CADTH is committed to supporting Canada’s health care decision-makers through this challenging and uncertain time.
For evidence, tools, and resources related to COVID-19, visit our COVID-19 Evidence Portal.

 

Begin main content

Interventions for the Prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Sudden Unexplained Death in Infancy: A Review of Guidelines

Last updated: September 28, 2020
Project Number: RC1307-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Device
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report

Question

  1. What are the evidence-based guidelines regarding interventions for the prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or Sudden Unexplained Death in Infancy in the community?

Key Message

Two evidence-based guidelines were identified regarding interventions for the prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Sudden Unexplained Death in Infancy. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guideline recommends always placing infants in the supine position (on the back) to sleep, on a firm and separate surface without any soft or loose objects in the parental room (room sharing) for the first year of life. The AAP further recommend: breastfeeding, infant immunization in accordance with existing guidelines, avoidance of prenatal and post-natal exposure to smoke, supervised and awake tummy time, and that care be taken to avoid overheating. The AAP suggests that pacifiers can be used. Home cardiorespiratory monitoring devices are not recommended to reduce the risk of SIDS, and there was no evidence to recommend swaddling as a risk reduction strategy for SIDS. The AAP guideline also recommends continuing safe sleeping campaigns, continued research and accurate media messaging.The second guideline, developed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), focused mainly on post-natal care of women and babies, and advises healthcare providers to discuss the association between co-sleeping or bedsharing and risk of SIDS with parents.