Maternal and Child Health

Safe Sleep

About 4,000 infants die suddenly and unexpectedly each year. Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) is the death of an infant younger than one year that occurs suddenly and unexpectedly, and where the cause of death is not immediately obvious prior to investigation. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden death of an infant that cannot be explained after a thorough scene investigation, review of medical history, and autopsy. SUID/SIDS remain among the top five causes of infant mortality in the United States.

State and territorial health agencies have an important role in reducing the rates of SUID/SIDS and sleep-related infant death. A number of states are working to address infant mortality and SUID/SIDS by implementing programs and laws/regulations to change behavior around safe infant sleep. However, there is still much work left to be done to help all families adopt safe sleep practices.

Promising State Practices and Programs

In January 2014, ASTHO convened a SIDS/SUID/Safe Sleep Roundtable meeting to identify safe sleep priorities and potential opportunities for collaboration among federal, state, local, and other critical partners for improving safe sleep practices. Below are presentations from this meeting which highlight state-level promising practices or programs for promoting safe sleep.