Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Sudden infant death syndrome is not uncommon. Annually, some babies apparently die suddenly from unknown causes. Most of the babies who die from this illness are less than one-year-old. In this educational section, we will learn about sudden infant death syndrome and how best to reduce its occurrence in the community.

The Education Plan

What is sudden infant death syndrome? Sudden infant death syndrome, abbreviated commonly as SIDS, is a rare but not extremely uncommon death of an infant unexpectedly. This death occurs in children who are otherwise healthy. The exact cause of these deaths cannot be established, but some risk factors have been documented. Sometimes, this death is colloquially referred to as crib or cot death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies SIDS under sudden unexpected infant deaths (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022).

Who is at risk of SIDS? Any infant is at risk of SIDS. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the parents usually do not witness these deaths as they happen. Therefore, understanding their circumstances and risks becomes difficult for the investigators and parents. Therefore, parents and caregivers need to be aware of this health condition. Stress from the environment, such as tobacco smoke, has been identified as a risk for SIDS. Babies born prematurely are at increased risk of SIDS. Most cases of SIDS occur during sleep; thus, good sleep hygiene has been demonstrated to improve outcomes and lower the risk of SIDS among infants.

What habits reduce the risk of SIDS? Placing the baby by the back during sleep reduces the SIDS risk. According to Moon & Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 2019, keeping your baby’s head uncovered, sharing a room with your baby in the first six months of life, and keeping your baby’s pets out of their beds reduce the risk of preventable SIDS. Another safe practice recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022) and Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (2019) is breastfeeding. Breastfeeding supports healthy baby growth and development, thus reducing the risk of SIDS (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022).

Setting Goals for the Plan and Evaluation of Educational Session Outcomes

The first goal for the above plan was to improve parents’ and caregivers’ literacy on sudden unexpected deaths among infants. Increasing health literacy among these primary caregivers of the babies will improve safety practices in the places of sleep for babies in the target population. SIDS, even though rare, contributes significantly to infant mortality rates. Promoting its awareness among babies’ caregivers promotes primacy and primordial health prevention goals. As a nurse, I also fulfill my responsibility as a patient advocate and educator (Loan et al., 2018). Participants verbalizing understanding of the causes and prevention strategies is an outcome that would be used to measure the achievement of the goals of this session. These goals would also align with Healthy People 2030 goals.

MICH-02 objective of healthy people 2030 aims to reduce the rate of infant deaths. Reducing the SIDS incidence rate is one of the steps that would achieve this goal at the community level. The MICH-14 objective aims to increase the proportion of infants who are put to sleep on their backs. This is one of the sections that this plan covered with the hypothetical audience. MICH-7 objective also aims at increasing the proportion of infants who are breastfed at 6 months. This objective aligns with the last educational activity of the teaching plan (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion et al., n.d.). Therefore, my teaching would have achieved relevance and significant contribution if it was to be implemented in an actual audience.

Revisions for Future Educational Sessions

In future sessions, the use of physical demonstrations to aid in increasing involvement, participation, and skills development will improve outcomes. Incorporating interactive elements such as giving the audience time to participate through the development of actual skills in session. Incorporating question-and-answer time will also improve this interaction. This is one of the elements of effective patient education (Flanders, 2018). Questions would allow participants to seek clarification and bring other perspectives on the topic that were not tackled during the session. Seeking clarification through the question-and-answer session would improve the outcomes of the educational session through health literacy improvement.


The session effectively addressed parents’ and caregivers’ health needs in reducing SIDS risks and promoting safe sleep practices. Nonetheless, revisions are required for future sessions to meet Healthy People 2030 objectives and cater to the specific needs of these individuals. Future sessions can promote infant health and well-being by integrating interactive features, customizing information, highlighting breastfeeding’s significance, and aligning with Healthy People 2030 goals.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, June 28). About SIDS and SUID.

Flanders, S. A. (2018). Effective patient education: Evidence and common sense. Medsurg Nursing27(1).

Loan, L. A., Parnell, T. A., Stichler, J. F., Boyle, D. K., Allen, P., VanFosson, C. A., & Barton, A. J. (2018). Call for action: Nurses must play a critical role to enhance health literacy. Nursing Outlook66(1), 97–100.

Moon, R. Y., & Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. (2019). SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths: The evidence base for 2016 updated recommendations for a safe infant sleeping environment. In Neonatal Care: A Compendium of AAP Clinical Practice Guidelines and Policies (pp. 375–408). American Academy of Pediatrics.

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, & U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Search Healthy People – Healthy People 2030. Retrieved March 14, 2023, from

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Healthy people 2030: Health care access and quality. Retrieved March 11, 2023, from

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