Last reviewed: September 2018
Last updated: August  2017



History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • presence of risk factors

Other diagnostic factors

  • absence of metabolic disease
  • absence of irritability, lethargy
  • absence of fever, cough, or nasal congestion
  • absence of trauma

Risk factors

  • side or prone position at last sleep
  • bed-sharing/co-sleeping
  • soft sleeping surface/environment
  • maternal cigarette smoking
  • increasing number of smokers in house
  • smoking in same room as child
  • formula feeding
  • non-use of a dummy
  • premature birth
  • maternal substance use/abuse
  • single mother
  • lower maternal age
  • low level of antenatal care
  • low level of maternal education
  • low socio-economic status
  • black or Native American
  • lack of immunisation

Diagnostic investigations

Investigations to consider

  • blood culture
  • CSF culture
  • urine culture
  • serum chemistry
  • urine chemistry
  • photographic record
  • skeletal survey
  • anatomical pathology
  • vitreous chemistry
  • muscle biopsy
Full details

Treatment algorithm


Authors VIEW ALL

Professor of Pediatrics

University of Virginia School of Medicine




RYM is an author of a number of references cited in this monograph. In addition, she is the Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on SIDS and lead author of the treatment guidelines cited in this monograph.

Dr Rachel Y. Moon would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr John W. Berkenbosch, a previous contributor to this monograph. JWB declares that he has no competing interests.

Peer reviewers VIEW ALL

Professor of Infant Health & Developmental Physiology

FSID Research Unit

Institute of Child Life and Health

St Michaels Hospital




PF is an author of several references cited in this monograph.

Professor and Vice-Chair

Department of Pediatrics

UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

New Brunswick



TH declares that he has no competing interests.

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