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The SIDS Center of New Jersey (SCNJ) is a program of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick and the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack. The program is funded in part by a Health Service grant from the New Jersey Department of Health to Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a CJ First Candle grant to the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center.  It was established in 1988 through the SIDS Assistance Act.


The SCNJ missions are to:

1. Provide public health education to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths

2. Offer emotional support to bereaved families

3. Participate in efforts to learn about possible causes of and risk factors associated with sudden unexpected infant deaths including those classified as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, the leading cause of infant mortality from one month to one year of age.

We work with parents, grandparents, physicians, nurses, the child care community, hospitals, first responders, schools, social service agencies, health and education programs and state, federal and national organizations to reduce infant mortality and the racial and ethnic disparities associated with it. Our statewide hotline (1-800-545-7437) can be accessed 24 hours a day to address any questions and concerns.

When providing risk reduction education, the SCNJ follows the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  These were most recently updated in November 2016 and can be accessed using the links provided on this website.  The Safe Infant Sleep guidelines of the AAP are intended to help families reduce the risks that are associated with Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed. Research conducted by the SCNJ contributed to these recommendations.  Since the SCNJ was established, the rate of SIDS in New Jersey has been reduced by 75%. In the most recently available period for comparisons to national data (2012-2014) New Jersey's Sudden Unexpected Infant Death rate was the lowest in the US, equaled only by one other state.  However, each year, approximately 105,000 births take place in New Jersey, and the guideliness must be shared anew with all caregivers. While the rate of these sudden deaths has declined, the challenge is to sustain these improvements and to lower them even further.


New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie proclaims October, 2016 as SIDS Awareness Month. For more information please click on to the news box at the left.


Newly Released

American Academy of Pediatrics

Policy Statement on Safe Infant Sleep, 2016


The American Academy of Pediatrics has just released its newest safe infant sleep policy statement on reducing the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths:


SIDS and Other Sleep-related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment.  (Pediatrics, November, 2016). To retrieve the article, please use the following link:


To retrieve the technical report that provides the evidence base for the policy statement, please use the following link:




Resources for Nurse Education



“Nurses play a critical role in communicating risk-reduction techniques, especially in hospital settings. To ensure that nurses have the most current and accurate information, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has revised its Continuing Education (CE) Activity on Risk Reduction for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Other Sleep-Related Causes of Infant Death: Curriculum for Nurses. This free continuing education activity for nurses was approved by the Maryland Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation. Nurses who successfully complete it will earn 1.1 contact hours of continuing education credit.”

Access course with the following link:


Tool Kit to help hospitals provide

Safe Infant Sleep education

to parents and caregivers!


Click here to access the Tool Kit.