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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Program

"There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart" - Mahatma Gandhi

The Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Program, in accordance with the State of California Health and Safety Code, Chapter 268, Statutes of 1991, ensures coordination, mandated follow-up and reconciliation of all reported county SIDS cases with Public Health Nursing.

Public Health Nurses in Santa Cruz County provide bereavement support, information, resources, and follow-up services to assist families and caregivers who have experienced the loss of an infant from SIDS or Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID). If you have questions or need more information about the SIDS program call: Toll Free (888) 598-0728.

SIDS and SUID Defined

  • Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) is the death of an infant younger than 1 year of age that occurs suddenly and unexpectedly and in which the manner and cause of death are not immediately obvious prior to investigation.
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): One type of SUID, SIDS is the sudden death of an infant younger than 1 year of age that cannot be explained even after a full investigation that includes a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history.

Facts About SIDS/SUID

  • SUID deaths include: 
    • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
    • Other deaths from unknown causes
    • Accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed
  • Each year, there are about 3,600 sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID) in the United States.
    • This translates to 10 deaths per day or one death every 2-3 hours.
  • SIDS is the leading cause of death among babies between 1 month and 1 year of age.
  • Most SIDS deaths happen between 1 month and 4 months of age, and the majority (90%) of SIDS deaths happen before a baby reaches 6 months of age. However, SIDS deaths can happen anytime during a baby’s first year.
  • SIDS is not the result of neglect or child abuse.
  • SIDS is not caused by vaccines, immunizations, or shots.
  • There is no known way to prevent SIDS, but there are effective ways to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Ways to Reduce the Risk of SIDS and Other Sleep-related Causes of Infant Death