What is SIDS?
SIDS, formally known as sudden infant death syndrome, is defined as the sudden and unexpected death of a baby who is less than one year old with no obvious cause of death prior to an investigation. According to NIH.gov, there were approximately 1,360 deaths that were attributed to SIDS in 2017. About 90% of SIDS deaths happen before the baby is six months old, but it can happen any time before the baby turns one year old.
Risk Factors for SIDS
There are many factors that have been shown to put babies at a higher risk for SIDS. Some of these factors include babies that:
- Are under the age of one
- Sleep on their stomach or side
- Sleep on a soft surface (adult mattress, couch, chair, etc.)
- Sleep on or underneath loose bedding
- Get too hot during sleep
- Are exposed to cigarette smoke during and/or post birth
- Share a bed with an adult, child or pet
- Were exposed to alcohol in the womb
A way that parents can avoid SIDS in addition to avoiding the list above is to, if possible, breast feed.
Learn more about what is being done to reduce infant mortality here.