Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Program

IDPH provides funding to theIowa SIDS Foundation to implement programming to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The foundation provides emotional support to Iowa SIDS and SUID (sudden unexpected infant death) families, educates professionals and the general public about SIDS and risk reduction, and funds medical research on the causes of SIDS.

Safe Sleep

Every person, regardless if you are the parent, grand parent, aunt/uncle, or child care provider, that cares for an infant has daily opportunities to help reduce sleep related infant deaths, both unexpected and accidental.  If you or someone you know is in need of a safe sleep space, such as a crib or pack and play, for an infant, please contact your local Maternal Health agency for assistance in finding resources.

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ risk recommendations have proven to reduce SIDS deaths and may prevent accidental sleep related infant deaths.

  • Always place baby back to sleep for every sleep, naps and night time.
  • Baby should always sleep in a safety approved crib with a firm mattress and tight fitting sheet only.  Sitting devices, such as car seats, strollers, boppy pillows, swings, infant carriers and slings, are not intended for routine sleep.
  • Breastfeeding is recommended.
  • Share a room, not a bed with baby.  It is recommended that baby sleeps in the parent’s room, close to the parent’s bed, but on a separate surface designed for baby, ideally for the first year of life, but at least for the first six months.
  • Keep soft objects, loose bedding, and unfitted sheets away from baby’s sleep area to reduce the risk of SIDS, suffocation, entrapment, and strangulation.
  • Consider offering a pacifier at nap time and bedtime, after breastfeeding has been established.
  • Avoid smoke exposure during pregnancy and after birth.
  • Avoid overheating baby.  Keep baby warm by suing a wearable garment instead of blankets.  This keeps baby comfortable and keeps baby’s face uncovered at all times.
  • Infants should be immunized in accordance with recommendations of the AAP and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Avoid alcohol and illicit drug use during pregnancy and after birth or when caring for infants.
  • Supervised awake tummy time is recommended to facilitate development and to minimize the development of positional plagiocephaly (flat spots on baby’s head).


AAP's 19 Risk Reduction Recommendations

Iowa SIDS Foundation

Safe Sleep Educational Materials

Contact Information

Sylvia Navin, MPH
Lucas State Ofc. Bldg.
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
(515) 218-0920