Child care providers should be trained to respond to an emergency involving an infant who has stopped breathing or is unresponsive. For easy reference, post emergency procedures in the infant room or other prominent location.
Follow these general emergency procedures outlined in When Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Occurs in Childcare Settings published by the National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Resource Center.
- Establish unresponsiveness and, if possible, send a bystander to call for help.
- Begin CPR – cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
- If alone, Dial 911 or your area’s emergency telephone number – after one full minute of CPR.
- Notify the baby’s parents.
- Contact your emergency child care backup person to care for the other children.
- DO NOT disturb the place where the baby died.
- Prepare to talk with law enforcement officers, a coroner or medical examiner and licensing and insuring agencies.
- Contact DCD within 24 hours of the child’s death or the next working day.
- Document the entire sequence of events – note times.
- Obtain and complete the necessary forms, including medical forms, as soon as possible.
- Look to your network of family, friends or clergy for comfort and support. Grief and bereavement support is within reach through private counselors, social service personnel and SIDS Counselors at your local county health department.
- Contact the N.C. SIDS Program at the N.C. Division of Health and Human Services at (919) 707-5700 or a SIDS Counselor at your local health department for information about grief and bereavement resources and services.
An investigation is standard protocol when a baby dies and is an important part of understanding what happened. It is a key feature of a SIDS diagnosis.
The investigation will include collecting detailed information about:
- the baby’s location at the time of death
- the position in which the baby was found
- events and behavior prior to the death
- the baby’s medical history
Documentation may also include taking photographs, clothing, bedding, food items or bottles. It is important that the place where the baby died be left undisturbed as much as possible.
Prepared by: North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation 1/2006