SIDS Fact Sheet

SIDS Fact Sheet

What is SIDS?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the abrupt, unexpected death of an infant under 1 year of age that remains unexplained after an entire investigation, including:

  • an autopsy;
  • Evaluation of maternal history; and
  • review of medical history.

In America, SIDS is the leading cause of death in babies between 1 month and ONE year of age, with the majority of deaths occurring between 2 and 4 months. SIDS occurs in families of all social, economical and ethnic groups. SIDS isn’t contagious, foreseeable or preventable. SIDS is surprising and quiet, happening most frequently during sleep, with no signs of anguish. Terms used before to describe SIDS contain “crib death” or “cot death.”

How Common is SIDS?

The SIDS rate has dropped drastically. Nevertheless, there are about 2,500 babies who die of SIDS every year in the U.S., and SIDS is the third leading cause of infant mortality. In 2009, SIDS was responsible for 57 infant deaths in Illinois, compared with 106 infant deaths in 1999. SIDS happens more frequently in men and in African American and American Indian or Alaskan Native babies. More SIDS deaths happen in the chillier months.

What Causes SIDS?

The cause(s) of SIDS is still unknown. Nevertheless, it’s normally accepted SIDS is a mixture of variables or events. A leading theory is an infant who seems to be healthy has an inherent defect situated in the brain stem. This region in the brain controls heart and lung functions, including pulse and respiration. SIDS studies suggest some infants have a delay in the evolution of or an abnormality in the portion of the brain involved in breathing and awakening. Infants born with this particular abnormality might be more exposed to sudden death.

Other variables also could play a role in SIDS. For instance, whenever an infant with an inherent issue is subjected to other variables or stressors, including secondhand smoke or sleep on their belly, the baby is at a higher danger of dying from SIDS.

Because the precise cause of SIDS remains unknown and there isn’t any method of calling which babies are in a higher danger, it is necessary to get rid of the risk factors which can be restrained. These variables include exposure to secondhand smoke, tummy sleeping and other dangerous sleep practices.

What exactly are the SIDS Risk Factors?

  • Babies that are set on their sides or tummies at bed time or nap time
  • Use of any soft or loose bedclothes, including quilts, heavy blankets and bumper pads
  • Bed-sharing (both infant and adults or kids sharing the exact same slumber surface, including beds or sofas)
  • Overheating or over-bundling the infant
  • Maternal cigarette smoking during pregnancy and baby’s exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Little or no prenatal care
  • Maternal age less than 20 years
  • Premature or low birth weight babies

So what can I do to Decrease the Danger of SIDS?

Always put your infant on their back to sleep for bed time and rest time.
Utilize a safety approved crib with a firm mattress. Drop side cribs must not be utilized. For info on crib safety standards, go to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s web site at
Remove all loose bedclothes, including pillows, quilts, stuffed toys and other soft things from the crib.
Do not let your baby become too warm.
Ensure your child’s head is uncovered.
Do not smoke while pregnant.
Do not smoke around your baby and do not let anyone else smoke around your baby.
Do not let bed-sharing, even with sibs.
Do not use bumper pads in cribs due to suffocation or strangulation risks.
Breastfeed your infant. Studies reveal breastfeeding can help decrease the danger of SIDS.
Consider offering a pacifier after breastfeeding is created, at bed time and at rest time.
Room-share by means of your infant, without bed-sharing.
Do not use products promising to reduce the danger of SIDS, including wedges and positioners.
Take your infant for their well-child appointments, including vaccinations.
Keep a safe sleep environment – security approved crib, fitted sheet and solid mattress.

Back to Sleep Campaign

It’s important to remember there’s no method to prevent SIDS. But, we do understand infants sleep safer when put on a solid surface on their back. The Back to Sleep Campaign was established in 1994 to help educate parents and health professionals of the value of back sleeping. Since the debut of the Back to Sleep Campaign, the amount of SIDS deaths has dropped by more than 50 percent national. The effort has since grown to the Safe to Sleep Campaign to contain recommendations for parents and health professionals on methods to decrease the danger of SIDS and to decrease the possibility of other sleep-associated causes of infant death, including suffocation. To find out more on the Safe to Sleep Campaign, go to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development web site at this site

American Academy of Pediatrics 2011 SIDS Policy Recommendations

In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) revised its policy statement regarding SIDS based on recent research studies. Recommendations now contain:

Back to sleep for each slumber until 1 year of life
Make use of a firm sleep surface, like a crib mattress, covered by a fitted sheet
Room-sharing without bed-sharing is urged
Keep soft objects and loose bedding out of the crib to decrease the danger of SIDS, suffocation, entrapment, and strangulation
Pregnant women should receive routine prenatal care
Prevent smoke exposure during pregnancy and after birth
Prevent alcohol and illegal drug use during pregnancy and after birth
Breastfeeding is urged
Consider offering a pacifier at nap time and bedtime
Avoid overheating the infant
Babies ought to be immunized in accordance with recommendations of the AAP as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Avoid commercial devices marketed to decrease the danger of SIDS
Don’t use home cardiorespiratory monitors as a strategy to decrease the threat of SIDS
Supervised, alert tummy time is a good idea to ease development and to minimize development of positional plagiocephaly
To find out more on the American Academy of Pediatrics SIDS Policy Recommendations, visit

SIDS and Bed-Sharing

As stated by the American Academy of Pediatrics, bed-sharing isn’t advocated. Bed-sharing hasn’t yet been found to be protective against SIDS, and bed-sharing increases the risk of unintentional suffocation and overlay. Nevertheless, room sharing could be protective against SIDS. Putting the infant in a safety approved crib or bassinet close to the adult bed will enable parents to stay close to the infant while providing a safe sleep environment.

Can Vaccinations Cause SIDS?

Recent studies reason routine vaccinations aren’t risk factors for SIDS. Because vaccinations usually start at age 2-to-4 months, the peak age for SIDS, a lot of individuals have linked vaccinations with the increased risk of SIDS. The organization of vaccinations and SIDS has been examined for a number of years, and reports reason routine vaccinations don’t lead to SIDS. Actually, babies who’ve been vaccinated have a reduced risk of SIDS.