Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

For more information, call 619-542-4053 or send us an email.


The Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) program focuses on providing education about SIDS, grief counseling, and what can be done to reduce the risk of SIDS.

SIDS is part of Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health (MCAH) and is required by the following authorities: Health & Safety Code, Section 123725-123745, 462, and 10253.


  • Reduce infant morbidity and mortality in San Diego County.
  • Reduce the number of deaths due to SIDS.
  • Increase infant safe sleep practices. 
  • Help families and others deal with the tragedy of SIDS.

About SIDS

SIDS is the sudden unexplained death of an infant under one year of age that cannot be explained after a thorough investigation is conducted, including a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of clinical history. Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) is when a cause of death of a baby under one year of age is not immediately obvious before investigation. In 2016, SIDS was one of the top five leading causes of infant death in California. County of San Diego SIDS program activities include:

  • Establishing contact with parents and caregivers of infants with presumed SIDS death to provide grief and bereavement support services.
  • Identify, coordinate, and provide outreach and education to participants (e.g., childcare providers, students, teens, nurses, and other community-based organizations) regarding SIDS risk reduction strategies.
  • Collaborate and coordinate with County staff and community partners to identify community needs and develop collaborative opportunities to increase awareness and knowledge on prematurity prevention.  
  • Promote activities on infant safe sleep education and SIDS risk reduction. For more information about a safe sleep environment, click here.

Facilities where this Service is Offered

The SIDS program is offered throughout the County by Public Health Nurses (PHNs) who are trained to assist families suffering the loss of a child from SIDS. PHNs provide grief support and resources and also educate the community about how to reduce the risk of SIDS. PHNs are located at each of the six regions of the County in the following public health centers:

Grief and Bereavement Resources

Resources and Links

For more information, call 619-542-4053 or send us an email


Last updated 12/16/2019