Preventing sudden infant death syndrome and other sleep-related infant deaths

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Sudden infant death syndrome, a type of sleep-related sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) is the leading cause of postneonatal mortality in the United States and the third leading cause of infant death overall. Despite the evidence-based risk-reduction strategies and the highly publicized campaigns for a safe sleep environment, some infants continue to sleep in unsafe sleep conditions. Clinicians need to know the current best practices to reduce the incidence of sleep-related SUID and be knowledgeable to counsel caregivers who may resist adhering to these recommendations. This article describes the different types of SUID, associated risk factors, and highlights recommendations to help parents and caregivers ensure safe sleep environments for infants.

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