Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. SIDS is sometimes known as crib death because the infants often die in their cribs.
Although the cause is unknown, it appears that SIDS may be associated with abnormalities in the portion of an infant's brain that controls breathing and arousal from sleep.
Researchers have discovered some factors that may put babies at extra risk. They've also identified some measures you can take to help protect your child from SIDS. Perhaps the most important measure is placing your baby on his or her back to sleep.
Oct. 28, 2016
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- Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths: Updated 2016 recommendations for a safe infant sleeping environment. Pediatrics. 2016;138:e20162938.
- Corwin MJ. Sudden infant death syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 14, 2014.
- Wong CA, et al. American Indian and Alaska Native infant and pediatric mortality, United States, 1999-2009. American Journal of Public Health. 2014;104:S320.