Using a Fan During Sleep May Reduce Infants’ SIDS Risk, Kaiser Permanente Study Shows
- Kaiser Permanente just released a very interesting and important study about SIDS and fan use. It seems that using a fan in your baby’s room can lower the chance of SIDS by 72%! Here is the press release below:
October 6, 2008 (Oakland, Calif.) – Infants who slept in a bedroom with a fan ventilating the air had a 72 percent lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome compared to infants who slept in a bedroom without a fan, according to a new study by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research. The study appears in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine.
This is the first study to examine an association between better air ventilation in infants’ bedrooms and reduced SIDS risk.
The finding is consistent with previous research that showed factors influencing a baby’s sleep environment may change SIDS risk. Among those factors are sleeping on the stomach and soft bedding, both of which may limit air ventilation around an infant’s breathing pathway and thus increase the chance of re-breathing exhaled carbon dioxide, said the researchers
They explained that fan use is no substitute for practices known to reduce the risk for sudden infant death syndrome, which include: always placing infants to sleep on their backs, putting infants to sleep on firm mattresses and avoiding soft bedding materials like comforters and quilts, providing a separate sleep environment, preventing infants from overheating, and not smoking around infants.
“Although this is the first finding linking fan use to SIDS, concerned parents can take measures to improve ventilation of infants sleep environment, by adding fans in rooms or opening windows. Other studies have found that parents can also reduce the chance of re-breathing carbon dioxide by putting infants to sleep on their back, avoiding soft bedding and overheating, and by using a pacifier,” said study author Dr. De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research in Oakland.
The study also found that opening a window in infant’s room reduced the risk of SIDS by 36 percent compared to babies who slept in a room with closed windows, though this connection was not statistically significant according to the researchers.
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