Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: What Every Parent Needs to Know about SIDS

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death for babies under a year old in the United States. Most SIDS deaths occur between two and four months of age. Learn more about SIDS and how you can help reduce your baby's risk. Then, take our potentially lifesaving quiz to be sure you know the facts. Don't forget to share this important information with your baby's grandparents and other caregivers.

What is SIDS?

SIDS is the diagnosis for the sudden death of a baby under one year of age that remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including autopsy, death scene investigation, review of the baby's health status prior to death and family medical history.

Who is at risk for SIDS?

  • Babies who sleep on their stomachs
  • Babies born to mothers who smoke during pregnancy and babies that are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth
  • Babies born to mothers who are under 20 years old at the time of their first pregnancy
  • Babies born to mothers who had no or late prenatal care
  • Babies who are premature or low birth weight
  • Babies who are placed to sleep on soft surfaces, such as soft mattresses, sofas, sofa cushions, waterbeds or sheepskins.
  • Babies who are placed to sleep in an area containing fluffy and loose bedding, such as pillows, quilts or other coverings, stuffed toys and other soft items
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