According to a recent study in the UK and USA published in The Lancet, a potential genetic link in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS, also known as ‘cot death’) has been identified. SIDS is the unexpected death of a seemingly healthy child. Rare genetic mutations associated with impairment of the breathing muscles are more common in children who have died from SIDS than in healthy controls, suggesting a possible genetic element of the disorder. It is the leading cause of post-neonatal infant death in high-income countries and the study shows that central respiratory system dysfunction seems to contribute to these deaths.