Understanding SIDS

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death among children aged one month to one year. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) defines SIDS as the sudden death of an infant under one year of age which remains unexplained after thorough investigation including a complete autopsy, examination of the place of death and review of clinical history. Therefore, SIDS is a diagnosis of exclusion – made only when all other possible causes have been eliminated.

  • SIDS claims the lives of nearly 2,500 infants each year in the United States.
  • SIDS deaths occur to apparently healthy infants, usually during periods of sleep.
  • SIDS is not caused by vaccinations, suffocation, smothering, abuse or neglect; nor is it contagious.
  • SIDS occurs in babies of all races and socioeconomic levels and cannot be predicted or prevented.

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