Sleep health professionals are in the perfect position to advocate for safe sleep practices in their communities. Although the rate of SIDS has declined over the years, it still occurs. Although October is SIDS awareness month, we should be thoughtful of this year round.
Background: What is SIDS? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, policy statement 1, “sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) is a term used to describe any sudden and unexpected death, whether explained or unexplained, occurring during infancy”. In the United States, there are about 3,500 sleep-related infant deaths. These can occur for various reasons, including suffocation, metabolic conditions, undetected cardiac anomalies, bed or surface sharing, wedging and entrapment, and unexplained (SIDS). Sleep related deaths are thought to be multifactorial including faulty arousal mechanisms, unsafe sleep environment and infant development.
What can sleep health professionals do? Be active in your community to promote safe sleep practices. Also, be informed of the risks of inclined sleep surfaces. Click the link to the National Sleep Foundation regarding this issue. The California Sleep Society has provided the following links to help with your outreach activities.
Links to Various Toolkits and materials:
- Safe to Sleep: SIDS Awareness Month Toolkit
- NICHQ: Resources and Tools for Promoting Safe Sleep and Breastfeeding
- Moon RY, Carlin RF, Hand I; TASK FORCE ON SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME AND THE COMMITTEE ON FETUS AND NEWBORN. Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2022 Recommendations for Reducing Infant Deaths in the Sleep Environment. Pediatrics. 2022;150(1):e2022057990. doi:10.1542/peds.2022-057990