Health Professional Resources

What is SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping program?

The SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping campaign is an evidence based campaign aiming to reduce the rates of SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents in New Zealand.


The campaign was developed following the Forum to review the risk factors for SIDS, March 1987, convened by the National SIDS Council of Australia. This forum was attended by researchers, scientists, SIDS experts and pathologists from Australia and overseas.


The forum was convened to review the evidence and guidelines on how to reduce the risk factors for SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents. The end result of this forum was the highly successful SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping program.


To ensure our research in the field of sudden and unexpected death in infants remains current SIDS and Kids has formed a National Scientific Advisory Group (NSAG) which has members from across Australia. This group also consults with international experts when required.


SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping Message:


1. Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side

2. Sleep baby with head and face uncovered

3. Keep baby smoke free before birth and after

4. Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day

5. Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult care-giver for the first six to twelve months

6. Breastfeed baby




Young, Jeanine; Watson, Karen; Ellis, Louise and Raven, Leanne. Responding to evidence: Breastfeed baby if you can – the sixth public health recommendation to reduce the risk of sudden and unexpected death in infancy [online].Breastfeeding Review, Vol. 20, No. 1, Mar 2012: 7-15.




Abundant evidence recognises breastfeeding as being associated with significant short and long term health benefits for both infant and mother. Until recently, the role of breastfeeding as an independent factor in reducing risk for sudden unexpected infant death remained unclear. In October 2010, SIDS and Kids Australia held a consensus forum with international researchers and key stakeholders to review current evidence relating to safe infant sleeping recommendations. Following this forum and the publication of key reviews, the SIDS and Kids National Scientific Advisory Group has supported the decision that a critical threshold had been reached within the evidence that is supportive of breastfeeding as a specific risk reduction measure for sudden unexpected death in infancy. A sixth recommendation, Breastfeed baby if you can, will be included in the 2012 SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping national public health campaign.


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Why is it important for Health Professionals to inform their patients about the program?


Health Professionals are often the first and most important point of contact for new parents. They model sleeping practices while the baby is in hospital and provide further information to parents once the baby is at home. Parents rely on Health Professionals to provide reliable information and all Health Professionals should be directing their patients to the SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping Program.


Literature and Support aimed at Health Professionals


SIDS and Kids has literature available for Health Professionals both for their own reference and to give out to their patients. This literature includes:


A series of information statements covering a range of topics including breast feeding, baby monitoring, pacifier/dummy use, plagiocephaly (baby’s head shape), room sharing, room temperature, second hand mattress, sleeping with baby, smoking, toxic gas theory and wrapping infants. Information Statements can be downloaded in PDF format by accessing your topic of interest from the links below:


Baby's Head Shape.pdf


Bedding Amount Recommended for Safe Sleep.pdf


Breastfeeding and the Risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy.pdf


Cobedding Twins.pdf


Home Monitoring.pdf




Using a Dummy or Pacifier.pdf


Pillow Use.pdf


Reflux - Sleeping Position for Babies with Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux.pdf


Room Sharing.pdf


Room Temperature.pdf


Second Hand Mattress Use.pdf


Sleeping with a Baby.pdf




Soft Toys in the Cot.pdf


Toxic Gas.pdf




SIDS and Kids New Zealand in partnership with SIDS and Kids Australia have made available a range of safe sleeping resources produced by Queensland Health.  To access the resources in PDF format click on the links below:


Safe Infant Sleeping Policy Statement and Guidelines.pdf


Safe Sleeping Brochure for Health Professionals.pdf *


* the above resource is being updated to include the recommendation ‘Breastfeed Baby’. In 2012 SIDS and Kids revised its guidelines for reducing the risk of sudden and unexpected infant death. According to research, breastfeeding babies more than halves the chances of a baby dying suddenly and unexpectedly.


Head Shape Brochure for Health Professionals.pdf


Supine is Safest Poster for Health Professional 2009.pdf


TummyTime_Poster for Health Professionals.pdf


Wrapping Poster for Health Professionals.pdf


Safe Sleeping Literature and Support available for Health Professionals, Carers and New and Expectant Mothers


Safe Sleeping Literature and Support information can be downloaded by clicking the images below:


ctb easy read  ssposter  tummy time

Cot to Bed Safety Brochure

Safe Sleeping Easy Read

Safe Sleeping Poster

Tummy Time Brochure

 tummyposter  safe wrapping brochure  wrap  door

Tummy Time Poster

Safe Wrapping Brochure

Safe Wrapping Poster

Safe Sleeping Door Hanger


SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping app


SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping app is available free of charge.


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Cot to Bed Safety app


The Cot to Bed Safety app for iPhone and Android provides information on when to move a child from a cot to a bed, what type of bed to use, and how to provide a safe environment for a child.


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Frequently Asked Questions 





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