Dr. Dale Ackley

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Deaths: 6,500-7,500 per year
Highest incidences between 2 to 4 months of age during winter months
Physical Appearance
Exhibits no external signs of injury.
Exhibits “natural” appearance of dead baby: lividity – settling of blood; frothy drainage from nose/mouth small marks, e.g., diaper rash looks more severe cooling/rigor mortis takes place quickly in infants (about 3 hours).
Appears to be well-developed baby.
Other siblings appear to be normal and healthy.
PLUS: Parents say that infant was well when put to sleep (last time seen alive).

Child Abuse and Neglect

Deaths: 1,000-4,000 per year
No seasonal difference
Physical Appearance
Distinguishable and visible signs of injury.
Broken bone(s)
Bruises Burns
Head trauma, e.g., black eye
May be obviously wasted away (malnutrition)
Other siblings may show patterns of commonly seen in child abuse and neglect.
PLUS: Parent’s story does not “sound right” healthy or cannot account for all injuries on infant.