What happens if a SIDS death occurs in my child care?


If you are alone and find an unresponsive baby, initiate one minute of CPR, call 911 and return to CPR efforts. If another responsible person is present, send them to call 911 while you begin CPR. Although SIDS is irreversible, another condition may be affecting the baby for which CPR may be life saving.

In the days following a baby's death, the child care provider may experience intense feelings of sadness and depression; appetite and sleep disturbances; and the inability to concentrate or make decisions. Many may feel guilty and angry or become fearful of caring for other children.

It is important to remember that SIDS is no one's fault. Most providers return to child care within several days of the death and, with support, become comfortable and confident in their skills again.

When anyone dies suddenly, the county medical examiner will investigate the cause of death. Protocol requires that parents and child care providers be interviewed to obtain as much information about the baby as possible, such as his or her activity on the day of death and how he or she seemed to be feeling. Medical records will be obtained, pictures of the crib or room where the baby was found may be taken, and items such as bed linen, infant medication, and the baby's last bottle may be removed for further examination. All of this information, along with an autopsy, contributes to the diagnosis.

Minnesota rules state that child care centers must notify the Licensing Division of the Department of Human Services within 24 hours of a death; family child care providers must notify their licensing worker immediately.

The child care provider cannot have his/her license revoked solely because a SIDS death has occurred in their care. However, as required by state regulation, all deaths which occur in a licensed facility, including child care, are routinely reviewed by the county child mortality review panel within 60 days of the death.