Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and
unexplained death of an apparently healthy infant younger than one
year of age. SIDS is the unexpected death of an infant which
remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation,
including the performance of a complete
autopsy, death scene investigation, and review of the medical
history. SIDS is known as a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning
all other medical causes that may have contributed to baby's death
have been examined and excluded.
SIDS can happen to any family no matter what
race they are, how much money they make, the age of the parents, or
where they live.
SIDS is the leading cause of
death of babies from one
month to one year of age. Every year, approximately 4,500
babies die suddenly and unexpectedly in the United States. Of
these about 2,300 are diagnosed as SIDS. The remaining SUID
deaths may include those that were diagnosed as 'undetermined' after
the case investigation, accidental
suffocation due to baby's sleep environment, or positional asphyxia.
Ninety percent of SIDS deaths occur before six months
of age, with the majority occurring between two and four months of
age. SIDS occurs more often
in the winter and early spring months.
SIDS is not contagious or hereditary and is
not caused by parental neglect or abuse.
SIDS is not caused by suffocation, vomiting, or
choking, and is not caused by immunizations.
At one time, SIDS was called Crib Death because these
babies usually die while they are sleeping. However, contrary to
that name, more often than not, these babies are not sleeping in a
crib when they die.
SIDS cannot be predicted nor is it entirely preventable at
this time, but research demonstrates that the risks can be reduced. Click
for more information on how to
reduce the risk of SIDS.
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