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into sudden infant deaths

The Lullaby Trust: Evidence Base

(Evidence updated October 2016)


Around 250 babies and toddlers still die every year as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), in the UK. 

Research has shown that several maternal and infant care factors are more commonly associated with babies who die of SIDS than those who survive. While it is clear that not all the factors are modifiable, there are some that you can change in order to reduce the risk of SIDS. As such, The Lullaby Trust, along with many other organisations, provides advice for parents to reduce the risk of SIDS. 

The evidence regarding a wide range of potential SIDS risk factors is outlined in this factsheet. Based on the evidence, a number of factors have been identified as the key, established, modifiable factors associated with either a high increased risk of SIDS or decreased risk of SIDS. It is on these risk factors that The Lullaby Trust focuses its advice to parents, as outlined in the table below:

Factors associated with an increased risk of SIDS

Factors associated with an decreased risk of SIDS

Unsafe sleeping positions Room sharing
 Smoking Breastfeeding

 Unsafe sleeping environments:

  • Bedsharing and sofa sharing (with particular high risk circumstances highlighted)
  • Temperature
  • Bedding and mattresses

Dummy use




For more information:


bereavement support: 0808 802 6868
information & advice: 0808 802 6869

The Lullaby Trust

11 Belgrave Road
London SW1V 1RB

Office: 020 7802 3200
Registered Charity Number: 262191
Registered Company Number: 01000824

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