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

  • 198 unexplained infant deaths occurred in England and Wales in 2018, a rate of 0.30 deaths per 1,000 live births: an increase from 0.28 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2017
  • Just over half (57.6%) of all unexplained infant deaths were boys in 2018 (0.34 deaths per 1,000 live births). This is an increase from 55.2% in 2017.
  • The SIDS rate for babies born to mothers under 20 has declined by 16.5% since 2004. In 2018, the unexplained infant mortality rate was highest for mothers aged under 20 years, at 1.11 deaths per 1,000 live births
  • 230 unexplained infant deaths occurred in the entire UK in 2018, a rate of 0.31 deaths per 1,000 live births

Credit: Office of National Statistics, National Records of Scotland and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency 2020

For SIDS information by region click here >>