Saturday, December 23, 2006

Crib Mattresses and SIDS

I've been doing some on-line surfing lately and have read a number of comments from parents on the difficulty of finding crib mattresses that are not rock hard. They all seem to think this is "great for SIDS prevention" but their babies can't sleep on the too firm surface. Some even mentioned feeling each of the springs coming up through the mattress. Ouch!

The problem with this line of thinking is that we have been incorrectly ingrained to believe that a firm surface is the most important thing to look for when considering a safe crib mattress in regards to SIDS (more correctly known as crib death). The fear is that a baby will bury his face into a mattress that will conform to his mouth and nose, suffocating him. First of all, this is not SIDS or crib death, but suffocation. The two are different and classified differently- most of the time. Unfortunately, because it is recommended that a "firm mattress" be used, people assume that suffocation is a part of SIDS and fear that babies all over the world have been suffocating on their mattresses. This is not so.

The important part that is missed so often is the toxic gas theory for crib death, which is growing in acceptance. Crib mattresses are not dangerous because they are too soft or too firm. They are dangerous because they are made from chemicals that are emitting deadly, toxic nerve gases that babies are breathing in. The Back to Sleep Campaign helped prevent many deaths when babies placed on their backs were kept from breathing in these dense gases that hover just on the surface of the mattress. Sadly, most doctors and SIDS organizations either don't know or don't accept the real reason why the Back to Sleep Campaign has been successful! You can learn more about the toxic gas theory and it's development and cover-up in the book, Cot Death Cover-up? by Jim Sprott.

So what is a parent to do? First, find a comfortable mattress. Make that a priority. Then, wrap it with a BabeSafe mattress cover. The most important thing is that no matter what mattress you select, that you wrap it with this gas impermeable cover. This practice has been followed for 12 years in New Zealand and all over the world with ZERO deaths. Because many parents find that their babies will only sleep on their tummies (just like mine), a BabeSafe mattress cover is especially important. When the baby's mattress is wrapped, it is safe with regards to crib death.

Now that you have the mattress, you've got to get it covered! Do not use typical mattress pads made for crib mattresses. Use only what you know (don't trust the label) to be 100% cotton. A bath towel fits perfectly on a crib mattress and works well for this purpose. This 100% cotton "underblanket" serves only one purpose: comfort for the baby. On top of this, place your baby's fitted sheet, which can be as much as 50% poly/ 50% cotton, but try to use 100% cotton. DO NOT USE 100% POLYESTER (SUCH AS FLEECE).

Now for the blanket, which is another misconception. It is okay to use blankets in the baby's bed. Use 100% cotton blankets for this purpose. (Wool is okay, too, but we prefer cotton.) Do not use blankets made from polyester, acrylic, or that is padded, quilted, or filled. A simple cotton flannel or knitted blanket is sufficient as well as safe. (Again, many parents have been misled into thinking babies are suffocating on blankets when in fact, synthetic blankets emit the same toxic nerve gases once they become soiled.)

Many people ask if it's okay to use a previously used mattress. While an unwrapped used mattress is more dangerous than a new mattress, a mattress wrapped in a BabeSafe mattress cover is perfectly safe, whether used or new. (Remember that as soon as a baby sleeps on the mattress it is "used.") It also doesn't matter if you select a foam or innerspring mattress. If it is covered, it's covered. You might find foam to be more comfortable, but make sure you also get a BabeSafe mattress cover!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Abnormal Brainstems Not A Cause Of Cot Death

Newly published US research into brainstems of cot death (SIDS) babies has not found an abnormality in newborn babies which causes cot death, stated Dr Jim Sprott OBE today. Rather, it has found further proof that cot death is caused by toxic gaseous poisoning.

Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association(1) has found a brainstem abnormality in cot death babies. Researchers are claiming that some babies are born with this abnormality, which subsequently causes cot death by impairing the baby's brain reflexes for waking and breathing.

"The idea that cot death babies are born with abnormal brainstems can be refuted in a few sentences," said Dr Sprott. "It is already disproved by well-established cot death epidemiology."

Statistics show that the incidence of cot death rises with birth order: the rate rises sharply from first babies to second babies in families, and from second babies to third babies; and rises again for later babies. The cot death rate is highest among babies of solo parents.

"The rising rate of cot death from one sibling to the next disproves the theory that cot death is caused by a brainstem abnormality in the newborn baby," stated Dr Sprott. "Quite obviously, whether or not babies are born with a brainstem abnormality is not linked to whether they are first, second or third babies in families, or whether they were born to solo parents."

The brain stem abnormality which has been found by the US researchers is an imbalance in the way the brain uses the neurotransmitter serotonin.

