What is SIDS and SUID?

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.

Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) is defined as death in infants younger than one year of age that occurs suddenly and unexpectedly, and whose cause of death is not immediately obvious before investigation.  SUID includes all unexpected deaths; those from a known and unknown causes.  SIDS and suffocation are both types of SUID.  For some SUID cases, a cause is never found.

SIDS and SUID 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.  In 2015, there were about 3,700 sudden unexpected infant deaths in the United States.  These deaths occurred in infants younger than one year of age and had no immediately obvious cause.  The three commonly reported types of SUID include SIDS, unknown causes, and accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed.  In 2015, of the 3700 deaths about 1,600 were due to SIDS, 1,200 were diagnosed as an unknown cause, and about 900 deaths were due to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed. (Center for Disease Control)

Ninety percent of SIDS deaths occur before six months of age, with the majority occurring between two and four months of age.  In the past, the number of SIDS deaths seemed to increase during the colder months of the year.  But today, the numbers are more evenly spread throughout the calendar year.

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 drastically reduced.