Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fans prevent SIDS

Yes, I am talking about a fan you plug into the wall that blows air into a room. That small step could prevent your baby from dying from SIDS. It won't prevent all SIDS cases, but it's an easy step you can take that might help. One of my colleagues, Anchor Teresa Snow from Jefferson City, Missouri, sent me this story she wrote:

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is not an illness, but a a medical diagnosis made only when a child under a year old dies and there is no other medical explanation to explain why. There are no warning signs, which makes the death of 25-hundred infants in the U-S every year even more tragic.

Alan and Kim Atnip of Linn, MO lost their 9 week old son Garrett to SIDS almost four years ago. "I miss my son everyday," says Alan, noting Garrett would have turned four later this month. As they did with Garrett, the Atnip's follow a strict routine when putting their 15 week old infant Michael to sleep. "I always put him to sleep on his back," says Kim. "I don't have the room too warm."

Experts say those moves are critical. They also advise parents to keep stuffed animals and extra blankets out of the crib, to give an infant a pacifier, not to smoke while pregnant nor around a baby. And a recent report makes another recommendation.

Doctors at Kaiser Permanente say using a fan to keep a room well ventilated is one more way to prevent rebreathing. That's when a baby breathes the carbon dioxide it exhaled -- which is believed to be the main cause of sudden infant death syndrome. "We found that if a fan was used in an infants sleeping room, the infant's SIDS risk was reduced by 72 percent," says Dr. De-Kun Li of Kaiser Permanente.

While the Atnips and their sons Michael, Justin and Nolan remember Garrett's life, they believe ultimately their family's future is in God's hands. The Atnip's say the group SIDS Resources offered much needed support to their family during their grieving process. -NewsAnchorMom Teresa

Has anyone heard of this whole fan idea?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

Methodist Medical Center's new online healthcare program, MyMethodist eHealth, is a proud sponsor of this blog post. MyMethodist eHealth is the secure link to your doctor's office that lets you request appointments, order prescription refills, update your personal health record, and more. Sign up for MyMethodist eHealth here.


Jenny said...

That is great news!! If the research is sound ... to have a 72%decreased chance. We have always had fans in the kids rooms because I thought it would be good venilation and also because of the noise. I certainly hope this is another precaution that will lower risk of SIDS. said...

I always use an air purifier that does have a fan on it that blows air around the room. I use it because I like the noise it makes. I am glad I do and did when my kids were babies!

Pam Borchardt - Executive Director said...

Thanks for posting this article. It is promising research. We have always advocated a well-ventilated room but the American Academy of Pediatrics has not specifically added a fan to the recommendations - yet. There does not appear to be a downside to using a fan in an infant's room since air circulation may reduce overheating and carbon dioxide in the area around a baby's face - both risk factors for SIDS.

Our primary concern is that the parent or caregiver continue to follow the other estalished guidelines as well. Use of a fan is not the only tool that parents should be using. This research confirms that the infants sleep environment is important. For more information on Safe Sleep, you can go to

Mark Welp said...

Good story. Just a little useless trivia... Teresa Snow gave me my first TV job in Columbia, MO in 1997. Jen helped get me an interview at HOI in 2006. The rest is history. I owe you two ladies a lot! :) said...

Mark, I had no idea! I wonder if Theresa knows you work here! It's a small world!

Pam, thanks for your comment. It is so awful to have to report on baby deaths. I hope this new information helps!

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