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SIDS Information and Prevention
For information please call (423) 209-8080

SIDS - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

SIDS stands for sudden infant death syndrome. This term describes the sudden, unexplained death of an infant younger than 1 year of age.

How we can help:

  1. We attempt to follow-up on every SIDS death in the Chattanooga and Hamilton County area and offer support to parents and their families by offering published materials, a home visit, and referral to grief counseling and parent support groups (when available).
  2. We maintain a current list of community agencies that offer grief counseling and parent support groups (when available) for those who have experienced an infant death.

While SIDS is not preventable, there are steps that parents and caregivers can take to reduce the risk of SIDS deaths:

  • Put healthy babies to sleep on their backs.
  • Do not expose babies to cigarette smoke during and after pregnancy.
  • Make sleeping environment safe by using firm bedding. Keep potentially hazardous items (pillows, cushions, stuffed animals) away from the baby.
  • Co-sleeping or bed sharing (an infant sleeping on the same surface with another person, either child or adult) is not recommended.
  • Avoid overheating the infant. Infant sleepers may be considered since they eliminate the need for any covers over the baby.
  • Breastfeeding is thought to reduce SIDS because of less deep sleep and frequent brief awakenings.
Resources:

Safe Sleep for Your Baby: Reduce the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

CDC: Parents and Caregivers

Safe Kids USA: Crib Safety

Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department Infant Mortality Reduction Program