March 2019: Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood Awareness

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 case 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 approximately 400 cases of SUDC in the United States between the ages of 1 and 19 - including more than 240 younger children under the age of 5 - who die without any clear cause or explanation; and,

WHEREAS, while less common than Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Syndrome (SUIDS) and 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, SUDC is the 5th leading cause of death among toddlers, and at the present time, there is no way to prevent SUDC as its cause(s) is unknown. It is hoped that future research will identify means by which SUDC can be prevented; and,

WHEREAS, we recognize the dedicated efforts of organizations, such as the SUDC Foundation, medical professionals, and volunteers that are working to better understand the causes of sudden unexplained death 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, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of the State of Michigan, do hereby proclaim March 2019 as Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood Awareness Month in Michigan.