About SIDS and SUID

About SUID – Sudden Unexpected Infant Death

Sudden unexpected infant deaths are defined as deaths in infants less than 1 year of age that occur suddenly and unexpectedly, and whose cause of death are not immediately obvious prior to investigation.

Each year in the United States, about 4,000 infants die suddenly of no immediately, obvious cause. About half of these Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID) are due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) the leading cause of SUID and all deaths amont infants aged 1-12 months.

The three most frequently reported causes are SIDS, cause unknown, and accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed. In 2010, 2,063 deaths were reported as SIDS, 918 as cause unknown, and 629 as accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed.

What is SIDS?

  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death of an infant that remains unexplained after a complete autopsy and death scene investigation.
  • SIDS is the number one cause of death for infants between the ages of one month and one year.
  • SIDS, sometimes also known as “crib death,” strikes over 3,000 families each year.
  • More babies die of SIDS than will die of AIDS, cystic fibrosis, childhood cancer, pneumonia, child abuse and childhood heart disease during their first fourteen years.

What SIDS is not:

  • SIDS is NOT caused by abuse or neglect.
  • SIDS is not caused by suffocation, vomiting or choking.
  • SIDS is not contagious.
  • SIDS is not hereditary.
  • SIDS is not caused by baby shots, vitamin deficiency or hormone imbalance.
  • SIDS is not caused by allergies or infection.
  • SIDS is not caused by a sleeping parent rolling over on a baby.

Facts About SIDS

  • The cause of SIDS is unknown. At present, in spite of extensive research, no single theory has been proven in the efforts to explain this mysterious disease. In a typical case, an infant, considered to be healthy, is put to bed without any sign of serious illness.
  • SIDS is not predictable. Presently there is no certain way anyone can prevent a SIDS death. In a typical case of SIDS there are no signs leading anyone to suspect that the baby’s health is in danger. SIDS occasionally occurs in hospitals; in fact, many doctors and nurses have lost their own children to SIDS.
  • SIDS babies do not appear to suffer. SIDS is considered to be an almost instantaneous event with death occurring in seconds, usually during sleep, with no sign of disturbance.
  • SIDS does not discriminate. SIDS occurs in families of all social and economic levels. Cases of SIDS have been reported through history as far back as the period of the Old Testament.

Information Resources

For more information on SIDS and how to help prevent it, please visit these sites: