Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Program

What is SIDS?

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden death of an infant under the age of 1 that cannot be explained after a thorough investigation has been conducted, including a complete autopsy, an examination of the death scene and a review of the clinical history.

Is my baby at risk?

Most SIDS deaths happen in the winter months and the most common cases are found in infants between two and four months of age. SIDS cannot be prevented and it happens without warning but there is always a way to reduce the risk of SIDS.

What can I do to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death?

  • Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep or nap. Babies who usually sleep on their backs and are then placed on their stomachs, even for a nap, are at a very high risk of SIDS. Stay consistent and make sure that everyone who cares for your baby also uses the back to sleep position.
  • Use a firm crib mattress. without toys, stuffed animals, bumper pads, blankets and pillows.
  • A one-piece sleeper or a wearable blanket are perfect for infants to sleep in. Remove bibs, hats, as well as other clothing with ties and hoods when putting your baby to sleep.
  • No smoking near pregnant women or infants. Babies who are exposed to cigarette smoke (even on clothing or in a room that was exposed to cigarette smoke) have an increased risk of dying from SIDS.
  • Breastfeed your baby. It is recommended to breastfeed exclusively. However, any breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.

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What Does A Safe Sleep Environment Look Like?

A safe sleep environment reduces the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death. Parents and caregivers of infants should always put their baby to sleep in a safe sleep environment.

Safe Sleep Environment (PDF)
Safe Sleep Environment in Spanish (PDF)

Reducing the Risk of SIDS and SUID Online Training

This course is designed to educate everyone who cares for babies, including health care professionals, child care providers, parents, grandparents, babysitters and relatives.  

This course is approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Additional Resources:


Colusa County Public Health is available to provide services such as SIDS prevention education, crisis intervention, grief support, and referrals to other resources.

Local Contact Information:

Colusa County Department of Health and Human Services
Public Health Division
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Program
251 E. Webster Street
Colusa, CA 95932
(530) 458-0380 or

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