March 2017: Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood Awareness Month

WHEREAS, Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) is the sudden and unexpected death of a child over the age of 12 months which remains unexplained after a thorough investigation is conducted, including performance of a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene and review of the child's medical history; and,

WHEREAS, each year, there are more than 4,600 sudden unexpected infant deaths and over 200 children between the ages of 1 and 4 who die without any clear cause or explanation; and,

WHEREAS, while less common than Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which occurs before the first birthday, SUDC is an important health concern deserving of increased public awareness and research; and,

WHEREAS, at the present time, there is no way to prevent SUDC as its causes are not known. Hopefully, future research will identify the means by which SUDC can be prevented. If and when risk factors are identified, such as prone sleep position for SIDS, then one might anticipate reduction in the risk of SUDC; and,

WHEREAS, we recognize the dedicated efforts of organizations such as the SUDC Foundation as well as medical professionals and volunteers working to better understand the causes of sudden unexplained death. They work to improve the health of infants and children and provide much needed hope and support for those families grieving the heartbreaking sudden unexplained death of a child; and,

WHEREAS, Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood Awareness Month provides an opportunity to honor the memory of the young lives that ended too soon, show encouragement and support for the families and loved ones forever devastated by their loss and increase public awareness of SUDC and the ongoing search for answers;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim March 2017 as Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood Awareness Month in Michigan.