Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

sudden infant death syndrome

sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or crib death, sudden, unexpected, and unexplained death of an apparently healthy infant under one year of age (usually between two weeks and eight months old). SIDS accounts for 10% of infant deaths and is the second highest cause of death (after accidents) in infancy. The risk is higher in males, in low-birth-weight infants, in lower socioeconomic levels, during cold months, and for babies who sleep face down.

Causal theories suggest that the infant may have immature or hypersensitive lungs, may have a defect in brain-stem control of breathing, or may be rebreathing carbon dioxide. Recent studies have shown persistent high levels of an infant form of hemoglobin in babies with known risk factors for the condition.

SIDS victims are thought to have brief episodes of apnea (breathing stoppage) before the fatal one. An alarm system that detects breathing abnormalities is sometimes used with infants suspected of being prone to SIDS. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that babies be laid to sleep on their backs or sides.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The "Discovery" of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: Lessons in the Practice of Political Medicine
Abraham B. Bergman.
Praeger Publishers, 1986
Regression Periods in Human Infancy
Mikael Heimann.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "Multimodal Distribution of SIDS and Regression Periods"
Cribs for Kids: Risk and Reduction of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Accidental Suffocation
Carlins, Eileen M.; Collins, Kathryn S.
Health and Social Work, Vol. 32, No. 3, August 2007
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Anatomy of Bereavement: A Handbook for the Caring Professions
Beverley Raphael.
Routledge, 1996
Librarian’s tip: "Sudden Infant Death" begins on p. 255
Dying, Death, and Bereavement
Lewis R. Aiken.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2001 (4th edition)
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome begins on p. 226
Dealing with Death: A Handbook of Practices, Procedures and Law
Jennifer Green; Michael Green.
Jessica Kingsley, 2006
Librarian’s tip: "Sudden and Unexpected Death in Infancy - SIDS (Cot Death)" begins on p. 86
Clinical Social Work in the Eco-Systems Perspective
Carol H. Meyer.
Columbia University Press, 1983
Librarian’s tip: "SIDS Bereavement and the Eco-Systems Perspective" begins on p. 201
Handbook of Psychology and Health
Andrew F. Baum; Jerome E. Singer.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, vol.2, 1982
Librarian’s tip: "Crib Death" begins on p. 27
The Children's Cause
Gilbert Y. Steiner; Pauline H. Milius.
Brookings Institution, 1976
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome begins on p. 216
Does Particulate Air Pollution Contribute to Infant Death? A Systematic Review
Glinianaia, Svetlana V.; Rankin, Judith; Bell, Ruth; Pless-Mulloli, Tanja; Howel, Denise.
Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 112, No. 14, October 2004
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
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