Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is a disorder marked by the sudden and unexpected death of a healthy child who is younger than one year old, usually during sleep. The cause of SIDS is not known. SIDS is the leading cause of death in children between 1 month and 1 year in the United States. About 3,500 infants die from SIDS per year. Ninety percent of SIDS deaths occur within the first 6 months of life, with the rate peaking between 1 to 4 months.
Continuing education and safe sleep practices is extremely important to help prevent SIDS.
Factors that reduce the risk of SIDS include:
Boston Children’s Hospital devotes research and clinical trials in the pursuit of understanding SIDS further, since the cause is unknown. Their scientific research center is one of the largest and most active out of any pediatric hospital in the world. They offer a variety of programs dedicated to the safety of babies and education for parents such as the Infant Follow-up Program and the Young Parents Program.
Seattle Children’s Research Institute teamed up with Microsoft to research SIDS, and they found a link between nicotine use in utero and negative outcomes like SIDS. “Our findings point to new areas in the brain where nicotine could act as a developmental disruptor and could be important to understanding sudden infant death syndrome,” says Dr. Eric Turner of the research institute’s Center for Integrative Brain Research.