Child Care Providers and SIDS

Child Care and SIDS

Child care providers ought to take note of and follow present recommendations concerning baby attention. Twenty percent of SIDS deaths occur in child care settings. A lot of these deaths happen during the very first week of child care. Why this occurs remains uncertain, but child care associated studies indicate unaccustomed tummy sleeping as a preventable risk factor, either by being put on the tummy or by rolling over onto the tummy when this really isn’t a normal sleep standing.

Among the best strategies in reducing SIDS and inadvertent suffocations would be to encourage a safe sleep environment. Following the recommendations and encouraging safe slumber can prevent deaths on account of unintentional suffocations, overlays and entrapment.

What Can A Child Care Provider Do to Help Prevent SIDS and Encourage Safe Sleep?

  • Always put the infant on their back to sleep in a safety-approved crib, for both bed time and rest time (unless otherwise defined by the infant’s doctor). Side sleep isn’t advocated as a secure option to back sleeping. For info on crib safety standards, go to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s web site at
  • Remove all additional bedding (i.e., blankets, pillows, quilts, etc.) and toys from the crib.
  • Crib slats should be no more than 2 3/8″ apart (the width of a soda can).
  • Sleep one infant per crib.
  • Don’t overheat the infant, nor cover the infant’s head or face.
    Do not permit smoking close to the infant. If a child care provider does smoke, they should do so outside while wearing a coat. Before the supplier touches or picks up the infant, the supplier should remove the coat and wash hands and face.
  • Discuss pacifier use with the parents. Pacifiers are now urged by the American Academy of Pediatrics for babies 1 month to 1 year of age.
    Share safe slumber policies with other staff.

What Shouldn’t be Permitted in the Crib?

  • Soft bedclothes (i.e., blankets, pillows, quilts, comforters, etc.)
  • Fenders
  • Stuffed toys
  • Placing apparatus, including wedges and positioners (without a physician’s approval)
  • Pets
  • What if Parents Request the Infant Slumber on its Tummy?

In this instance, child care providers must obtain written directions from the infant’s doctor before the infant could be put in almost any location, besides on its back. The physician must supply directions on the medical condition and by what method the infant ought to be placed, or if any placing apparatus have to be properly used.

Licensing Standards for Child Care Facilities

To find out more on licensing standards in Illinois, visit Licensure Illinois. Other states can see licensing standards at

SIDS and Infant Safe Sleep Training for Child Care Providers

In Illinois, licensed child care providers must receive training on SIDS risk reduction and baby safe sleep every three years to keep licensure. Here are links to organizations offering in person or online training.

SIDS of Illinois, Inc. –