"Since cot death is caused by highly toxic nerve gases, this finding is entirely to be expected in cot death babies," stated Dr Sprott. "The US researchers have not found a cause of cot death - what they have found is a neurological outcome of the nerve gas poisoning which does cause cot death."

The researchers have proposed screening unborn babies for the "brainstem abnormality" in order to detect whether a baby will be at risk of cot death.

"This screening of babies would be a total waste of time and money," said Dr Sprott. "Since the brainstem abnormality is not a cause of cot death, but results from the gaseous poisoning which causes death, screening of unborn babies would prove absolutely nothing in respect of cot death risk."

Dr Sprott noted that the lead author of the research, Dr Hannah Kinney, made a parallel error in the 1990s relating to neurological cot death research. Having found decreased kainate receptor bindings in cot death babies,(2) Dr Kinney suggested that cot death was linked to babies inhaling carbon dioxide. "The idea that carbon dioxide causes cot death is disproved by cot death epidemiology," stated Dr Sprott. "However, because the particular gases which cause cot death attack neurological function, Dr Kinney's finding of decreased kainate receptor bindings in cot death babies was further proof of the toxic gas explanation for cot death."

The nerve gases which cause cot death are generated in mattresses (and other bedding), and the risk of exposure to those gases rises as mattresses are re-used from one baby to the next.(3) This explains the rising rate of cot death from one sibling to the next.

A mattress-wrapping protocol for cot death prevention has been publicized in New Zealand for eleven years. Since mattress-wrapping began, the nationwide cot death rate has reduced by 70% and the NZ European ethnic rate has reduced by about 85%.(4) There has been no reported cot death on a "wrapped mattress". By contrast, over that same period around 810 cot deaths have occurred in New Zealand on unwrapped mattresses (or parallel bedding situations).


(1) Multiple Serotonergic Brainstem Abnormalities in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Journal of the American Medical Association 2006;296:2124-2132.

(2) Decreased Kainate Receptor Binding in the Arcuate Nucleus of the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology, 1997;56:1253-1261.

(3) Refer: Case-control study of sudden infant death syndrome in Scotland, 1992-5, British Medical Journal 1997;314:1516-20; Used infant mattresses and sudden infant death syndrome in Scotland: case-control study, British Medical Journal 2002;325;1007-1009

(4) Source of statistics: New Zealand Ministry of Health

Media release issued by:
T J Sprott OBE MSc PhD FNZICConsulting chemist & forensic scientist10 Combes RoadRemueraAuckland 1050NEW ZEALANDPhone/fax: +64-9-5231150e-mail:

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Genes and SIDS

It never fails. Every time I do some on-line research of SIDS news I end up so frustrated that I don't know what to do. I found this article from early this year:

Before I explain why I am so upset, in all fairness please understand that I have been watching the SIDS industry for about 3 years. While you may just now be learning about Dr. Sprott and his toxic gas theory, it has been "out there" for many more years, and he has had 100% success with SIDS prevention utilizing mattress wrapping. That said, here are some pieces that infuriate me:

First of all, this study showed that 5- yes 5% of deaths from SIDS in African American babies can be attributed to a certain gene. (Are you wondering about the other 95%?) AND, "half of those deaths result from a common genetic variation that increases an infant's risk of developing an abnormal heart rhythm during times of ENVIRONMENTAL STRESS..." (CAPS mine).

The environmental stress that they avoid seeing is what Dr. Sprott has already discovered- the toxic gases from baby AND adult mattresses, which are avoided when parents wrap their baby's mattress. So doesn't it make sense that if ALL babies have ANY genetic problems, black, white, hispanic, or Indian, we should protect their environment?

No, according to this study, "The hope is that findings like this may one day allow us to intervene. We might screen to identify children at high risk and teach parents how to lessen the likelihood of secondary challenges. We have already begun to evaluate drugs that may mitigate the risk."

Surprise, surprise! DRUGS! First, African American babies will be screened (who will pay for THAT?) for certain genes, and THEN their parents will be convinced that their baby is at increased risk for SIDS, and given a drug, probably for the first year of the baby's life! Can you imagine? What I'm wondering at this point is why we can't (do what Dr. Sprott has been doing for years) control the environmental stress instead of putting drugs (which ALL have side effects) into our infants? Is anyone else wondering what else might be added to this drug? Hmmm...

The article even admits:

"But SIDS is not purely genetic; it appears to require multiple "hits," some from altered genes and some from the environment.

The environment's role was demonstrated by the "Back to Sleep" campaign, begun in 1994, which cut the prevalence of SIDS in half by teaching parents to put babies to sleep lying on their backs. The campaign was based, in part, on the assumption that babies sleeping on their bellies had more spells of interrupted breathing or apnea."

