Pediatric Annals

Editorial Free

SIDS or SUID: The Emphasis on Risk Reduction

Joseph R. Hageman, MD

This issue of Pediatric Annals provides some clarification about the definitions/criteria for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and the explanation for the evolution of SIDS to sudden unexpected infant death (SUID). I appreciated reading the guest editorial written by Dr. Larry Consenstein as he puts this into perspective. With the epidemiological work conducted by experts in the field, some of whom have contributed to this issue, progress has been made in identifying etiologies for what were once considered unexplained infant deaths. Risk reduction measures are now being taught to providers as well as to new parents, which has resulted in a decrease in SUID.1

After new parents make it through pregnancy, the peripartum period, and their newborn infant is doing well, it seems the next big worry is SIDS. As my wife and I have been on grandparent's duty lately, we've had to remind ourselves, even with over 75 years of combined clinical experience as a pediatrician and pediatric nurse, respectively, about the “Back to Sleep” campaign standards such as no bumpers or blankets in the crib, checking the firmness of a mattress (which is not possible with an online purchase), not overheating the baby, pacifier use (timing related to breast-feeding), roomsharing without bed sharing, and the importance of breast-feeding. For our immediate family, prenatal or postnatal smoking are not worries that we have to consider; however, those are real considerations for many other families, which is why clinicians should be adequately prepared to discuss risk reduction measures with parents of all newborns, including preterm infants receiving care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).1

With all the anticipatory guidance general pediatric providers need to discuss with new parents as they prepare to go home, whether it is after a normal term delivery or after a stay in the NICU, this issue provides valuable information about SIDS and SUID as well as ways to reduce the risk.

Teens and Social Media

In this month's “Healthy Baby/Healthy Child” column, Dr. Rachel S. Dawson, who is an adolescent specialist and a member of our editorial board, presents another important topic: teens and social media. The article explores how many aspects of social media, such as cyberbullying and even sex trafficking, can negatively influence as well as place children and adolescents in potentially dangerous situations. Dr. Dawson emphasizes the importance of educating families on how to carefully monitor their children's social media habits as another risk reduction measure.


  1. Aris C, Stevens TP, Lemura C, et al. NICU nurses' knowledge and discharge teaching related to infant sleep position and risk of SIDS. Adv Neonatal Care. 2006;6(5):281–294. doi: . doi:10.1016/j.adnc.2006.06.009 [CrossRef]

Joseph R. Hageman, MD

Pediatric Annals Editor-in-Chief Joseph R. Hageman, MD, is the Director of Quality Improvement, Section of Neonatology, Comer Children's Hospital; a Senior Clinician Educator, The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine; and an Emeritus Attending Pediatrician, NorthShore University HealthSystem.

Address correspondence to Joseph R. Hageman, MD, via email:


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