Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexplained death of an infant under one year of age. It is also referred to as “crib death,” as it primarily occurs during sleep.

It is the primary cause of death in infants one month to one year of age. Though doctors and researchers do not know exactly what causes it, they do know certain preventative measures. SIDS is the most common cause of death in infants one month to one year of age, with the most frequency between two and four months of age. It is more prevalent in boys than girls.

One major factor is back sleeping: Infants less than one-year-old should always to put to sleep on their backs, never facedown or on their sides.

Other possible risks include smoking, drinking, or drug use during and after pregnancy; inadequate medical care during pregnancy; premature birth or low birth weight; a family history of SIDS; maternal age less than 20 years; and overheating.

Parents are encouraged to sleep in the same room but not the same bed. Breastfeeding (or feeding with breast milk) and maintaining full immunization have also been found to be preventive.

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