Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
This problem is more common in infants who are less than 6 months of age. It is also more common in boys and babies who are Black, Native American, and Native Alaskan.
Other things that may raise the risk are:
- Premature birth or low birth weight
- Sleeping on the stomach or side rather than the back
- Using quilts, blankets, pillows, or similar bedding items
- Overheating from wearing too much clothing
- Co-sleeping in the parent(s) bed
- Lack of prenatal care
- Exposure to tobacco smoke
- Upper respiratory infections
- Parental alcohol or drug abuse
The risk of this problem may be lowered by:
- Getting regular prenatal care during pregnancy
- Not smoking, drinking alcohol, or using drugs during pregnancy or after birth
- Putting infants to sleep on their back until 1 year of age
- Using a firm sleep surface
- Avoiding soft materials and loose bedding
- Sleeping in the same room as parents but on a separate sleep surface
- Not putting too many clothing or blankets on an infant
- Offering a pacifier at nap time or bedtime
- Getting advised immunizations
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Crib Death; SIDS)
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.familydoctor.org
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics http://www.healthychildren.org
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca
Caring for Kids—Canadian Paediatric Society http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/sudden-infant-death-syndrome-sids. Accessed August 31, 2021.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Kid's Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/sleep/sids.html. Accessed August 31, 2021.
10/25/2016 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance. https://www.dynamed.com/condition/sudden-infant-death-syndrome-sids: SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Evidence Base for 2016 Updated Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment Rachel Y. Moon, Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Pediatrics Oct 2016, e20162940; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2016-2940 .
9/26/2017 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance. https://www.dynamed.com/condition/sudden-infant-death-syndrome-sids: Psaila K, Foster JP, et al. Infant pacifiers for reduction in risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Apr 5;4:CD011147.