What is SUID?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths are infant deaths that occur suddenly and unexpectedly, and whose manner and cause of death are not immediately obvious prior to investigation.” A Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) can be caused by: accidental suffocation, hyperthermia or hypothermia, metabolic disorders, neglect or homicide, poisoning, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or unknown causes.
What is SIDS?
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden unexpected death of an apparently healthy baby under one year of age that remains unexplained after a complete investigation, including an autopsy, examination of the scene of death and review of medical history according to First Candle. SIDS is the leading cause of death for infants between 1 month and 1-year-old. It is not caused by suffocation, aspiration, abuse, or neglect. Most SIDS deaths occur when a baby is between 2 and 4 months old. Sixty percent of all SIDS deaths are comprised of male babies. African American and Native American babies are 2-3 times more likely to die of SIDS than Caucasian babies.
While the cause of SIDS is unknown, research is helping guide recommendations for prevention and awareness. The most significant impact has been the “Back-to-Sleep Campaign,” which was introduced in 1994 by the American Academy of Pediatrics, First Candle and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The recommendation to always place babies on their backs to sleep resulted in a 50 percent decline of SIDS in the United States. Prenatal smoking, second-hand smoke and third-hand smoke have also been linked to SIDS. During the last decade, the American Academy of Pediatrics has supported the “triple-risk hypothesis,” which proposes that infants who die from SIDS have age-specific risks, are born consisting of general vulnerability, and precipitating factors. A new research study from the SIDS Center of Excellence at Children’s Hospital Boston, led by Harvard researcher Dr. Hannah Kinney, revealed that lower levels of serotonin were found in babies who died of SIDS.
Protect Your Baby from SUID & SIDS
There are preventable measures that parents and caregivers can take to help protect their baby from SIDS and SUID. You can provide a safe sleep environment for your baby to prevent suffocation and accidents. Babies should always be placed on their backs to sleep in a safety-approved crib or basinet with a firm mattress and a tight-fitted sheet. No additional items such as bedding, bumpers, or toys should in the crib. By promoting a smoke-free, safe-sleeping environment and back to sleep position, we can help parents and caregivers protect their babies.