News Release

Friday, February 26, 2010

Online Version of Nurses Continuing Education Program on SIDS Risk Reduction Now Available

An online version of NIH's continuing education program for nurses about SIDS risk reduction is now available.

The Continuing Education Program on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Risk Reduction was developed by NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) in collaboration with national nursing and health organizations.

The program reviews the most current research findings about SIDS and provides nurses with practical approaches to help new parents and care givers reduce the risks of SIDS by creating a safe sleep environment for their infants.

SIDS is the sudden and unexpected death of an infant under 1 year of age, which cannot be explained after a complete autopsy, an investigation of the scene and circumstances of the death, and a review of the medical history of the infant and his or her family. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, SIDS is the third leading cause of infant death in the United States.

By consistently placing infants on their backs for sleep and using other safe sleep practices, nurses serve as role models to demonstrate effective risk-reduction techniques.

"Nurses are among the first health professionals who interact with families and their newborn infants," said Alan Guttmacher, M.D., acting director of NICHD. "This continuing education program provides nurses the information they need to answer parents’ questions about safe sleep practices. It literally can save children’s lives."

Nurses can access the online version or order copies of the print version at, or by calling 1-800-370-2943.

Nurses who successfully complete the course earn 1.1 contact hours of CE credit from the Maryland Nurses Association, which is accredited to provide CE by the American Nurses Credentialing Center Commission on Accreditation. The online module automatically grades responses to the post-test questions and provides nurses with real-time completion results.

The CE Program on SIDS Risk Reduction includes lessons on the following information:

  • Understanding SIDS
  • Understanding SIDS Risk
  • Reducing SIDS Risk
  • Nurses as Role Models for Parents
  • Challenges to SIDS Risk Reduction
  • Communicating About SIDS Risk Reduction

The NICHD sponsors research on development, before and after birth; maternal, child and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit the Institute’s Web site at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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