The SIDS industry is following the cancer industry fairly well. Instead of looking at external causes, we are looking at the body and how it is "broken." It has already been proven that SIDS is caused by toxic gases, and it has already been proven that not only is cancer somewhat preventable, it is also very treatable without the use of toxic drugs that often kill rather than save. Instead of looking down their microscopes, both industries need to look at the ones who do NOT die of SIDS, or do NOT get cancer and pay attention to what they are doing. They are so busy trying to develop drugs that they don't see what is going on right in front of them!

Yes, it is ALL about the money. And the most frustrating part is that our US tax money is funding this nonsense. I don't know about you, but I am livid. When will America wake up?!

Monday, August 07, 2006


Today I wasn't feeling well and spent most of the day in bed. I'm not sure what made me think of it, but it occurred to me that I have been on-line for over 3 years, and the mainstream media, medical establishment, and parents have not caught on to the toxic gas theory for crib death. I imagine that one day it will be "breaking news." Hopefully I will not be a grandma then.

It just amazes me how people are so gullible in some respects, and so mistrusting in others. I wonder what it will take for someone to finally declare the toxic gas theory THE cause for crib death. I mean, while scientists continue to search for the cause of SIDS, babies around the globe have slept on wrapped mattresses for over 10 years with NO crib deaths. The statistical evidence is so overwhelming that it has been declared by some scientists to prove that toxic gases are the single cause of crib death. The reason for this is that if there were another cause of crib death, then in the last 10 years a baby would have died on a wrapped mattress.

I just don't get how people don't understand that. In part, I blame the fact that many parents today can barely understand what they read, much less scientific studies or statistical information. They rely on emotions or what they've been told by their doctors or friends.

Anyway, I hope that there is a breakthrough soon. I've just searched for any type of SIDS news on-line and came up empty-handed. I wonder where all those SIDS dollars are being spent this week.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Serious Warning About Crib Sheets

Just as the public is becoming more aware about mattress wrapping and the proven cause of SIDS (toxic gases), there is a product on the market that goes against this principle and is VERY dangerous. They are polyester fleece crib sheets, which are just as dangerous as mattress pads and the baby's mattress itself. You can learn more about what SHOULD go on a baby's bed, and if you don't want to bother visiting that link, just know that nothing but 100% cotton should go under the baby.

Will your doctor tell you this? No, probably not. It has been a decade long struggle to get the toxic gas theory for crib death and the mattress wrapping campaign into the mainstream, but as of today, only a few doctors know enough to educate their patients.

Will you see a recall of this product? Not likely. As long as mainstream researchers continue to ignore the evidence and neglect the general public, this product will appear innocent and non-threatening. No link will be made between synthetic and flame retardant products and crib death until the researchers wake up and face the truth.

What will happen if you use polyester fleece crib sheets? Possibly nothing. Or possibly the death of your baby. It isn't worth the risk...just don't use them. Many people think that the toxic gas theory is bogus since their baby slept perfectly fine on an old crib mattress. Or they may know someone that lost a baby who slept on a brand new mattress. It's real easy to accept or negate evidence based on what happens EVERY single time, but with crib death statistics it isn't that easy. No one knows *why* some mattresses are more dangerous than others, or why some babies are more susceptible to die from the toxic gases, but what we know is this: Since *NO* babies have died on wrapped mattresses (though babies continue dying on unwrapped mattresses) we know that mattress wrapping has essentially prevented crib death with 100% success. And those statistics support the validity of the toxic gas theory without question.

Just please do not use polyester fleece sheets underneath your baby aged 0-12 months. No matter how "comfy" they make them sound!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

SIDS 2006 Conference Abstract

SIDS 2006 Conference: The address on the success of mattress-wrapping for cot death prevention which the SIDS Scientific Program Committee turned down

Note: Following the initial decision of the SIDS Scientific Program Committee not to have an address on mattress-wrapping at the SIDS 2006 Conference, the Conference organisers asked for that decision to be re-considered. Once again, however, an address on mattress-wrapping was turned down.
In the lead-up to the SIDS 2006 Conference, internationally renowned cot death researchers in various countries expressed the view that the results of the New Zealand mattress-wrapping programme should be the subject of an address to the Conference.

Here is the Abstract of the address you didn't hear:

Cot Death - Cause and Prevention
Experiences in New Zealand 1995~2006

There is a general perception that the cause of cot death (also known as crib death or - erroneously - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) remains unknown. This is not so. The cause of cot death has been elucidated as being extremely toxic "nerve" gases generated by fungal activity on chemicals frequently present in cot mattresses and certain other bedding commonly used in babies' sleeping environments. The level of proof of this explanation renders it beyond reasonable doubt.

