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WHEREAS, Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) is the sudden and unexpected death of a child over the age of 12 months 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, in 2017, there were approximately 389 cases of SUDC in the United States between the ages of 1 to 18 – including 243 children under the age of 5 – 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 5th leading cause among children ages 1 to 4, and at the present time, there is no way to prevent SUDC, as its causes are unknown; 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 2020 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.