Although sudden infant death syndrome can strike any infant, researchers have identified several factors that may increase a baby's risk. They include:

  • Sex. Boy babies are more likely to die of SIDS.
  • Age. Infants are most vulnerable during the second and third months of life.
  • Race. For reasons that aren't well understood, black, American Indian or Eskimo infants are more likely to develop SIDS.
  • Family history. Babies who've had siblings or cousins die of SIDS are at higher risk of SIDS themselves.

Maternal risk factors

The risk of SIDS is also affected by maternal factors associated with the pregnancy, including:

  • Mother under the age of 20
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Inadequate prenatal care
Oct. 21, 2011