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:
Oct. 21, 2011
- Mother under the age of 20
- Smoking cigarettes
- Drug or alcohol use
- Inadequate prenatal care
- Hunt CE, et al. Sudden infant death syndrome. In: Kliegman RM. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed March 31, 2011.
- Corwin MJ. Sudden infant death syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 31, 2011.
- Maitra A. Sudden infant death syndrome. In: Kumar V, et al. Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease, Professional Edition. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0792-2..50015-8--cesec51&isbn=978-1-4377-0792-2&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0792-2..50015-8--cesec55&uniqId=238364706-3. Accessed April 1, 2011.
- Moon RY, et al. SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths: Expansion of recommendations for a safe infant sleep environment. Pediatrics. 2011;128:1030. www.pediatrics.org/cgi/doi/10.1542/peds.2011-2284. Accessed Oct. 18, 2011.
- Hauck FR, et al. Breastfeeding and reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome: A meta-analysis. Pediatrics.2011;128:103.