By Madi Olson

What is SIDS?

SIDS stands for Sudden Infants Death Syndrome, which is the unexplained death of an infant, and usually occurs while the infant is sleeping. It is often referred to as crib death because they often die in in their cribs.

Causes and Risks

  • Brain abnormalities: The portions of the brain that control waking from sleep and breathing don't work properly.
  • Low birth weight: If the baby is born premature or is a part of a multiple birth, it's more likely for the baby to be underweight and not have a fully developed brain
  • Sleeping positions: If a baby sleeps on its stomach or side, it's more likely for them to suffer from SIDS.
  • Where the baby sleeps: It is recommended that a baby sleeps in the same rooms as the parents, but not in the same bed, or on a soft surface. Sleeping on a fluffy surface increases the chances of blocking the baby's airways.

Symptoms and Tests


  • No symptoms or warning signs
  • They seem totally normal when they are put to bed


  • Autopsy
  • Investigation of the death scene
  • Electrolytes are checked to rule out dehydration as a cause
  • Parents will answer questions such as..

1. When was the baby last fed?

2. Where and in what position did you find the baby?

3. How was the baby sleeping?

4. Were there any recent signs of illness?


  • Place baby to sleep on his or her back
  • Put a little blankets and pillows in crib as possible
  • Baby should sleep alone
  • Use a pacifier (if breastfeeding, wait until you have developed an effective nursing routine)


  • 45% of unexpected deaths of infants are of SIDS
  • Since 1990, the rate of SIDS has gone down by from about 130 to 50 deaths out of every 100,000 infant deaths
  • SIDS is most common in American Indian and Alaska Natives and least common in Asians
  • About 1,500 infants died of SIDS in 2013

Who to Call

  • Call pediatrician for information on SIDS if you suspect your child might be suffering from it
  • Call 911 for an emergency


"Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)." Risk Factors. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2015. <>.

"Data and Statistics." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 08 Oct. 2015. Web. 14 Oct. 2015. <>.

"Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Causes, Symptoms, Treatment - Exams and Tests - EMedicineHealth." EMedicineHealth. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2015. <>.

"Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)-Topic Overview." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2015. <>.