SIDS is the sudden death of an infant younger than 1 year of age that is still unexplained after a complete investigation. This investigation can include an autopsy, a review of the death scene, and taking complete family and medical histories.1
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 2,226 infants died from SIDS in 2009 (the most recent year for which data are available).2
SIDS is the leading cause of death in children between 1 month and 1 year of age.3 The majority (90%) of SIDS deaths occur before a child is 6 months old, with most occurring between 1 and 4 months.4
Currently, there is no known way to completely prevent SIDS, but there are ways to reduce the risk.
The single most effective action that parents and caregivers can take is to place babies to sleep on their backs for all sleep times. Research shows that5:
For more information about SIDS and ways to reduce the risk for SIDS, visit SIDS Health Topic.
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