Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): SIDS, a type of SUID, is the sudden, unexplained death of a baby younger than 1 year of age and there is no known cause even after a complete investigation that includes a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history. Below are some myths dispelled, facts about the syndrome, and statistics regarding this which affects potentially very young lives. This post aims to assist in creating awareness and support scientific research for the eradication of this troubling phenomenon by sharing SIDS statistics and other information.
- SIDS is communicable - Babies cannot "catch" SIDS, it is not caused by infection.
- Cribs cause SIDS or "crib death" - Features of sleep environment can increase risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death (Safe Sleep Environment Tips
- SIDS is preventable - There is no known prevention method, but there are effective ways to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Shots, vaccines, immunizations, and medicines cause SIDS - They may have protective effect against SIDS. Check-ups and shots are recommended to ensure your infants good health.
- SIDS Can occur in babies at any age - It affects infants from 0 months to 1 year.
- Sharing the bed with the infant will be able to prevent SIDS from happening - Since there are not warnings or symptoms of when SIDS occurs, its unlikely adults would hear a problem and prevent SIDS from happening. Sleeping with the baby in an adult bed increases the risk of suffocation and other sleep-related causes of infant death, so this is not recommended.
- SIDS is a medical disorder that is silent and sudden. It can affect even seemingly health infants.
- Slightly more boys die of SIDS than girls (source)
- Over 2000 babies died of SIDS in 2010, the most recent year for which statistics are available.
- Rates of SIDS has dropped steadily since 1994 in all racial and ethnic groups. Thousands of lives have been saved, but some groups are still at high risk for SIDS.
- SIDS happens any time of year. In the past, the number of deaths seemed to increase during colder months of the year.
- It is the leading cause of death among babies 1 month and a year of age.
Breakdown of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death by Cause, 2013
In 2013, sudden unexpected infant deaths were reportedly caused by these three things: 45% of cases were from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, 31% by an unknown cause, and 24% from accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed.
U.S. Rates of SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Causes of Infant Death (1990-2013)
Trends in Sudden Unexpected Infant Death by Cause, 1990-2013
This graph shows the trends in sudden unexpected infant death rates in the United States from 1990 through 2013. SIDS rates declined consideration from 130.3 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 39.7 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2013.
Sudden Unexpected Infant Death by Race/Ethnicity, 2010-2013
This stacked bar chart shows sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) rates by cause: sudden infant death syndrome, unknown cause, and accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed, and by race/ethnicity in the United States from 2010 through 2013.
SUID death rates per 100,000 live births:
American Indian/Alaska Native (190.5) and non-Hispanic black infants (171.8) were more than twice those of non-Hispanic white infants (84.4).
SUID death rates per 100,000 live births were lowest among Hispanic infants (50.8) and Asian/Pacific Islander infants (34.7).
SIDS comprised the largest proportion of SUID deaths for all racial/ethnic groups, which ranged from 48% of SUID among AI/AN and A/PI to 54% of SUID among NHW.
Accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed comprised the smallest proportion of deaths for all racial groups, ranging from 16% of SUID among Hispanics to 23% of SUID among NHB.