SIDS Update: Fans Reduce Risk

Recent research reveals that sleeping with a fan on reduces a baby's risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Putting your baby to sleep with a fan in her room may significantly reduce her risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), finds new research published in Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine. Experts believe that a baby can die in her sleep if she breathes exhaled carbon dioxide instead of oxygen, and this study shows that simply increasing air circulation is protective. "A ceiling fan, a desk fan, forced-air heating, or even an open window can help," says Ed Martin, MD, chief of pediatrics for Kaiser Permanente in Vallejo, California. Follow other SIDS prevention tips as well: Put your baby to sleep on her back, avoid soft bedding, never smoke in her room, and don't share a bed.

Originally published in the December 2008 issue of Parents magazine.

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