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Many studies shows that sleeping in a prone position as an important risk factor for sudden infant death in infants below 1 year of age, and after a complete pathological anatomy, death process analysis, clinical history examination and other detailed investigation still failed to find the cause of death. Health promotion administration urges parents to adopt a supine sleeping position for their infant (below 1 year of age) every time they put them to sleep, so as to prevent infant respiratory obstruction from lateral or prone sleeping position.


Sudden infant death took 100 lives in 3 years, caused by prone sleeping position.

According to 2013 – 2015 statistics on cause of death from Ministry of Health and Welfare, a total of 110 infants died from SIDS, where infants between 1 to 2 months of age had the highest death rate. Some parents worry that if their infant will sleep in a supine position, it can lead to suffocation from milk chocking or affect the shape of their head, therefore, parents let their infants sleep in a lateral or prone position. In fact, parents need not worry because supine sleeping position does not increase the chances of milk chocking, whereas, since some infants have poor reflex apnea response, thus, when infants are sleeping in prone position, it can lead to asphyxia and other accidents. Sleeping in a lateral position is also not recommended because it is easy to turn into prone position.


Reducing the risk factors for sudden infant death and providing infants with a safe sleeping environment.

To reduce the risk factors for SIDS, Health Promotion Administration has referred to the recommendations of American Academy of Pediatrics, consulted domestic experts and professional medical associations to include “Tips for newborn care – safe sleeping environment” (as attachment) and “How to prevent sudden infant death syndrome” into the children’s health booklet. This booklet is given at the time of birth to provide parents, babysitters, grandparents and major caregivers at home to create a safe sleeping environment for the infant. In addition to supine sleeping position, there are other preventive measures to be taken to avoid sudden infant death, which are as follows:

  1. Infants should not sleep with others on the same bed: infant sleeping with others on the same bed is also one of the risk factors, be it with parents or siblings, it is recommended that “same room but not same bed”.
  2. Make sure nothing covers the infant’s head: Such as the use of towels or blankets, the baby should be wrapped to the chest, and the arms exposed to reduce the chances of covering the face.
  3. The baby crib should be solid, devoid of soft objects like pillows, stuffed toys etc.; furthermore, infants should not be allowed to sleep on sofa, chairs, mattress or lay on parents or caregivers.
  4. Wear one-piece or sleeping bag type baby pajamas.
  5. Avoid overheating the environment, including wearing too much clothing with overly wrapping the baby. During the absence of air conditioning, pay close attention to ventilation.
  6. Smokeless environment, do not let anyone smoke near the infant.


Every child is dear to their parents, in order to give an opportunity to the infant to grow up, parents, grandparents and caregivers should pay close attention to the safety of their infant’s sleeping environment, thus reducing the anxiety and regret following sudden infant death. Information regarding the children’s health booklet can be downloaded from Health Promotion Administration website or from the national free pregnancy care hotline (0800-870-870) for consultation.

Modify Date:2018/02/23 Publish Date:2017/01/11