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Strengthening the evidence for maternal and child health programs

Evidence Tools

infant in a crib looking up at the cameraSafe Sleep


The Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant to States Program guidance defines the significance of this goal as follows:

Sleep-related infant deaths, also called Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID), are the leading cause of infant death after the first month of life and the third leading cause of infant death overall. Sleep-related SUIDs include Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), unknown cause, and accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed. Due to heightened risk of SIDS when infants are placed to sleep in side (lateral) or stomach (prone) sleep positions, the AAP has long recommended the back (supine) sleep position. However, in 2011, AAP expanded its recommendations to help reduce the risk of all sleep-related deaths through a safe sleep environment that includes use of the back-sleep position, on a separate firm sleep surface (room-sharing without bed sharing), and without loose bedding. Among others, additional higher-level recommendations include breastfeeding and avoiding smoke exposure during pregnancy and after birth. These expanded recommendations have formed the basis of the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) Safe to Sleep Campaign®.

NPM 5 Tools


This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.