How Many Babies Die Of SIDS Now Compared To The Past? The Rate Has Declined


SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is a tragic cause of death in which an infant less than 1 year of age dies unexpectedly and without a medical explanation for their death. It's a terrifying syndrome, to say the least. So, how many babies die of SIDS now compared to the past in the United States? SIDS rates have declined throughout the years.

According to the National Institutes of Health, SIDS rates significantly declined in the 1990s, with the largest decline shown between 1992 to 1999. From 1994 to 1999, SIDS reportedly declined by 50 percent, and rates of back sleeping more than doubled, NIH stated.

But apparently, the exact rates and statistics of SIDS may be affected by different classifications for cause of death throughout the years. The NIH study found that Accidental Suffocation or Strangulation in Bed (ASSB) have alternatively shown increases throughout the years, which could be skewing the reported decreasing numbers of SIDS because it's classified differently:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 3,500 infants in the United States die suddenly and unexpectedly each year. The CDC classifies SUID, or Sudden Unexpected Infant Death, as the all encompassing term for infants who die unexpectedly and suddenly, with SIDS, ASSB, and "Unknown Cause" as specific classifications. In 2014, the CDC reported that 1,500 babies died from SIDS specifically.

Here are a few examples of cause of death factors for how the CDC distinguishes ASSB from SIDS:

"Mechanisms that lead to accidental suffocation include":

The CDC provides charts and graphs that show reported death rates of SIDS from 1990 to 2014. During that time frame, SIDS rates declined from 130.3 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990, to 38.7 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2014.

Parents and caregivers can access information on SIDS and prevention guidelines on the CDC's website.