Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: A Review

Pediatr Ann. 2018 Mar 1;47(3):e118-e123. doi: 10.3928/19382359-20180221-03.


Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant younger than age 12 months whose cause of death remains unknown despite a thorough death scene investigation, a review of the clinical history, and an autopsy. Despite the huge achievement of the Back to Sleep program, SIDS remains one of the leading causes of infant death in the United States. In recent years, the SIDS rate has remained stationary despite major public health efforts aimed at high-risk groups to improve sleep environment and strategies. This review focuses on SIDS epidemiology, pathogenesis and risk factors, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations on safe infant sleeping environment, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's multistate registry to improve knowledge on SIDS, evaluate trends, and analyze circumstances and events surrounding SIDS cases. [Pediatr Ann. 2018;47(3):e118-e123.].

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Care / methods
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep
  • Sudden Infant Death* / epidemiology
  • Sudden Infant Death* / etiology
  • Sudden Infant Death* / prevention & control
  • United States / epidemiology