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WHEREAS, Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) is a category of death in children between the ages of 1 and 18 that remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation is conducted, including performance of a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history; and
WHEREAS, each year there are approximately 400 cases of SUDC in the United States – including more than 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 that deserves increased public awareness and research; and
WHEREAS, SUDC is the fifth leading category of death among children ages 1 to 4 in the United States; and
WHEREAS, there is currently no way to predict or prevent SUDC as its cause is unknown; and
WHEREAS, it is hoped that future research will identify means by which SUDC can be prevented; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia recognizes the dedicated efforts of organizations such as the SUDC Foundation, medical professionals, medicolegal death investigators, and volunteers who are working to better understand the causes of sudden unexplained death, improve the health of infants and children, and provide much-needed hope and support for 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, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2021 as SUDDEN UNEXPLAINED DEATH IN CHILDHOOD AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.