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 SUID/SIDS Facts
- SIDS is the third leading cause of death for infants in Mississippi.
- In 2013, 23 Mississippi infants died from SUID/SIDS.
- Babies are more likely to die of SUID/SIDS when they sleep on their stomachs.
- About one in five SUID/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 SUID/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. Get free help quitting smoking »
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 and More
Other SUID/SIDS Resources
SIDS Outreach Program
Mississippi State Department of Health
570 East Woodrow Wilson
Osborne Building, Suite 200
Jackson, MS 39216