Interventions based on the toxic gas explanation have been widely advocated in two countries: first in Britain (1989), and far more intensively in New Zealand through an 11-year nationwide public information programme from December 1994 continuously to the present. Both interventions were followed by significant reductions in cot death which cannot be explained other than by the toxic gas proposition. Not one cot death has been reported on a mattress wrapped according to the author's specifications, whereas during that same period about 820 New Zealand babies have died of cot death, all on unwrapped mattresses so far as is known. Given the close examination of all cot deaths in New Zealand, nil reported deaths on wrapped mattresses effectively means that there have been no such deaths.

A simple inexpensive product designed for this intervention (the BabeSafe cover) has been widely used in New Zealand since August 1996, and covers have also been exported to parents in more than 30 countries since 1997. Likewise there have been no reports of cot death from any of the overseas parents who have adopted the mattress-wrapping protocol using BabeSafe covers.

Mattress-wrapping is a logical intervention based on the toxic gas explanation, and is an obvious corollary to that explanation. Since this intervention method is successful in preventing cot death, that outcome provides incontrovertible proof of the validity of the explanation. The success of mattress-wrapping for the prevention of cot death is such that it is incumbent on all persons and organisations who provide advice to parents about cot death prevention to inform parents of the New Zealand experience using this technique.

Refer: Cot Death - Cause and Prevention: Experiences in New Zealand 1995-2004, Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine 2004; 14(3):221-232.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Sprott Calls for Endorsement of Mattress-Wrapping

23 May 2006



Following the release of new cot death (SIDS) statistics, cot death expert Dr Jim Sprott is calling on the New Zealand Ministry of Health, Royal New Zealand Plunket Society and other babycare advisers to immediately endorse mattress-wrapping for cot death prevention.

New statistics issued by the Ministry of Health show that since the commencement of mattress-wrapping eleven years ago, the New Zealand nationwide cot death rate has fallen by 70% and the NZ European (Pakeha) rate has fallen by around 85%.(1)

NZ Maori babies are 10 times more likely than NZ European (Pakeha) babies to die of cot death.(2) Following the uptake of mattress-wrapping by the Pakeha community over the last eleven years (and the 85% reduction in their cot death rate), New Zealand has the highest inter-ethnic cot death disparity of any country in the world.

"Pakeha New Zealand leads the world in cot death prevention," stated Dr Sprott. The Ministry of Health, Cot Death Association and Plunket Society have a duty to tell parents to wrap babies' mattresses. If parents don't receive information about mattress-wrapping, that risks the lives of babies - especially Maori babies."

Mattress-wrapping has been publicised in New Zealand since late 1994 and the practice has been widely adopted, especially among the European/Pakeha community. By the end of 1996 there had been 230 cot deaths in New Zealand on unwrapped mattresses (or parallel sleeping situations) versus nil cot deaths on "wrapped mattresses". By the end of 2000 the figure was 510 to nil. It is now around 820 to nil.(1)

"The major reductions in New Zealand cot death rates which have occurred since 1994 cannot be attributed to orthodox cot death prevention advice such as face-up sleeping," stated Dr Sprott. "There has been no material change to that advice since 1992."

The results of the New Zealand mattress-wrapping programme have been published in two peer-reviewed journals of environmental medicine.(3)

"Statisticians at the University of Munich have calculated that the proof that mattress-wrapping prevents cot death exceeds the level of proof achieved by DNA testing," stated Dr Sprott. "The results of the New Zealand mattress-wrapping programme far exceed the results of any other cot death prevention programme, anywhere in the world."


(1) Source of statistics: New Zealand Ministry of Health (final statistics to 2001; provisional statistics for 2002 and 2003; progress counts for 2004 and 2005).

(2) NZ Maori cot death rate: 2.0 deaths per 1000 live births; NZ European/Pakeha cot death rate: 0.2 deaths per 1000 live births.

(3) Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine 2004;14(3):221-232. Zeitschrift fuer Umweltmedizin 2002;44:18-22.

Media release issued by:
10 Combes Road
Auckland 1005
Phone/fax: +64-9-5231150

Monday, May 08, 2006

SIDS Prevention Products

There are tons of SIDS prevention products on the market. Do they work?

Most frequently seen are sleep sack type "blankets" which are blankets that the babies wear. These are supposed to help prevent SIDS because of the misunderstanding that using blankets leads to SIDS deaths. On the contrary, cotton blankets are perfectly okay for use, especially in regards to SIDS prevention. You should avoid using polyester or polyester filled blankets such as a comforter. The most beneficial part of the sleep sack pictured, the Halo Sleep Sack, is that on the front of the sleep sack is an emblem reminding the caretaker to place the baby on his or her back. While I do not have statistics as to how well these work, if your baby is sleeping on a mattress that is not covered with a BabeSafe mattress cover, the inherent SIDS risk has not been removed, and it doesn't matter what you cover your baby with.

