SIDS Is Not…

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SIDS is not the cause of every sudden infant death.

Each year in the United States, thousands of babies die suddenly and unexpectedly. These deaths are called SUID (pronounced Soo-id), which stands for “Sudden Unexpected Infant Death.”

SUID includes all unexpected deaths: those without a clear cause, such as SIDS, and those from a known cause, such as suffocation. One-half of all SUID cases are SIDS. Many unexpected infant deaths are accidents, but a disease or something done on purpose can also cause a baby to die suddenly and unexpectedly.

“Sleep-related causes of infant death” are those linked to how or where a baby sleeps or slept. They are due to accidental causes, such as suffocation; entrapment, when the baby gets trapped between two objects, such as a mattress and a wall, and can’t breathe; or strangulation, when something presses on or wraps around baby’s neck, blocking baby’s airway. These deaths are not SIDS.

Other things that SIDS is not:

  • SIDS is not the same as suffocation and is not caused by suffocation.
  • SIDS is not caused by vaccines, immunizations, or shots.
  • SIDS is not contagious.
  • SIDS is not the result of neglect or child abuse.
  • SIDS is not caused by cribs.
  • SIDS is not caused by vomiting or choking.
  • SIDS is not completely preventable, but there are ways to reduce the risk.

Check out the Myths and Facts About SIDS and Safe Infant Sleep section for other things that SIDS is not. Explanations of some Common SIDS and SUID Terms and Definitions are also available.



Safe to Sleep® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Last Updated Date: 09/23/2013
Last Reviewed Date: 09/23/2013