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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Cause of SIDs

Here are my thoughts and findings on SIDS (previously posted on my Myspace blog).

It all started last year when Jimmy was around 2 months old. I was worrying about him getting a flat spot on his head from sleeping on his back all the time. I started letting him nap on his tummy while on a blanket on the floor (with my watching VERY closely). Thoughts crossed my mind - is SIDs preventable? The things they recommend doing aren’t for sure going to prevent it. Why do some babies just "forget" to breathe? Can you revive them if you catch it right away? No? Why not? What is it that triggers in their brain?

So I looked and looked and I found a website with answers. It provided REASONS why the babies couldn’t be revived. It presents a study that involves wrapping mattresses because of the toxic gas theory - deadly gases are released when heat and household fungus combine with compounds of phosphorus, arsenic and/or antimony present in many baby mattresses and other items of baby bedding. If you wrap the mattress with a pure polythene wrap, it prevents the gases from escaping and getting to your baby lying on top of the mattress. The gases are vented from the bottom so they are able to dissipate.

Did you know that SIDS gets more likely with each each child you have? And it is more common with young single mothers? Why? Because they are most likely using used mattresses which can contain fungus from being spit up on, etc. by previous babies.

Why do more deaths occur in the winter/cold months? One reason is less air movement. Windows are closed and fans are off so the air in cribs can just sit and the gases aren’t dissipated.

Crib bumper pads are dangerous because they help contain the gases!

Putting a baby to sleep on its back puts its nose and mouth more out of the reach of the gases that hover right on top of the mattress! But that still isn't 100% safe.

The toxic gas theory for crib death explains every risk factor which medical researchers associate with crib death. I am not the best person to explain things so read about it for yourself if I have spiked your interest.
Go to www.thecauseofsids.com
This is not the only website, there is also www.cotlife2000.com (related) and a few others. A lot of people know about this, it kinda surprised me.

Do your own research. I have always been taught not to believe everything I hear! I am not saying that this is the absolute #1 reason for SIDS but I am not willing to take a chance. It makes sense to me so I am going take precautions.

I got a mattress wrap for the crib and one for the pack ’n play. I am so much more at ease now, it is great! I let Jimmy sleep on his tummy on a firm flat surface (a blanket on the floor) for naps while I am watching him closely, just in case. I DO NOT let him sleep on his tummy at night (at least not until he can choose for himself), but according to the study it is ok with the mattress wrap and proper 100% cotton bedding.
Edit: Jimmy has been sleeping on his wrapped mattress for almost a year now, and I am so glad I did it. I still worried about him and checked on him A LOT when he was sleeping, but I have had a peace of mind that would not have existed without the knowledge of the toxic gas theory and the Babesafe mattress cover. I highly recommend getting one, even if only for added peace of mind!

Oh and by the way, the study was done in New Zealand and out of the 100,000+ babies that slept on a Babesafe wrapped mattress with proper bedding, NOT ONE died!

Thanks for reading!


TSC said...

I'm just surfing the Net doing research on SIDS and came across your blog. Check out my blog. I have a lot of research on the SIDS Back to Sleep Campaign. Here is a quote by Dr. Raphael Pelayo of Stanford that may interest you regarding this subject:

"physiologic studies demonstrate that infants who sleep
supine have decreased sleep duration, decreased non-
REM sleep, and increased arousals; this effect peaks at
2 to 3 months of age and is not evident at 5 to 6 months
of age, thus coinciding with the peak incidence for
SIDS at 2 to 4 months of age. The SIDS risk-reduction
strategy of supine sleep will result in a lower arousal
threshold and a reduction in quiet sleep."

U.S. SIDS Task Force

"The potential implications of a SIDS risk-reduction strategy
that is based on a combination of maintaining a low
arousal threshold and reducing quiet (equivalent to
slow-wave sleep) in infants must be considered. Because
SWS is considered the most restorative form
of sleep and is believed to have a significant role in
neurocognitive processes and learning, as well as in
growth, what might be the neurodevelopmental consequences
of chronically reducing deep sleep in the first
critical 12 months of life?"

Dr. Raphael Pelayo

Alison said...

Thanks TSC, and I have researched that as well. It is all very good information. I definitely had my son sleeping on his back for as long as he would. But once he started to roll over at 5 months and sleep on his tummy, it became impossible to keep him sleeping on his back, so mattress wrapping became that much more important to us. Something that has had a 100% success rate (when implemented correctly!) is very hard for me to argue with! =)

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