Another more commonly marketed product is a breathing/movement monitor which alarms the parents or caretaker if the baby does neither within about 20 seconds. There are a number of problems with these. First of all, the alarm does go off for no reason. Second, while it might be a great tool for babies suffering from sleep apnea or other medical problems, once a baby is in a state of "SIDS" they cannot be revived. At the point the monitor goes off to alert the parent, it is too late. Do they prevent SIDS? No.

Another product on the market is the Amby Baby Hammock. Interestingly enough, the Amby Hammock was not originally created for SIDS prevention. It has, however, produced interesting results as far as SIDS prevention. With about 25,000 Amby Hammocks sold worldwide, there have been no known cases of SIDS in Amby Hammocks. While Amby officials do not understand fully why this is, they do attribute the success in the fact that it is impossible to place babies on their backs and for babies to turn on their backs in the Amby Hammock. Also, and more importantly, their mattresses have not been treated with fire retardants, a known cause of toxic gases in mattresses. The mattress cover is 100% cotton, eliminating the danger found in mainstream mattress protectors which can also produce toxic gases.

Finally, the most economical and successful product, the BabeSafe mattress cover. Like the Back to Sleep campaign, use of the BabeSafe mattress cover is based on the toxic gas theory. While "Back to Sleep" helps prevent babies from breathing in toxic gases, the BabeSafe mattress cover prevents the gases from getting into the baby's breathing space to begin with. The mattress cover slips over your current baby mattress and comes in six sizes to accommodate various bassinets, co-sleepers and cribs. The success of this product has been astounding, and actually proves scientifically that the toxic gas theory is the single cause of SIDS. This is an important product for ALL families with babies, but especially for families who have babies that do not sleep well on their backs. With the BabeSafe mattress cover, it is perfectly safe to place your baby on his or her tummy to sleep. This is because the toxic gases are not permeating through the cover, allowing baby a gas-free sleeping zone whether he is on his back, side, or stomach. This is difficult for people to accept if they do not believe in or do not want to accept the toxic gas theory. These people still contend that babies should not sleep on their stomachs because SIDS has a medical reason that causes cessation of breathing when babies are placed on their stomachs. If this were true, babies would have died sleeping on their stomachs on a wrapped mattress, but they have not.

When it comes to SIDS prevention, you must do your research to figure out exactly what you are getting when you want to keep your baby safe. Every company is going to tell you the positives, and sometimes they are a stretch. Don't be misled by the hype, and always use your common sense and researching abilities to find out as much as you can before you hand your money over!

Monday, April 10, 2006

FAQ about SIDS and the Toxic Gas Theory

Q. Wasn't the toxic gas theory dispelled by the Limerick Committee?
A. Not at all. You might find information on SIDS organizations regarding the Limerick Committee, and how the Limerick Report disputed the toxic gas theory. This information is incorrect. While media publicity reported one thing, the truth is a little more complicated if you don't understand the toxic gas theory. People who don't WANT to understand it, will accept what the media promotes and look no further. You can learn the truth about the toxic gas theory and the Limerick Committee.

Q. Why can organizations provide incorrect information?
A. The internet has its pros and cons. Not everything you read on-line is going to be true. I have read so much conflicting information on the internet, it is scary. The SIDS industry is only one small part of the problem. There is conflicting information on just about anything health related, so you really have to do your research. In regards to SIDS, if you evaluate the information available, you will find the SIDS organizations know very little when it comes to SIDS. For instance, they will tell you that you should put your baby to sleep on his back, but have no idea why. Ironically, back sleeping was proposed by Barry Richardson in the UK when he first discovered the toxic gas theory. It was so successful there in regards to SIDS prevention, that the US adopted the same practices. But you will find no mention of WHY on most SIDS organizations. (And many of these organizations do not even acknowledge the existence of the toxic gas theory.) One thing that happens frequently is that people will read something on a site, and instead of checking sources, will repeat that information, sometimes even copying the same information and using it on their own site. Before you know it, EVERYONE is saying the same thing- even though it is 100% incorrect. Similarly, studies can be taken out of context and reported incorrectly, since most reporters realize that people will not check sources, and most people do not know how to read the statistical information provided with scientific studies.

Q. The toxic gas theory seems a little far-fetched. Why should I "buy" it?
A. Suppose for an instant that Dr. Sprott and Barry Richardson were 100% wrong about the toxic gas theory. Pretend it doesn't matter. What DOES matter is that their solution (mattress wrapping) has proven its success since NO babies have died of SIDS on mattresses wrapped with a BabeSafe mattress cover. It doesn't really matter WHY the mattress cover works- it just does. You don't have to believe in any theory to accept those statistics. Dr. Sprott has worked on New Zealand SIDS prevention for decades, and has greatly slashed the SIDS rates there. The only babies dying in New Zealand are babies who do not sleep on wrapped mattresses.

