Infant Loss Resources

Infant Loss Resources serves as a source of information and support for healthcare professionals, childcare providers, parent educators, and police and other emergency workers who are the first to respond to a family who has experienced an infant death. Ongoing educational programs are presented both to students and working professionals throughout Missouri, and in surrounding counties in IL and KS. Education enables public health and social service professionals to provide well informed, consistent services for families.

Professional education is also offered to nurses, physicians, child care providers, parent educators, and health educators on the latest recommendations to improve infant health and reduce the risk of death, which includes training on safe sleep for babies.

What is SIDS/SUID?

The definition of SIDS is the sudden, unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant, under one year of age. The death remains unexplained after a complete medical history review, autopsy and death scene investigation, all 3 of which are required by law.

While the exact cause of SIDS is unknown, researchers have been able to identify factors that are associated with infants and infant care practices that increase the risk of SIDS. As a result, risk reduction recommendations have been established. Parents and other caregivers should remember that if practiced, these risk reduction techniques will significantly reduce the risk of SIDS.

What is SUID?
Sudden Unexpected Infant Death is an umbrella term used for many sleep-related infant deaths for which an exact cause may not be immediately clear or may remain undetermined.  SIDS falls under the umbrella of SUID.  Other deaths that are under the umbrella of SUID are accidental suffocation or asphyxia.  When we look at risk reduction for SIDS/SUID, the steps recommended reducing the risk are the same.

Interesting Facts

Age Distribution:

90% of all SIDS/SUID deaths occur in infants less than 6 months of age. 70% of deaths occur in infants between 2 and 4 months of age.

Seasonal Distribution:
More deaths occur in the winter and fall months;  most likely due to babies sleeping with too many layers of clothing or blankets in the winter

Population Distribution:
Approximately 3,000 – 3,500 babies die of sudden infant death in the U.S. each year. Annually in the state of Missouri, approximately 90 – 95 babies succumb to SUID. There is a gender difference in that 60% male vs. 40% female babies are affected.  SIDS/SUID affects babies of all races, religions and ethnic groups; however the statistics show us that the incidence of SIDS/SUID is greater for:

  • African American and Native American babies
  • low birth weight babies (< 2,500 grams)
  • babies born prematurely
  • babies whose mothers smoke during and after pregnancy
  • babies of multiple births (twins or triplets)
  • babies born within 18 months of one another and babies of younger mothers


Infant Loss Resouces: 

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