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Book and Media Reviews
March 5, 2008

Crib Death: Sudden Unexplained Death of Infants—The Pathologist’s Viewpoint

JAMA. 2008;299(9):1073-1074. doi:10.1001/jama.299.9.1073

Men fear death, as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.—Francis Bacon, Essays

Death in its most untimely form, crib death, is the most common cause of natural fatality during the first year of life. It strikes 1 apparently healthy child among approximately 1000, and it is relatively more frequent in boys younger than 6 months who belong to families with lower socioeconomic status and in children who have had recent upper respiratory tract infection during the winter months. Other than the aforementioned established epidemiologic factors, almost everything else regarding crib death remains controversial.