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Tips for Reducing SIDS Risk Factors

What is SIDS?

SIDS is an acronym for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and it is a label used for unexplained deaths in children under the age of 1, usually occurring during sleep. It is sometimes referred to as crib death. Diagnosis for SIDS requires the death to remain unexplained after thorough autopsy and death scene investigation. SIDS makes up about 80% of unexpected and sudden deaths in infants.

Risk Factors

  • stomach or side sleeping baby

  • co-sleeping

  • bumper pads

  • increased bedding material (extra blankets, pillows, ect)

  • elevated or reduced room temperature

  • SIDS rates decrease with higher maternal age (teenage parents are more at risk)

  • low birth weight

  • premature babies

  • infant having anaemia

  • male infants are more likely to suffer SIDS than female infants

  • alcohol

  • tobacco smoke

  • drug use

  • brain defects

  • family history

  • relying on baby monitors (video monitors, sensor mats, owlet sock, ect)


  • back sleeping

  • firm mattress

  • room-sharing

  • pacifiers

  • no pillows, sleep positioners, no bumper pads, stuffed animals or fluffy bedding

  • breastfeeding

  • vaccinations (DTP vaccinations are associated with lower SIDS risk)

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