SIDS - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome


SIDS is the unexpected, sudden death of a healthy baby under age 1 in which an autopsy does not show an explainable cause of death.

SIDS remains the leading cause of death in infants under one year old in most countries throughout the world.

With an average 5 out of every 10,000 death rate, SIDS death toll reaches 5600 babies per year in the USA and Europe alone.

SIDS is impossible to predict and modern medicine has not yet come up with means of care or solution.

SIDS - Causes, incidence and risk factors

The cause of SIDS is unknown, although there are several theories. Many doctors and researchers now believe that SIDS is not a single condition that is always caused by the same medical problems, but infant death caused by several different factors.

These factors may include problems with sleep arousal or an inability to sense a build-up of carbon dioxide in the blood. Almost all SIDS deaths occur without any warning or symptoms when the infant is thought to be sleeping.

SIDS is most likely to occur between 2 and 4 months of age, and 90% occur by 6 months of age. It occurs more often in winter months, with the peak in January.

The following have been linked to an increased risk of SIDS:

arrowBabies who sleep on their stomachs

arrowBabies who are around cigarette smoke while in the womb or after being born

Babies who sleep in the same bed as their parents

arrowBabies who have soft bedding in the crib

arrowMultiple birth babies (being a twin, triplet, etc.

arrowPremature babies

Babies who have a brother or sister who had SIDS

arrowMothers who smoke or use illegal drugs

arrowTeen mothers

arrowShort time period between pregnancies

arrowLate or no prenatal care

SIDS affects boys more often than girls. While studies show that babies with the above risk factors are more likely to be affected, the impact or importance of each factor is not well-defined or understood.

SIDS - Symptoms


There are no symptoms. Babies who die of SIDS do not appear to suffer or struggle.


SIDS - Signs and tests


Autopsy results are not able to confirm a cause of death, but may help add to the existing knowledge about SIDS.


next arrowRead more about the factors that can reduce the risk of SIDS