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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.


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

1314 Bedford Avenue

Suite 210

Baltimore, MD 21208

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.

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