Unexpected death of an apparently well infant. It occurs almost always during sleep at night and usually at 2–4 months of age. Sleeping facedown and exposure to cigarette smoke have been implicated. It is more common in cases of premature birth, low birth weight, and poor prenatal care. Many cases that would once have been labeled SIDS prove to be due to suffocation in bedding or overheating. Some babies who die of SIDS have been found to have brain stem abnormalities that interfere with their response to high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood.
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