What is SIDS?

SIDS stands for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. SIDS is the sudden and unexplained death of an otherwise healthy infant, that occurs during the infants nap or sleep time. SIDS is the leading cause of death in babies from 1 month to 1 year of age. Most SIDS deaths happen when babies are between 1 month and 4 months of age, but can occur anytime during their first year of life.


There are several laws in California that pertain to SIDS. Every family/caregiver that has suffered a SIDS death is entitled to a home visit by an appropriately trained public health nurse or social worker. The purpose of the visit is to provide support and resources for the family during this difficult time. There are also laws regarding crib safety and SIDS education to new parents.

Childcare Providers

One in five SIDS deaths occur while the child is being cared for by someone other than the parent. Babies who are used to sleeping on their backs and then are placed on their tummies to sleep by another caregiver or childcare provider are 6-9 times more likely to die from SIDS.

Risk Reduction

Reduce Your Baby's Risk for SIDS

  1. 1. Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night.
  2. 2. Do not allow smoking around your baby and do not smoke during pregnancy.
  3. 3. Place your baby on a firm sleep surface.
  4. 4. Keep soft objects, toys and loose bedding out of your baby's sleep area.
  5. 5. Keep the baby's sleep area close to, but separate from where you and others sleep.
  6. 6. Think about using a clean, dry pacifier when placing your baby down to sleep. Don't force your baby to take it and if your baby is breastfeeding, wait until your baby is one month old or used to breastfeeding before using a pacifier.
  7. 7. Do not let your baby overheat during sleep.
  8. 8. Avoid products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS, such as wedges because most have not been tested for effectiveness or safety.
  9. 9. Encourage Tummy Time while your baby is awake.

Fresno County Services

The Fresno County SIDS program provides:

Community wide education on SIDS and/or risk reduction activities and safe sleep promotion
Grief support to families and caregivers affected by SIDS

Lisa Poole, RN, BSN, PHN II
SIDS Coordinator