WASHINGTON, D.C. - Every year in America some 4,000 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly in their sleep before their first birthday. Another 25,000 are stillborn. Now, after trying for seven years, Congress has passed a bill on Wednesday, the “Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act”, endorsing ongoing federal efforts to better understand why.

Sometimes baby deaths are ruled a result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS; other times coroners and medical examiners conclude that the death was caused by suffocation and still others are simply unexplained. But as Scripps News has reported since 2007, thorough forensic investigations of the deaths almost always reveal babies who die had been sleeping in conditions likely to increase their risk for suffocation.

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