Sudden infant death syndrome
Sudden infant death syndrome, sudden, unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant, also known as SIDS, crib death, or cot death. It usually occurs while the baby is asleep during the night. Victims' ages range from 2 weeks to 1 year. More crib deaths occur during cold than warm weather. SIDS strikes approximately 1 out of every 350 babies in the United States. It kills more boys than girls, and claims more children born prematurely and those born in poverty. The causes for crib death are difficult and sometimes impossible to determine. A baby dying of SIDS will first turn blue and then stop breathing. Investigation of cases has led to the belief that victims of SIDS may have a slightly defective nervous system that stops their breathing and heart.