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Health Indicator Report of Sleep-related sudden unexpected infant death (SUID)

Around the same number of infants die from SUID each year as 18-year-olds die from ALL types of injury deaths (suicide, motor vehicle, poisoning, drowning, falls, etc.) and 18-year-olds die more from injury deaths than other child age groups. Sudden unexpected infant deaths include sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), accidental suffocation in a sleeping environment, and other deaths from unknown causes. It is well understood that a large percentage of these deaths are preventable even while some research might point toward problems present in the area of an infant's brain that controls breathing and waking up from sleep. The [ success in the 90s of the Back to Sleep campaign] is an excellent example of how promoting [ the American Academy of Pediatrics' safe sleep recommendations] can help save the lives of infants.
Between 2019 and 2021, 82 Utah infants died suddenly and unexpectedly. 78 of those infants died suddenly and unexpectedly in their sleep. 2020 and 2021 had significantly higher rates of all SUID and sleep-related SUID compared to 2019.

The rate of all SUID vs sleep-related SUID by year, Utah, 2019-2021


This report is meant to focus on sleep-related SUID cases. Those cases are the ones where there are population-level prevention opportunities identified. The vast majority of all SUID cases are sleep-related. With the three years of data in this report, only 4 SUID cases, all in 2020, were not sleep-related cases. All Utah data from included SUID cases was found in the National Fatality Review Case Reporting System. For 2019, the infant population estimate was provided by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) through a collaborative agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau. For the years 2020 and 2021, the infant population estimates are provided by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, Utah state and county annual population estimates are by single year of age and sex.

Data Source

National Fatality Review Case Reporting System


[,in%20the%20baby's%20sleep%20area. Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID)] is a term used to describe the sudden and unexpected death of a child less than 1 year of age in which the cause was not obvious. Sleep-related SUID happen during sleep or in the baby's sleep area and account for the vast majority of SUID cases.


The number of sleep-related sudden unexpected infant deaths and, for comparison, the total number of sudden unexpected infant deaths in Utah.


The total number of infants in Utah.

Healthy People Objective MICH-1.9:

Infant deaths from sudden unexpected infant deaths (includes SIDS, unknown cause, accidental suffocation, and strangulation in bed)
U.S. Target: 0.84 infant deaths per 1,000 live births

How Are We Doing?

There has not been any significant change in the rate of SUID since the successes of the '90s Back to Sleep Campaigns, but with better data to inform prevention Utah is hoping to move the needle once again.

Evidence-based Practices

[ 2022 American Academy of Pediatrics Safe Sleep Recommendations] [ CDC Safe Sleep Resources] - Learn what parents and caregivers can do to help babies sleep safely. [ Safe to Sleep] - CDC collaborates with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in its Safe to Sleep campaign, formerly known as the Back to Sleep campaign. The Safe to Sleep campaign has outreach activities to spread safe sleep messages and educational materials about ways to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths. [ Cribs for Kids] - Cribs for Kids works to prevent infant sleep-related deaths by educating parents and caregivers on the importance of practicing safe sleep for their babies through programs (such as the Safe Sleep Ambassador program) and by providing portable cribs to families who, otherwise, cannot afford a safe place for their babies to sleep. [ Safe Kids Worldwide] - Find sleep safety and suffocation prevention tips from Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit organization working to help families and communities keep kids safe from injuries.
Page Content Updated On 09/22/2023, Published on 09/26/2023
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 10 December 2023 0:53:57 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 26 Sep 2023 07:39:31 MDT