Overview

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 might be associated with defects in the portion of an infant's brain that controls breathing and arousal from sleep.

Researchers have discovered some factors that might put babies at extra risk. They've also identified measures you can take to help protect your child from SIDS. Perhaps the most important is placing your baby on his or her back to sleep.