Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the death of a baby who is
younger than 1 year old without a known cause. Typically, a parent or other
caregiver puts the baby—who seems healthy—down to sleep and returns later to
find the baby has died.
No one is at fault when a baby dies of SIDS: it can be neither
predicted nor completely prevented. A baby's death is not considered a case of
SIDS when a specific cause is discovered, such as carbon monoxide poisoning. By
definition, SIDS is considered the cause of a baby's death only when the death
remains unexplained, even after a thorough investigation.
SIDS is also known as sudden infant
death, unexplained (SIDU).
Placing babies on their backs when putting them down to sleep
reduces the risk of SIDS.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.