CDC’s Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Activities

Learn more about CDC resources and activities to address sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

CDC Resources and Activities
Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and Sudden Death in the Young Case Registries

CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health has SUID monitoring programs in 16 states and 2 jurisdictions, covering 30% of all SUID cases in the United States. Participating states and jurisdictions use data about SUID trends and circumstances to develop strategies to reduce future deaths. The SUID Case Registry builds on the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention SystemExternal and brings together information about the circumstances associated with SUID cases, as well as information about investigations into these deaths. CDC and the National Institutes of Health collaborate on the Sudden Death in the Young (SDY) Case Registry, which expands the population of the SUID Case Registry from infancy through adolescence.

Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation Reporting Form (SUIDIRF)
The SUIDIRF improves classification of sleep-related infant deaths by standardizing data collection. This form helps investigative agencies better understand the circumstances and factors contributing to unexplained infant deaths.

Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation Training Resources
CDC collaborated with organizations and subject matter experts to create training materials for investigators and instructors who investigate infant deaths.

Protect the Ones You Love Initiative
CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control launched the Protect the Ones You Love initiative to raise parents’ awareness about the leading causes of child injury in the United States and how they can be prevented.

Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)
PRAMS collects state-specific, population-based maternal and infant health data from women 2 to 6 months after delivery, including infant sleep practices.

Pathologic Evaluation of Sudden Unexplained Infant Death
CDC’s Infectious Diseases Pathology Branch in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) evaluates biospecimens from infants whose deaths cannot be explained. State health departments, US physicians, and non-US physicians can submit specimens from cases where clinical or laboratory information suggests potential infection. More information is available at the link above.

National Center for Health Statistics—National Vital Statistics System
The National Vital Statistics System publishes information about infant deaths, which may be used to monitor causes of death (such as SIDS) in the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam.

The 1,000 Grandmothers ProjectExternal
The 1,000 Grandmothers project created opportunities for tribal elders (especially grandmothers) to mentor and educate young Native parents on safe sleep practices for infants. This project reached nearly 200 participants from four tribes, including the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in North Dakota, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina, the Hannahville Indian Community (Potawatomie), and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, both in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Each site used adaptations of selected Healthy Native Babies Cdc-pdf[PDF – 3.6 MB]External materials developed by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and session activities varied by traditional cultures of the tribe. Focus groups, document review, and assessments and interviews were used to evaluate the project. Lessons learned were incorporated into a report and implementation resources. The intergenerational 1,000 Grandmothers project used an evidence-based and culturally appropriate approach to reducing the disparity in SUID rates within the Native American population.


Below is a recent list of SIDS- and SUID-related publications authored by CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health. These publications are only some of the scientific and technical materials available. You can review abstracts of our reports and other publications by using the resources of the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed service. PubMedExternal is a searchable database that provides abstracts of biomedical articles and reports. Free and subscription-only full-text articles are also available.

  1. Differences in Infant Care Practices and Smoking among Hispanic Mothers Living in the United States.External
  2. Interventions to Improve Infant Safe Sleep Practices.External
  3. Variations in Cause-of-Death Determination for Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths.External
  4. Racial and Ethnic Trends in Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths: United States, 1995–2013External.
  5. The Sudden Death in the Young Case Registry: Collaborating to Understand and Reduce MortalityExternal.
  6. Death Scene Investigation and Autopsy Practices in Sudden Unexpected Infant DeathsExternal.
  7. Trends in Infant Bedding Use: National Infant Sleep Position Study, 1993-2010External.
  8. Improving Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation Practices: An Evaluation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s SUID Investigation Training AcademiesExternal.
  9. Classification System for the Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Case Registry and Its ApplicationExternal.
  10. Contributors to Excess Infant Mortality in the U.S. SouthExternal.
  11. Comprehensive Review of Sleep-Related Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths and Their Investigations: Florida 2008External.
  12. The Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Case Registry: A Method to Improve SurveillanceExternal.
  13. Differentiating Cause-of-Death Terminology for Deaths Coded as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Accidental Suffocation, and Unknown Cause: An Investigation Using US Death Certificates, 2003-2004External.
  14. Maternal and Infant Characteristics Associated with Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed in US InfantsExternal.
  15. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: Diagnostic Practices and Investigative Policies, 2004External.
  16. Vital Signs: Unintentional Injury Deaths Among Persons Aged 0-19 Years—United States, 2000-2009External.