Accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed is one of the leading causes of death for infants. The majority of these incidents occur during sleep. Most infant suffocations occur when babies are placed face down on a soft surface that they sink into. Infants who are 0 to 4 months old have the greatest risk of suffocating. These young infants don't have enough strength to lift their heads and turn their faces so that they can breathe. Many of these deaths occur when a baby naps at the home of a friend who doesn't have a crib or doesn't know the importance of having the baby sleep on their back.
SIDS is the sudden, unexplained death of a baby younger than 1 year of age that doesn’t have a known cause even after a complete investigation. Each year in the United States, thousands of babies die suddenly and unexpectedly. These deaths are called SUID (pronounced SOO-idd), which stands for “Sudden Unexpected Infant Death.”
SUID includes all unexpected deaths: those without a clear cause, such as SIDS, and those from a known cause, such as suffocation. One-half of all SUID cases are SIDS. Many unexpected infant deaths are accidents, but a disease or something done on purpose can also cause a baby to die suddenly and unexpectedly.
Sleep-related causes of infant death are those linked to how or where a baby sleeps or slept. They are due to accidental causes, such as: suffocation; entrapment, when baby gets trapped between two objects, such as a mattress and wall, and can’t breathe; or strangulation, when something presses on or wraps around baby’s neck, blocking baby’s airway. These deaths are not SIDS.
As a child care provider, health care provider, or other healthcare professional who has frequent interaction with parents and children, you are in a unique position to be able to help educate New Mexico families about the risks of SUID/SIDS and possibly even help prevent injuries from it.
To help make this easier for you, we have collected several different resources that will assist you in spreading knowledge about SUID/SIDS to those who need it.
To provide more comprehensive data to characterize Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) cases and to determine which factors in the sleep environment contribute to SUID cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with many public and private partners developed the SUID Case Registry pilot program. In August 2009, CDC awarded funding to five states—Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, and New Mexico to participate in the SUID Case Registry Pilot Program. These grantees began data collection January 1, 2010. In July 2010, CDC granted funding to Minnesota and New Hampshire. They began data collection January 1, 2011.
To find out more about this pilot program, please visit the CDC Case Registry Pilot Program website.