SIDS stands for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It is the diagnosis given for the sudden death of an infant under one year of age that remains unexplained after a complete investigation, which includes an autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the symptoms or illness the infant had prior to dying and any other pertinent medical and family history. Because many SIDS babies are found in their cribs, some people call SIDS "crib death" But cribs do not cause SIDS.
Facts About SIDS
We do not know what causes SIDS, but doctors do know:
- SIDS is the leading cause of death in babies after 1 month of age to 1 year of age.
- 90 percent of SIDS deaths happen in babies under 6 months of age, with the highest number occurring between 2 and 4 months.
- Babies placed to sleep on their stomachs are much more likely to die of SIDS than babies placed on their backs to sleep.
- Babies are more likely to die of SIDS if they are placed to sleep on top of soft bedding or if they are covered with soft bedding.
- African American Babies are 2 times more likely to die of SIDS than white babies and American Indian babies are almost 3 times more likely to die of SIDS than white babies.
- In 2002, research showed that the U.S. infant mortality rate for SIDS is 7.0 of every 1,000 live births.