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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Tennessee Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Program

Mother Holding Baby

The state of Tennessee has created a program to help families reduce the risk of losing their babies to SIDS.  The goal of the SIDS program is to reduce the number of SIDS deaths in Tennessee, and to provide bereavement support for families who have experienced the sudden, unexpected death of an infant.  The program is designed to target several objectives focused on protecting Tennessee’s infants from SIDS.  One way to learn more about SIDS is to study information gathered from autopsies.  The program is working to make autopsies available for every suspected SIDS death.  Another objective is to maintain a system of collecting data that will help create a picture of the SIDS infant and family in Tennessee.  A third objective is to provide support to families through published materials and home visits by public health professionals, as well as referrals for counseling, and support groups for families who have experienced the tragedy of SIDS.  The Tennessee SIDS program is also dedicated to educating professionals, parents, community agencies, clergy, law enforcement personnel, emergency responders and all other interested persons who may encounter SIDS deaths throughout the state.

Safe Sleep: How to Reduce Your Baby’s Risk of SIDS

While SIDS is not entirely preventable, there are steps that parents and caregivers can take to reduce the risk of SIDS deaths:

  1. Put healthy babies to sleep on their backs
  2. Do not expose babies to cigarette smoke, including during pregnancy>
  3. Make the sleeping environment safe by using firm bedding and by keeping potentially hazardous items (pillows, cushions, stuffed animals) away from the baby

Collecting SIDS Data