Learn What CDC Is Doing About Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID)

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

CDC Resources and Activities

SUID and SDY Case Registry

As part of the Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) and Sudden Death in the Young (SDY) Case Registry, CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health supports SUID monitoring programs in 22 states and jurisdictions, covering about 1 in 3 SUID cases in the United States. The SUID and SDY Case Registry builds on child death review programs and uses the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention’s System, bringing together information about the circumstances associated with SUID and SDY cases, as well as information about investigations into these deaths. Participating states and jurisdictions use data about SUID and SDY trends and circumstances to develop strategies to reduce future deaths. CDC and the National Institutes of Health collaborate on the SDY component of the SUID and SDY Case Registry, which expands the population of the previously established SUID Case Registry to include children and adolescents.

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.

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 Project
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 [PDF – 3.6 MB] 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 and products 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. PubMed is a searchable database that provides abstracts of biomedical articles and reports. Free and subscription-only full-text articles are also available.

  1. Half Century Since SIDS: A Reappraisal of Terminology
  2. Epidemiology of Sudden Death in a Population-Based Study of Infants and Children
  3. U-Shaped Pillows and Sleep-Related Infant Deaths, United States, 2004-2015
  4. Explaining Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths, 2011-2017.
  5. Protocols, practices, and needs for investigating sudden unexpected infant deaths
  6. The Epidemiology of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths: Diagnostic Shift and other Temporal Changes
  7. Sleep-Related Infant Suffocation Deaths Attributable to Soft Bedding, Overlay, and Wedging
  8. Prevalence and Factors Associated With Safe Infant Sleep Practices
  9. USA’s experience with sudden unexpected infant death and sudden death in the young case registries.
  10. Grand Rounds: Safe Sleep for Infants
  11. Vital Signs: Trends and Disparities in Infant Safe Sleep Practices — United States, 2009–2015.
  12. National and State Trends in Sudden Unexpected Infant Death: 1990-2015.
  13. Sudden unexpected infant death rates differ by age at death.
  14. Measuring Trends in Infant Mortality Due to Unintentional Suffocation.
  15. Infant Safe Sleep Practices in the United States.
  16. Differences in Infant Care Practices and Smoking among Hispanic Mothers Living in the United States.
  17. Interventions to Improve Infant Safe Sleep Practices.
  18. Variations in Cause-of-Death Determination for Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths.
  19. Racial and Ethnic Trends in Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths: United States, 1995–2013.
  20. The Sudden Death in the Young Case Registry: Collaborating to Understand and Reduce Mortality.