About Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which is also known as crib death, is defined as, “the sudden death of an infant less than one year of age, which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including the performance of a complete autopsy, an examination of the death scene, and and a review of the clinical history.”

Current medical and scientific evidence, explains SIDS as a multifactorial disorder arising from a combination of genetic, metabolic, and environmental factors.  However, the actual cause of SIDS is unknown.

SIDS is the leading cause of death in children under the age of one in Canada. The Government of Canada suggests that creating a safe sleep environment for your baby will help him or her sleep safely and reduce the risk of SIDS:

  • Provide a smoke free environment – both before and after birth
  • Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep – night time and nap time – in a crib, cradle or bassinet
  • Place your baby to sleep in a crib next to the adults bed for the first six months
  • Provide a safe crib environment that has no toys or loose bedding (use only a fitted sheet)
  • Putting the crib next to your bed makes it easier to breastfeed at night. Some research has shown that breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS

For more information about SIDS, please contact your local health care provider.