SIDS deaths can be avoided by simply making sure that the infant
always has access to fresh air.
Everyone who cares for infants should know these simple steps:
- Don't confine the baby so that it can't move its arms, legs
- Don't place the baby in a "protective" valley of
pillows, blankets or clothing that might cause an 'air dam'.
- Don't raise the heat in the baby's room (cool is just fine).
- Check the baby often, and don't be afraid of entering baby's
room in order to avoid waking him or her.
- Introduce air currents in baby's room. A fan blowing up to the
ceiling or against a wall can create gentle air currents in an
- Have a source of fresh air that can enter the room -- open a
window, or keep the door partially open.
- Make sure window treatments don't obstruct the inflow of air.
Always leave shades or blinds up a bit to let air in.
- If bumpers are used, make sure there is space for the flow of
- Bumpers should never be used in playpens.
- Don't place baby in the middle of a multitude of toys and
stuffed animals that might cause an 'air dam'.
- Carriages and portable cribs with raised sides should never be
- Consider placing baby in an inclined sleeping position. Having
the head in the up position lets exhaled air slide down to the
- Keep infants off the floor and at least two feet above the
floor. Heavy gases can concentrate in the bottom of a room.
- Be very cautious if you cook with gas, heat with gas, or use
fireplaces, kerosene heaters, or when using a barbecue indoors.
(Heating an apartment or house with a gas oven is very dangerous
to everyone in the house.)
- Homes with attached garages can be a source of harmful fumes
in adjacent rooms when cars are left running.
- Painting the inside of a house produces harmful fumes, as do
cleaning solvents and furniture polishers.
- Put off having rugs and furniture cleaned until the infant is
at least 6 months old. Some carpet cleaning chemicals use carbon
dioxide as the cleaning agent.
- Postpone any home improvements until the infant is 6 months
old to avoid large amounts of airborne dust.
- Try to avoid having baby sleep in a basement. Heavy fumes tend
to collect in them without an easy escape route.
- New carpeting is another source of fumes that could be harmful
to an infant.
Be sure to check this site periodically for updates to this list.
The danger period for SIDS is primarily between two and
four months. For the first two months of a baby's life, baby doesn't
sleep long enough to reach a dangerous condition. After four months
the baby is much larger and more animated during sleep. The 5 month
old baby has then "grown out of" the danger zone for SIDS;
however, we know of cases as old as eleven months. During the first
six months it is a good idea to always travel with a fan in or with
the diaper bag, and never let down your guard.
The information contained in SidsPrevention.Com is presented for the purpose of educating consumers on the possible causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Unfortunately, absolute prevention of SIDS may never be possible. We believe that the information provided on our site can help prevent SIDS, based on evidence and analysis we've provided here.