The Illinois Department of Public Health is a resource agency for identification, information, counseling, education and data collection regarding sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in Illinois.
The program operates through a networking system. When an infant dies suddenly and unexpectedly, the coroner or medical examiner is mandated by law to notify the Department’s Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) Program within 72 hours (55 ILCS 5/3-3016). The Department then mails a condolence letter and information to the family and facilitates a home visit to the family by a local public health nurse who has training in bereavement. The nurse can assist the family with their needs and can link them with a support network.
The Department partners with Sudden Infant Death Services of Illinois, Inc. (SIDS of Illinois, Inc.), a nonprofit organization that brings together volunteers and professionals to provide compassionate and meaningful support services to families and individuals who suffer the death of an infant. SIDS of Illinois, Inc. offers support services to any family who experiences a sudden and unexpected infant death; provides information and training to health care professionals; and shares information on risk reduction strategies to the public and professionals.
The Department’s SUID Program works closely with SIDS of Illinois, Inc. in training professionals who might become involved with a sudden and unexpected infant death. These include coroners, medical examiners, nurses, emergency medical personnel, emergency room staff, police and fire department staff, funeral directors and clergy.