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    Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

    It is possible that the main title of the report Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


    • SIDS
    • cot death
    • crib death

    Disorder Subdivisions

    • None

    General Discussion

    Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden death of an infant under the age of 1 year that remains unexplained after careful review of the history, death scene investigation, and thorough autopsy. In 2008, the most recent published data from the National Vital Statistics System indicated that SIDS was listed as the third leading cause of death in infants in the United States. Causes of SIDS are considered to be multifactorial. The triple risk hypothesis describes the presence of three risk factors that, when overlapping, predispose a baby to SIDS. These include an environmental trigger/stress, a critical developmental period, and an underlying vulnerability. Physician-scientists and scientists are studying neuropathological tissue and genetic material from SIDS victims to ascertain factors that might be responsible for heightening an infant's vulnerability to SIDS. Others are performing physiologic studies on infants known to have an increased risk for SIDS. Basic scientists are studying animal models that might provide insight into mechanisms responsible for SIDS. Current clinical management targets improving education for families and caregivers regarding known modifiable environmental stressors (risk factors) (see below).


    First Candle-SIDS Alliance
    2105 Laurel Bush Road
    Suite 201
    Bel Air, MD 21015
    Tel: (443)640-1049
    Tel: (800)221-7437

    National Sudden and Unexpected Infant/Child Death Resource Center
    2115 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
    Suite 601
    Washington, DC 20007
    Tel: (202)687-7466
    Fax: (202)784-9777
    Tel: (866)866-7437

    NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
    P.O. Box 5801
    Bethesda, MD 20824
    Tel: (301)496-5751
    Fax: (301)402-2186
    Tel: (800)352-9424
    TDD: (301)468-5981

    American SIDS Institute
    528 Raven Way
    Naples, FL 34110
    Tel: (239)431-5425
    Fax: (239)431-5536
    Tel: (800)232-7437

    SIDS Educational Services, Inc.
    PO Box 2426
    Hyattsville, MD 20784-0426
    Tel: (301)322-2620
    Fax: (301)322-9822

    NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
    31 Center Dr
    Building 31, Room 2A32
    Bethesda, MD 20892
    Fax: (866)760-5947
    Tel: (800)370-2943
    TDD: (888)320-6942

    Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths
    11 Belgrave Road
    London, SW1V 1RB
    United Kingdom
    Tel: 02078023200
    Fax: 08707870725
    Tel: 08707870554

    Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
    PO Box 8126
    Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
    Tel: (301)251-4925
    Fax: (301)251-4911
    Tel: (888)205-2311
    TDD: (888)205-3223

    Infants Remembered In Silence, Inc. (IRIS)
    112 Third Street NE
    Faribault, MN 55021
    Tel: (507)334-4748
    Fax: (507)334-4748

    Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support, Inc.
    402 Jackson Street
    Saint Charles, MO 63301
    Tel: (636)947-6164
    Fax: (636)947-7486
    Tel: (800)821-6819

    Sudden Infant Death Services of Illinois, Inc.
    6010 Route 53
    Suite A
    Lisle, IL 60532
    Tel: (630)305-7300
    Fax: (630)305-4773
    Tel: (800)432-7437

    CJ Foundation for SIDS, Inc.
    HUMC: WFAN Pediatric Center
    30 Prospect Avenue
    Hackensack, NJ 07601
    Tel: (551)996-5301
    Fax: (551)996-5326
    Tel: (888)825-7437

    For a Complete Report:

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

    The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

    It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

    This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

    For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

    Last Updated: 7/11/2012
    Copyright 1986, 1987, 1991, 1998, 1999, 2007, 2009, 2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

    WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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