Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

(SIDS) is the leading cause of death in healthy infants between one month and one year of age in Canada.

This presentation has been developed for health and childcare providers as well as instructors to use when giving information to parents and caregivers of infants (babysitters, family members and friends). It is intended to provide information on how to lower the risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Parents and caregivers need to be educated on the safest sleep arrangements for their infant and to choose a safe environment for their newborn. New parents should be knowledgeable about the safe sleeping habits for their baby to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death or SIDS that includes:

  • Always put babies to sleep on their backs. Babies placed on their stomachs or sides are at increased risk of SIDS
  • Breastfeed babies. Breastfeeding lowers the risk of SIDS and provides the baby with the necessary nutrients.
  • Create a smoke-free environment for babies. Do not expose babies to second-hand smoke. Babies exposed to tobacco smoke and other drugs are at higher risk of SIDS.
  • Don’t let babies get too warm. Babies who get too warm have an increased risk of SIDS. Ensure the baby is dressed appropriately for the room temperature.
  • Every surface a baby sleeps on should be firm and flat. The risk of SIDS is higher if a baby’s head becomes covered during sleep.
  • Don’t share a bed with babies. The safest place for babies to sleep for the first six months is in their own CSA approved crib or bassinet, in their parent’s room.
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