I came across this article last week and I thought the information was too great not to share. The risk of SIDS has gone down dramatically since the launch of the Back to Sleep campaign and now the risk may be decreased further by placing a simple fan in baby’s room for better air circulation. From the New York Times:
While the study wasn’t designed to identify why fans make a difference, the theory is that by circulating the air, fans lower the risk of “rebreathing” by the baby. The rebreathing of exhaled carbon dioxide trapped near an infant’s airway has been suggested as a possible reason SIDS risk is higher when children sleep on their stomachs, in soft beds or without pacifiers.
When you really think about it, this is common sense. A lot of sites that focus on child safety will tell you that opening the windows in your home to circulate the air is a good thing. So it only stands to reason that this would be good for babies as well. Especially when they’re too little to move their heads to breath new air. While the study shows that it doesn’t reduce the risk by a lot for babies already on their backs, it still reduces the risk.
Worried about making the baby chilly? Don’t worry. A fan only circulates the air, not cools it. As long as your baby isn’t overheated (which is another SIDS risk), they shouldn’t get cold.