Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

The Branch supports studies to elucidate underlying mechanisms of SIDS and its probable cause(s). Additional research strives to identify infants at risk for SIDS and develop preventive approaches.
You can learn more about the research agenda of the SIDS program at NICHD by reading Targeting Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): A Strategic Plan, which is one of several NICHD strategic planning documents.

The Branch also provides scientific expertise and a research foundation for the Safe to Sleep campaign—formerly known as the Back to Sleep campaign, which aims to educate parents, caregivers, and health care providers about ways to reduce the risk for SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.

Safe to Sleep is an expansion of the original Back to Sleep campaign, which started in 1994. Back to Sleep was named for its recommendation to place healthy babies on their backs to sleep, the most effective action that parents and caregivers can take to reduce the risk of SIDS, a recommendation that resulted from NICHD-supported research. Since that campaign started, the percentage of infants placed on their backs to sleep has increased dramatically, and the overall SIDS rates have declined by than 50 percent.

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