Résumé : Parapharyngeal cystic hygroma is a rare tumor of the neck. This report describes two cases in which surgical resection was necessary to overcome sudden airway obstruction and details the surgical technique. These cases were considered “near misses” for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and were revealed by computed tomography (CT) and echography to be parapharyngeal cystic hygroma. The location of this malformation could have produced sudden airway collapse and be erroneously diagnosed as SIDS. The postoperative follow‐up was satisfactory and no recurrence was detected. We believe CT and echography should be included in the evaluation of such cases. Copyright © 1988 Wiley‐Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company