Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) sometimes known as 'cot death' is the sudden, unexpected and unexplained death of an apparently healthy baby.

In the UK, just under 300 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly everyyear. This statistic may sound alarming, but SIDS is rare and the risk of your baby dying from itis low.

Most deaths happenduring the first six months ofa babys life. Infants born prematurely or with a low birthweight are at greaterrisk. SIDS also tends to be slightly more common in baby boys.

SIDSusually occurs when a babyis asleep, althoughit can occasionally happen while they're awake.

Parentscan reduce the risk of SIDS bynot smoking while pregnant or after the baby is born, and always placing the baby on their back when they sleep (see below).

Find out how to stop smoking .

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 28 Nov 2016