General and Common Characteristics of SIDS Babies

(Dwyer & Ponsonby, 1995; Hoffman & Hillman, 1992;
Missouri Child Fatality Review, 1997; Dr. L. Hillman)

Age Distribution:
90% of all SIDS deaths occur in infants less than 6 months of age. 70% of deaths occur in infants between 2 and 4 months of age.

Seasonal Distribution:
More deaths occur in the winter and fall months

Population Distribution:
Approximately 3,000 – 3,500 babies die of sudden infant death in the U.S. each year. Each year in the state of Missouri, approximately 90 – 95 babies succumb to “sudden infant death,”. 60% male vs. 40% female.  SIDS affects babies of all races, religions and ethnic groups.

The incidence of SIDS is greater for: low birth weight babies (< 2,500 grams), babies whose mothers smoke during and after pregnancy, babies of multiple births (twins or triplets), babies born within 18 months of one another and babies of younger mothers.