Who is affected by SIDS

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death for babies 1 month to 6 months of age.1

  • In the United States, about 8 babies out of 10,000 die of SIDS.2 More babies died of SIDS before the national "Back to Sleep" campaign, which taught people to place babies down to sleep on their backs.
  • In the U.S., the SIDS rate is higher for African Americans and some Native Americans compared to Caucasians, Asians, and Hispanics.
  • The rate of SIDS deaths in other countries varies, in part because SIDS is not defined consistently throughout the world.


  1. Hymel KP and the Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, American Academy of Pediatrics (2006). Clinical report: Distinguishing sudden infant death syndrome from child abuse fatalities. Pediatrics, 118(1): 421–427.
  2. Creery D, Mikrogianakis A (2006). Sudden infant death syndrome. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence. Also available online: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.

Last Updated: September 15, 2008

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