Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is death of a baby, under one year of age that occurs in sleep and cannot be explained.
When the baby died,
On every side
Rose strangers' voices,
Hard and harsh and loud.
The baby was not wrapped in any shroud.
The mother made no sound. Her head was bowed
That men's eyes might not see
- Helen Hunt Jackson
In Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, no cause of death can be found, nor are any noticeable precursory symptoms evident. The child does not show signs of suffering and almost all cases of sudden infant death syndrome occur during sleep.
Although the specific causes of SIDS remains unknown, several factors have been identified that may put the babies at risk. According to researchers, simple measures can be taken to prevent the child from succumbing to SIDS. The most significant step is to, perhaps, to place the baby on his or her back.
Since 1992, parents have been advised by pediatricians to put their babies to sleep on their backs, and never on their stomachs. Incidence of SIDS have since then declined by 43 percent. The cause of this 'silent killer' remains a mystery.
The most important preventive measure for SIDS is to place the baby on his or her back while sleeping.