Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexplained death of an infant where no cause is found after detailed post mortem.

  • 191 unexplained infant deaths occurred in England and Wales in 2015, a rate of 0.27 deaths per 1,000 live births. This follows the decreasing trend that has generally been seen over the last decade from 0.5 in 2005.
  • 60% of these deaths were recorded as sudden infant deaths with the remaining 40% recorded as unascertained (where no other cause of death is recorded).
  • Just under two thirds (66%) of all unexplained infant deaths were boys in 2015 (127 deaths)
  • The rate of infant deaths decreased by 41% for mothers aged under 20 but remains higher than for other age groups. Although numbers are very small, the risk is three times greater than for babies born to mothers aged 20 and under.
  • 216 unexplained infant deaths occurred in the UK in 2015, a rate of 0.28 deaths per 1,000 live births

Credit: Office of National Statistics, National Records of Scotland and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency 2017

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