What is SIDS

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is the the sudden unexpected death of an infant under 12 months of age, with onset of the fatal episode apparently occurring during sleep, that remains unexplained after a thorough investigation, including performance of a complete autopsy and review of the circumstances of death and the clinical history.

SIDS Statistics

In the early 1990’s, the incidence of SIDS declined dramatically following the introduction of educational campaigns aimed at eliminating external risk factors associated with infant sleep environments. Despite the rapid reduction in infant fatalities at this time, the number of deaths across the globe on an annual basis has plateaued. SUDI (Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy), including SIDS, continues to cause the highest number of deaths of infants aged between 1 month and 12 months of age.

SIDS Risk Factors

As explained thoroughly in the Triple Risk Model, developed by Filiano and Kinney, SIDS can occur with the convergence of 3 important components –

1) Critical Development Period (within the first 6 months, most commonly 2-4 months).

2) Vulnerable Infant (underlying susceptibilities in the brain – often not detectable/evident).

3) External Environmental Stressors (e.g. sleeping baby on their front or side, exposure to cigarette smoke, loose blankets, soft toys or pillows in the baby’s sleep environment).

To see the Triple Risk Model within River’s Gift’s BACK to sleep brochure, click here

Safe Sleep Principles

Unfortunately there’s no failsafe way to prevent SIDS, but you can do a number of things to keep your baby safe and reduce the risk.

Education Services

In educating parents, grandparents, healthcare professionals, childcare workers and caregivers on the key principles of infant safe sleep, the external ‘stressors’ associated with a Sudden and Unexpected Death in Infants (SUDI, which also includes SIDS) can be identified and eliminated, helping significantly reduce the number of fatalities in sleep.

Safe Sleep Education Courses

Your baby will spend a lot of their time sleeping. Knowing how and why to sleep your baby safely is so important. Join us and our leading Safe Sleep expert, Jill Green from Soteria Safe Sleeping Advice over a 4 week period.