Q. Does this mean that there is only one cause of SIDS?
A. While many parents who have lost a baby to SIDS do not want to believe the toxic gas theory and mattress wrapping, statistics are showing that there can not be another cause of SIDS. This does not mean that EVERY autopsy was performed with 100% accuracy; a medical problem can certainly be missed. Similarly, some vaccine deaths are incorrectly labeled SIDS. Mattress wrapping will not prevent vaccine deaths. BUT, it is important to note that NO babies have died AT ALL on wrapped mattresses where SIDS was diagnosed. While there may have been deaths with a known cause, NONE have been labeled SIDS. What this means is that all unknown deaths are prevented with a BabeSafe mattress cover. The only reason this can be possible is if there is only one cause of SIDS- toxic gases. In order for another cause of SIDS to be possible, at least one of the hundreds of thousands of babies* who have slept on wrapped mattresses would have to have had a mysterious undiagnosed medical problem which resulted in SIDS. It simply has not happened.

Q. Why isn't the toxic gas theory accepted by mainstream doctors, media and SIDS organizations?
A. Money. As I've stated before, any organization set up for the sole purpose to discover or cure something in the health industry is eventually clouded by money. They need it to pay researchers. They need it to provide information, for advertisers, for administrative costs. THEY NEED MONEY. There is no money in the cure. There is only money in the search for the cure. Visit the American Cancer Society website. How much of their site is spent on prevention? Very little. How much do you know about cancer aside from chemotherapy and radiation? Did you know that people are naturally curing their cancers? Why isn't THIS information all over the news? Without answering that, I can tell you- ALL industries are the same, whether it's cancer, arthritis, MS, or SIDS. Once an industry is established, it's all about the money.

Unfortunately, as much as doctors want to help, they are the last to find out about things. Unless they spend their "spare" time doing research and staying updated on medical topics, they rely on the AMA or AAP for any new information. They are too busy seeing sick children, and the AAP is simply a band of doctors who support one another, disseminating information to the community. As a matter of fact, you can see what the AAP says about SIDS here: American Academy of Pediatrics' Policy Statement on SIDS While they do use research from the UK and New Zealand in their policy, it is interesting to note that they do not mention the most successful campaign in New Zealand- the mattress wrapping campaign. I don't know why this is. I'm not sure what they are waiting for.

If you want to learn more about The Cot Death Cover-up? I suggest you get the book! It explains in more detail, and lays out the timeline, of what has happened in the SIDS industry.

Q. I have read that some bedding is dangerous for babies as well; why is this?
A. Most people are under the impression that babies' comforters are dangerous because of the suffocation risk. This is not so. It is dangerous because comforters are filled with polyester filling, which contains both phosphorus and antimony. Because, typically, parents don't wash their cute comforters frequently from fear of fading, a fungus will grow inside the comforter. When this fungus consumes the phosphorus and antimony, the toxic gas is produced and released. The more the comforter is used without laundering, the more dangerous it becomes. Baby's body heat, coupled with urine, drool, and sweat coming from the baby, creates a deadly blanket even if you can't tell from the outside. Once the comforter is laundered, the fungus is diminished, and it must re-grow during use once again. The following baby bedding should be avoided:
All polyester-filled quilts/comforters, pillows, waterproof mattress pads, quilted mattress pads, sheepskin, sheep fleece underlay, wool puddle pads, polyester fleece or acrylic blankets, and anything you don't know the contents of. Only 100% cotton should be used underneath baby.

If you are quickly catching on, you probably realize that infant swing padding, car seat padding, and other baby "cushions" are made of the same elements. These padded items should be laundered frequently as well. Use them infrequently. Do not allow your baby to sleep for long periods in his infant car seat/carrier. The more it is used, the more fungus will grow inside the padding. I have heard of babies dying while lying in their infant car seat. This is one item that you will want to purchase new, and if you can't, you should launder the padding before use.

Q.When is a baby most at risk for SIDS?
A. Most SIDS deaths occur between 2-4 months, and it happens less frequently in babies over 6 months old. You are not considered "safe" until the baby is at least 12 months old. The older and bigger a baby gets, the more his body will be able to "handle" the toxic gases. A toddler sleeping in an unwrapped crib will not die from SIDS, but she can be affected by the gases and respond with a headache. The younger and smaller a baby is, the more susceptible she is to the toxic gases. Consider the canaries that miners used to send into the mines to see if it was safe for them. While the mattress may be safe for adults, it may not be safe for a baby.

