For Childcare Providers
Responding to an unresponsive infant
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)
- 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
- Contact DCD within 24 hours of the child's death
or the next working day.
- Document the entire sequence of events - note
- 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
through private counselors, social service
personnel and SIDS Counselors at your local
- 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
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
- 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
Prepared by: North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation 1/2006
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Last updated: October 2006