The MSDH SIDS Outreach Program offers the following support services for families, professionals and the community:
- Counseling and referral services provided by a nurse or social worker for families who have experienced an infant death
- Seminars or training for parents, community members, various professionals (nurses, social workers, child care workers, etc.) on SIDS risk reduction and bereavement
- Community outreach activities with local organizations
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Mississippi SIDS Facts
- SIDS is the third leading cause of death for infants in Mississippi.
- In 2012, 21 Mississippi infants died from SUID/SIDS, down from 43 the year before.
- Babies are more likely to die of SIDS when they sleep on their stomachs.
- About one in five SIDS deaths occur while an infant is being cared for by someone other than a parent.
There is no sure way to prevent SIDS. However, parents and caregivers can take steps to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death
How You Can Reduce the Risk of SIDS
You can lower your baby's risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death by taking the following steps.
- Place your infant completely on his or her back to sleep at night and for naps.
- Use a firm crib mattress covered by a fitted sheet.
- Keep soft objects and loose bedding out of the crib. Remove pillows, quilts, comforters, crib bumpers, sheepskins, stuffed toys and other soft objects from the infant's sleeping area.
- Your baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair — alone, with you, or with anyone else — due to the danger of accidental suffocation.
- Do not allow your infant to get too hot during sleep. The infant should be lightly clothed and the bedroom temperature should be comfortable for a lightly clothed adult. Use a sleep sack or similar sleepwear instead of blankets to help keep your baby warm and safe.
- Give your baby a dry pacifier that is not attached to a string for naps and at night to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Breastfeed your baby to reduce the risk of SIDS. If you bring your baby into your bed to breastfeed, put him or her back in a separate sleep area, such as a safety-approved crib, when you are finished.
- Do not smoke while pregnant or around your baby and never allow others to smoke around your infant.
Make sure that others caring for the infant (child care providers, relatives, friends, and babysitters) also follow these recommendations.
To reduce the risk of SIDS, women should:
- Get regular health care during pregnancy.
- Never smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs during pregnancy or after the baby is born.
- Follow your health care provider's guidance on your baby's vaccinations and regular health checkups.
- Avoid products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.
- Do not use home heart or breathing monitors.
- Give your baby plenty of tummy time when he or she is awake and when someone is watching.
Helping Those Who Have Lost a Child to SIDS
The death of an infant is a traumatic event that affects the entire family for the rest of their lives.
The impact of a SIDS death affects parents, siblings, grandparents, the extended family, babysitters, friends and many others. Be aware and sensitive to the feelings and needs of these people — allow them to talk about the baby, what happened, their feelings and concerns.
Support services and accurate information can help those affected by the loss of a child to SIDS. Contact your local health department to obtain support services for families affected by a SIDS death.
Fact Sheets: What You Need to Know About SIDS
Other SIDS Resources
SIDS Outreach Program
Mississippi State Department of Health
570 East Woodrow Wilson
Osborne Building, Suite 200
Jackson, MS 39216