Q. Why do some mattresses kill babies and others don't?
A. First, it is important to note that the most dangerous mattresses are used mattresses. Of course, if you cover any mattress with a BabeSafe mattress cover, it doesn't matter how old it is. What goes on inside a mattress varies greatly, depending on the baby sleeping on it, how many babies have slept on it, whether those babies had frequent fevers or elevated body temperatures, how often a baby sleeps on it, and *I* believe, the conditions where the mattress was manufactured and stored. This is purely speculation and not from any study or research. If you have ever lived in a humid climate, you know the difference between 100% humidity and 50% humidity. It is even more apparent if you have a basement with a de-humidifier that needs to be emptied every day. If you live in a house without air conditioning in the humid summer months, you know that feeling. It's sticky and "wet." You can just feel it in the air. What if mattresses are manufactured in humid conditions and brand new mattresses are sewn together with dampness being enclosed with the insides of the mattresses? Maybe they have climate controlled plants, and climate controlled warehouses...I don't know. But all of these things need to be considered. I have heard stories of babies dying the first night they slept on their new crib mattress. While it is more likely for a baby to die on used mattresses, it is possible for a baby to die on a new mattress. The problem is that there is no litmus test for the arsines, phosphines, and stibines, and if they are present, the levels at which they are present. What we DO know is that a BabeSafe mattress cover wrapped around a baby's mattress keeps the gases from getting into the baby's air space, thereby preventing SIDS.

Q. Why should I believe your information?
A. It used to be much harder to answer this question, but as time goes on, more doctors are agreeing with the toxic gas theory. Google it. While you will find all those people misquoting and abusing the Limerick Report, you will also find other people (respected doctors) who decided that it makes a lot of sense. The only thing that time proves is that the toxic gas theory is correct. One thing I like to compare it to is the use of vitamin C. If your doctor had a cold, took a vitamin C and decided vitamin C is worthless because it didn't do anything for him, he will probably tell you that vitamin C doesn't work. Then you have the doctors who will read everything they can get their hands on about vitamin C, and realize that they need to take it every 1-2 hours in higher doses. These doctors will report a totally different experience with vitamin C. These discrepancies run rampant all over the internet. You should believe me and all the other doctors and scientists who agree with the toxic gas theory because we are like the second doctors. We did not scratch the surface of SIDS prevention and find contentment in agreeing with all the SIDS organizations who are still clueless about SIDS. We examined the facts, the statistics, and the common sense of this theory and realized there was more to it than scientists looking to make a buck. And I hope that you can see that, too!

*According to mattress cover sales worldwide, and allowing for the mattresses or covers to be handed down to a sibling or another baby, it is estimated that over 235,000 babies have slept on mattresses wrapped according to the Cotlife 2000 specifications.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Purpose of SIDS Organizations

Tonight I had nothing new to say about SIDS prevention, so I decided to Google "sids information" and see if anything new was coming out. What I found was rather frightening and sad. Here are some things I noticed:

1. There are TONS of SIDS organizations. Some are started by families of SIDS babies, some simply disseminating information, others asking for donations. Some states have their own organizations, others are national. Some are actual non-profit organizations, and others are just websites trying to help parents out with information.
2. The information is almost always incorrect. Not only are they regurgitating incorrect information regarding the Limerick Committee and the toxic gas theory, they completely ignore the fact that mattress wrapping has been 100% successful in preventing SIDS. They don't even mention it.
3. Instead of acknowledging true prevention techniques and providing prevention measures for lower socioeconomic families, they continue to funnel more money into studies that never seem to pan out.
4. I don't think I read anywhere that African American babies are twice as likely, and Native American babies three times as likely to die from SIDS (I did not look at ALL sites, as I know some do state this. I only looked at 10-15 sites.) Instead of collecting money and doing "research" on babies who have already died, these organizations should be spending the money on SIDS prevention information and reaching the lower socio-economic groups SIDS affects more frequently. Why isn't anyone questioning why these two groups are hit more frequently with SIDS? (The answer is in the higher likelihood to re-use mattresses rather than purchase a new mattress for each baby).
5. If you really sit down and read SIDS stories, you will see many similarities. But the ironic thing is, when parents of SIDS babies want to tell me how wrong I am about what I know, they always have a, "but our situation was different because..." story just for me. For instance, my baby wasn't even in a bed- he was in his car seat...; her mattress was brand new...; the baby slept with me...; co-sleeping IS safer.... If we left the science up to parents of SIDS babies, each and every SIDS death would be unique and we would never find similarities- except, of course, the deaths. I have read story after story of babies found under blankets, babies dying while sleeping with a parent on a sofa, babies dying in their parents' arms. It IS possible to pick up a baby from his crib who is alive, but is actually dying from toxic gases. That baby can die in your arms. Parents who think the toxic gas theory only applies to cribs have not done their research, and they are looking for a reason to discount it so that they can abandon that theory for a more acceptable cause, such as a medical reason (something was wrong with the baby).
6. With so many different organizations accepting "donations" along with our tax money that goes into research, who is in charge of where the money goes and what research is done? How do we know research isn't being duplicated? And who is watching to see that bogus research isn't performed just to keep the money flowing into the researcher's pockets? Why do we continue to funnel money into the research, but we don't funnel money into a proven prevention technique to either prove it or disprove it for good? For instance, that "research" money could be purchasing mattress covers for socioeconomically disadvantaged babies. That is a quick way to prove or disprove the toxic gas theory. Test out the most successful SIDS prevention technique on the groups most likely to be affected by SIDS and you will prove something. It has already been done in New Zealand. Why won't US scientists do it? Perhaps they are scared to "cure" themselves out of jobs?
7. There is a need for SIDS organizations to help parents deal with their loss. But I wonder how well this is being done. When organizations focus on so many things, and more importantly on accepting more donations, how can they fulfill their purpose in helping parents cope- which is practically free, by the way? Those parents are useful for bringing in more money. They keep them in the dark about the truth, and then encourage them to send money, ask their friends for money, and do fundraisers for "the cause." Maybe they are right. Perhaps giving them something to do is easier for them than the truth: that the very organization parents are depending on for SIDS counseling are the same organizations that failed to tell them the truth in the first place. By the way, this is not exclusive to the SIDS community. It is even worse in the cancer industry, where organizations put prevention information deep in their websites, almost impossible to find. And then the information is incomplete and weak.

