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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): Overview

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SIDS is the sudden, unexplained death of an infant younger than 1 year old.

It is the leading cause of death in children between 1 month and 1 year of age. Although there is no sure way to prevent SIDS, parents and caregivers can reduce the risk for SIDS.

The NICHD has been a leader in research on SIDS since the early 1970s. To complement its research, the NICHD partnered with other organizations to launch the Safe to Sleep campaign (formerly the Back to Sleep campaign) in 1994 to educate parents, caregivers, and health care providers about ways to reduce the risk of SIDS. Since then, SIDS rates in the United States have decreased by 50%.

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Common Names

  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Crib death
  • Cot Death
BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Division of Intramural Population Health Research