Having a safe sleep policy can help your program maintain a safe sleep environment, which can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) in infants less than one year of age.
SIDS is the sudden and unexplained death of an apparently healthy infant younger than one year of age that remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation which includes performing a complete autopsy, examining the death scene and reviewing the clinical history.
SUID is the sudden and unexpected death of an infant in which the manner and cause of death are not immediately obvious prior to investigation. Causes could include, but are not limited to, metabolic disorders, hypothermia, hyperthermia, neglect, poisoning and accidental suffocation.
SIDS is not preventable; however there are many ways for parents and caregivers to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death. Following risk reduction recommendations will give all infants the best chance for safe sleep. These risk reduction recommendations should be included in a safe sleep policy.
On average, 40-45 infants in Iowa die each year due to sleep related deaths, some of which happen while the infant is in the care of someone other than their parents. It’s important you as the caregiver know how to follow safe sleep policies and implement them in your program. Healthy Child Care Iowa offers an example of a safe sleep policy which can be used as a guide in creating your own safe sleep policy.
A helpful resource regarding Safe Sleep can be found on the Iowa CCR&R website here.
More information about Safe Sleep Policies can also be found on the Caring for Our Children website here.
If you need assistance creating, enhancing or implementing your safe sleep policy, or if you have questions about safe sleep, contact your local CCR&R Child Care Consultant. Our mission is to provide resources, education and advocacy to support quality child care. CCR&R is committed to ensure that Iowa’s vision is met: All children, beginning at birth, will be healthy and successful.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Iowa Department of Public Health, Healthy Child Care Iowa
Safe Sleep 2015, SIDS Education Training