SUDC Fact Sheet
History and Mission

The SUDC Program was created at the CJ Foundation for SIDS in September 2001 by two mothers (Laura Crandall and Chelsea Hilbert) who lost their toddler aged children to SUDC and approached the CJ Foundation for support and answers. Today, the SUDC Program raises research funds and provides a centralized resource for information, support and advocacy. It serves families and professionals affected by the tragedy of SUDC, and promotes awareness of SUDC in communities.

SUDC Facts

  • Occurs in children over the age of 12 monthsIs a diagnosis of exclusion- assigned when all known causes of death have been ruled out
  • Its incidence is approximately 1.2 deaths per 100,000 childrenIn comparison, the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is 45 times more common
  • We do not know of any way to reduce the risk of SUDC
  • It is unpredictable and unpreventable at this timeResearch dollars are crucial in uncovering the mystery of SUDC

What is SUDC?

SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood) is the sudden and unexpected death of a child over the age of twelve months, which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation is conducted. Similar to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), SUDC is a diagnosis of exclusion - given when all known and possible causes of death have been ruled out. [By definition, SIDS applies only to the death of babies younger than 12 months, while SUDC victims are past their first birthday whose deaths go unexplained even after an autopsy, a death scene investigation and medical history review.]

SUDC is not new, but it is rare with a reported incidence of 1.2 deaths per 100,000 children, compared to 54 deaths per 100,000 live births for SIDS (United States, 2005). Presently, SUDC cannot be predicted and/or prevented since its cause is unknown. Most SUDC deaths occur between the ages of 1 and 3, but researchers have looked at cases of children as old as 15.

Researchers are working to identify the cause(s) and risk(s) of SUDC. But until a day when no family experiences this tragic loss, the SUDC program will continue to raise funds for research, aid in the creation of state and national legislation to further SUDC investigations, and provide programs and services for SUDC families across the country.

The SUDC Program has grown exponentially since its inception, mainly due to SUDC families across the country raising critical research dollars and raising major public awareness about this mysterious malady. Since 2001, the SUDC Program has raised a cumulative total of over $1 Million dollars for SUDC research, awareness and support services.

Research for SUDC is making progress, but continues to require increased funding- currently no federal funding of the SUDC Research Project exists. It is solely dependent on private donations. To help support the mission of the SUDC program secure online donations can be made through or mailed to: The SUDC Program. c/o CJ Foundation, 30 Prospect Ave, Hackensack, NJ 07601.

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