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What is SIDS?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexplained death of an apparently healthy infant younger than one year of age that remains unexplained after an autopsy, death scene investigation and medical history review. SIDS is a diagnosis of exclusion. 

Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) is a term used to describe any sudden and unexpected death, whether explained or unexplained (including SIDS) during infancy. SUID can have both known and unknown causes. SIDS and suffocation are both examples of SUID.  For some SUID cases, a cause is never found.

SIDS and SUID are very democratic.  A sudden unexpected sleep related death may 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.

  • 90% of SIDS deaths occur before six months of age.
  • SIDS is not caused by parental neglect or abuse.
  • SIDS is not caused by suffocation, vomiting, or choking, and is not caused by immunizations.
  • SIDS cannot be predicted and is not entirely preventable at this time, but research demonstrates that the risks can be drastically reduced by following safe sleep recommendations. 
  • There are no survivors of SIDS or “near SIDS” events. 
  • The first and only symptom of SIDS is death.