a full color, 8 1/2 x 11" tri-fold brochure titled Safe Sleep: Reducing the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Other Sleep Related Infant Death.  This brochure offers basic SIDS definitions, an infographic showing a safe sleep environment, and bulleted points highlighting the American Academy of Pediatrics' risk reduction recommendations.  We also offer 4x6" colored cards for Iowa birthing hospitals to put in baby's hospital bassinet.  The card as a space for baby's name, date of birth, and birth weight.  The back features six basic tips to help baby sleep right, sleep tight.  To request either of these materials, click here for an order form

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Every baby is at risk for SIDS/SUID.

  • SIDS is the leading cause of death among babies between one month and one year of age.
  • More than 2,000 babies died of SIDS in 2010, the last year for which such statistics are available.
  • SIDS is a sudden and silent medical disorder that can happen to an infant who seems healthy. 
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SIDS Research

Research Articles - Information

SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment: In October 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released updated recommendations to reduce SIDS and sleep related infant deaths, expanding its guidelines on safe sleep for babies, with additional information for caregivers  and professionals creating a safe environment for babies to sleep.  In this journal article, the Task Force on SIDS does an excellent job on providing comprehensive bullet points for each of the safe sleep recommendations.  The policy statement is available by clicking here.

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Reduce the Risk

Every baby deserves the safest sleep--you can reduce the risk for SIDS and possibly prevent accidental sleep related death:

  • Infants should ALWAYS be placed flat on their back alone in a safe crib for ALL sleep-naps and nighttime.  If baby falls asleep in a swing, car seat, bouncy chair, or other surface while at home or in a childcare setting, immediately remove baby and place them flat on their back in a safety approved crib.  Sitting devices are NOT recommended for routine sleep.

  • A firm mattress in a safety approved crib, covered by a tight fitting sheet made for that mattress, is the recommended sleep surface for baby.

  • Keep ALL soft objects and loose bedding out of the crib.  Items such as pillows, blankets, bumper pads, wedges, blanket rolls, and toys create an opportunity for baby to re-breathe carbon dioxide that may build up around baby's face. 
  • Bumper pads should not be used in cribs.  There is no evidence that bumper pads prevent injuries, and there is a potential risk of an accidental death such as suffocation, strangulation, or entrapment.

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