Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Program

SIDS: The sudden death of an infant less than 1 year of age that cannot be explained after a thorough investigation is conducted, including a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and a review of the clinical history.

SIDS is the third leading cause of infant deaths in the United States and the leading cause of death in infants 1 to 12 months old.

In North Carolina, SIDS is the third leading cause of infant deaths overall, but for infants ages 1-12 months of age, SIDS is the primary cause of death. Each year in North Carolina approximately 100 families experience the tragedy of SIDS.

Prevention (CDC): Create a safe sleeping environment. Place infants on their backs on a firm surface every time they are laid down for sleep. The safest place for infants to sleep is in a crib or bassinet—not in the same bed as parents. Keep soft objects like stuffed animals, blankets, and loose bedding out of cribs. Do not put objects such as mobiles above cribs.

SIDS Services offered at the Iredell County Health Department:

  • Counseling for families who have experienced a SIDS death
  • Education for professional and lay groups
SIDS counselors at the Iredell County Health Department have received special training about SIDS and grief. In addition to a physician or pastor, SIDS counselors can help families deal with their sorrow and loss.

Resources for more information:

CDC information about SIDS: 
N.C. Health Start Foundation Infant Safe Sleep Program: