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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Program

For More Information Call Family Health Programs: Toll Free (888) 598-0728

"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).

SUIDS and SIDS 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 SUIDS/SIDS

  • 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