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Safe Sleep and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death of a seemingly healthy infant who is younger than one year. In the United States, SIDS is the major cause of death in infants from one month to one year of age. SIDS happens to families of all social, ethnic, and economic groups. Although the rate of SIDS has decreased in recent years, other causes of sleep-related infant deaths including suffocation, asphyxia, and entrapment have increased. 
OCHealth offers information and resources for parents, caregivers, and health professionals to promote safe sleep environments. We encourage you to explore the resources available, discover an array of risk reduction/safe sleep materials, and learn more about safe sleep. 

Safe Sleep Guidelines:

Although it is not always possible to prevent unexplained infant death (SIDS), it is possible to prevent unexpected death due to an unsafe sleeping environment and practices. Parents and caregivers can reduce the risks by knowing and following the   Guidelines of safe sleep published by the American Academy of Pediatrics updated in 2022.

  • Always place infants on their backs to sleep for every sleep.
  • Use a firm sleep surface for infants. A firm crib mattress covered by a fitted sheet is the recommended sleeping surface.
  • Keep soft objects and loose bedding out of the crib.
  • Keep your baby's sleep area separate but in the same room where you are sleeping.
  • Do not let a baby get too hot or cover the infant's head when sleeping.
  • Do not allow smoking around a baby.
  • Breastfeeding is recommended and is protective against SIDS.
  • Offer a pacifier at naptime and bedtime.
  • Pregnant women should receive regular prenatal care.
  • Avoid alcohol and the use of illicit drugs during pregnancy and after birth.
  • Infants should have immunizations and regular check-ups.
  • Home monitors and devices that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS should not be used.
  • Provide supervised "Tummy Time" when infants are awake.


Orange County Resources



National Resources 

  • Safe To Sleep Public Education Campaign:
    Providers may view, download, or order free Safe to Sleep education materials for outreach and education efforts.  

  • American Academy of Pediatrics:
    Provides the latest safe sleep guidelines and other parenting advice from the AAP.  

  • Cribs for Kids:
    Provides safe sleep education and partners with other organizations to provide free cribs for families. Providers may view, download, or order educational materials.  

For more information on Safe Sleep efforts in Orange County, contact the Orange County MCAH Program at (714) 567-6234. 

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) 

The Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Program provides home visit follow-ups with assessment, information, counseling, and referral to all families, childcare providers, and foster parents who experience a SIDS death. The program also provides data, consultation, and training related to SIDS. 

Local Resources: 

State Resources: 

California SIDS Program

Orange County residents can contact the SIDS Coordinator at: 
SIDS Coordinator 

1725 W. 17th Street 
Santa Ana, CA, 92701 
(714) 834-7747

Page updated: 10/30/23