We don't know what causes SIDS, here's what we do know

IT HAS been decades since Australia first learned about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, yet the tiniest among us remain vulnerable.

In 2014 alone, the sudden deaths of 113 of our smallest Australians were considered to have suffered SIDS, or about 0.4 children per every 1000 children born.

That includes 37 in Queensland and 30 in New South Wales.

On Monday a three-month-old baby boy was rushed to hospital from a day care centre but died soon after.

The cause of the child's death remains unknown.

READ MORE: Baby dies after 000 call from day care centre

Major education campaigns since 1977 have made a huge difference to the numbers of lives lost.

Since then, more than $16 million has been spent on SIDS research -- raised in part by the enormous success of Red Nose Day -- which has run since 1988.

In the years that have followed, it is thought that the lives of 8959 babies have been saved, representing an 80% decrease in SIDS.

Research is yet to deliver a clear cause of SIDS, but there are ways to help minimise the risks.

These include new guidelines on "Safe Sleeping" for bubs.

How to Sleep your Baby Safely:

1. Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side

2. Sleep baby with head and face uncovered

3. Keep baby smoke free before birth and after

4. Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day

5. Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to twelve months

6. Breastfeed baby


Parents and families who experience a SIDS incident may go through the "usual" grieving process including guilt, anger, fear, blame and despair. Because the causes of SIDS remains unclear, parents may have their own feelings about the tragedy and even blame themselves.

For those who experience such a loss, experts suggest talking to people outside the family, including other grieving parents, doctors, social workers or counsellors, although some may find their families and friends to be the best support.

Need help? Here's where you can find it:

  • Your doctor
  • Your midwife
  • Social worker
  • Maternal and child health nurse
  • SIDS and Kids Tel. (03) 8888 1600 or or the 24-hour Bereavement Support Line Tel. 1300 308 307
  • National Association of Loss and Grief (NALAG) Tel. 1800 100 023 or (03) 9329 4003 - for referral to an accredited grief counsellor
    Better Heatlh Victoria

Topics:  sids sudden infant death syndrome

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Former sport star 'Chook' Fowler gets jail time

Anthony Fowler, left, with his former colleague Michael Falvey at Falvey's Cecil Hotel. Fowler has been convicted of robbing the hotel.

NRL player will spend time behind bars for 'betrayal'

Late evangelist's message comes to Springfield this Easter

John Van Bennekom, Keith Pellicaan, Deborah Van Bennekom and Greg Gardiner.

Billy Graham's The Cross to feature on the big screen

NOT GUILTY: Man accused of burglary found not guilty


She dropped him off at a Goodna park. Days later, she was assaulted.

Local Partners