Reducing the Risk of SIDS and Other Sleep-related Infant Deaths through the Design and Deployment of Free Educational Apps for Mobile Phones

Emerging Practice

Reducing the Risk of SIDS and Other Sleep-related Infant Deaths through the Design and Deployment of Free Educational Apps for Mobile Phones

State/TerritorySettingPopulationTopic AreaNPMs
New JerseyCommunityPerinatal/Infant HealthInjury Prevention & Hospitalization5

Two free and novel mobile phone apps, SIDS Info and Baby Be Well® are recent additions to the SIDS Center of New Jersey's (SCNJ) toolkit for reducing the risk of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID). Their features and a description of the needs they were designed to meet are presented in the PDF link and in the Practice Summary. Operating under a Health Services grant from the New Jersey Department of Health since 1988, the SCNJ offers bereavement support, conducts research into SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths, and develops and provides extensive risk reduction education to healthcare, social service. community, and public health providers and the public, creating a wide range of modalities and tools, including print, video, and live and on-demand webinars. In association with the SCNJ's work, New Jersey's rate of SUID is among the lowest in the US. Raising provider and public knowledge of unsafe infant sleep practices, environmental challenges, and implicit bias and other adverse social and health determinants that contribute to an infant's vulnerability is the focus of its many initiatives.

On behalf of parents, grandparents, and other caregivers, the novel and free apps have individual as well as shared features that are collectively intended to: a) enhance direct (virtual) access to and sharing of accurate information about safe sleep practices and other risk-reducing behaviors across all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and age groups; b) enhance durability over that of print material; c) facilitate content updates; d) overcome language and literacy barriers; e) promote recurring exposure to information, and thus to reminders. On behalf of providers, including physicians, nurses, community workers and home visitors, the goal is to offer convenient access to a standardized script and a more durable modality than print for sharing information. These resources can be accessed virtually, a benefit in times when in-person sharing may not be possible. The apps are fully realized and available cost-free for use by other programs, as described in the linked information. Mobile phone ownership crosses all population groups. For programs interested in using the apps in their education protocols but seeking initial background education for its providers regarding SUID and risk reduction, we recommend accessing the SCNJ Facebook site In addition, we have provided access to an SCNJ on-demand webinar via a link on this Emerging Practice page.

practice contact information

SIDS Center of New Jersey, Department of Pediatrics, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Thomas Hegyi MD and Barbara Ostfeld PhD
732-235-8958 (Dr. Hegyi) or 732-249-2160 (SIDS Center of New Jersey office)

Project Website