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Learning About Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the death of a healthy baby younger than 1 year with no known cause. It is very rare. It can happen even when you do everything right. Doctors don't know what causes SIDS. And it has no symptoms or warning signs. It happens more often in babies who are born early (premature) and in babies who have a low birth weight.

See your healthcare provider regularly during your pregnancy. Early and regular prenatal care can lower the risk of SIDS.

Do not smoke or vape or let anyone else smoke or vape in the house, car, or around you. Use or exposure to smoking or vaping during and after pregnancy increases the risk of SIDS.

Do not drink alcohol, use cannabis, or use other drugs. Alcohol or drug use during pregnancy may cause your baby to be born early.

If you decide to breastfeed, breastfeeding may reduce your baby's risk of SIDS. And have your baby get all their immunizations.

A pacifier (soother) during naps and at bedtime may reduce the risk of SIDS.

Always put your baby to sleep on their back in a crib, cradle, or bassinet with a firm, flat surface that is free of clutter. And keep your baby warm, not hot. Share a room with your baby. But don't share a bed, sofa, or any other sleep surface. Learn more about how to create a safe sleep environment and help reduce the risk of SIDS.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

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