I wonder what would happen if I were to apply for a SIDS research grant to provide African American and Native American families with BabeSafe mattress covers for 10 years. I wonder what would happen to the SIDS rate in the US. You know, I have actually written to Oprah to get help with doing that. I got no response. I think she is too busy rebuilding houses for Katrina families. But those researchers...they should be eager to find the truth and should jump on that with all the money they've got coming in. You think?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

What you CAN do to Prevent SIDS

Contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding does not prevent SIDS. Smoking does not cause SIDS. While breastfeeding and keeping your baby away from second-hand smoke DOES provide a healthier baby, neither has enough impact in SIDS prevention to correlate causation. As a matter of fact, what do you tell the mom who has a breastfed baby who never got vaccinated, was never exposed to cigarette smoke, and always slept on her back, when she wants answers to why her baby died from "SIDS"?

There are a lot of things we do in our homes that jeopardize our babies' health. Normal, every day things that we don't give much thought can make or break the health of our children, and we need to take them more seriously. Here is a list of things that you need to be wary of, the first 2 relevant to SIDS prevention, the remainder relevant to babies' general health concerns.

1. Wrap your baby's mattress with a BabeSafe mattress cover. It is the only product with a 10 year track record of 100% success in SIDS prevention, even with babies sleeping on their stomachs.
2. Use only cotton underneath baby while sleeping. Avoid using waterproof padding, wool pad, sheepskin, etc. Also, do not use polyester or acrylic blankets, quilted blankets, or comforters which are often poly filled. These are not suffocation risks, but unlaundered lead to toxic nerve gases similar to the toxic gases in mattresses.
3. Do not use fabric softener on baby's clothes or bedding.
4. Do not use bleach to clean the baby's room or home environment. Use homemade or environmentally safe cleaning products.
5. Breastfeed and eat nutritiously, as well as take nutritional supplements.
6. Avoid second hand smoke and do not leave your baby with people who smoke, even if it is outside.
7. Do not leave your baby with day care centers or home providers who use mainstream cleaning products. If you have concerns but can not find anyone else to care for your baby, purchase an Airwise air purifier and insist that it remain in the room where your baby spends most of his day. (You can band together with other parents and purchase an Airwise together.)
8. If you choose formula feeding at any point, use distilled water to mix baby's formula.
9. Use safer baby soaps with fewer chemicals and fewer fragrances. Most Americans go way overboard with scents, and it is literally killing us.
10. Do your research on vaccines. Don't just read the literature from the "medical establishment." Take a really good look at the "other side." While you may still decide to vaccinate, you might find yourself selectively vaccinating or delaying some vaccines. I thought I knew everything because I only researched the "pro-vaccine" side. Don't make your decision until you have examined BOTH sides...this is VERY important.

There are generally two groups of people. Those who already know a lot of the above and follow a lot of the advice, and those who think it's all crazy. I will let you guess which group has sick children, children with asthma, children with ADHD or other behavior's typically the people who don't believe in protecting our children from "harmless" things, but will run to the doctor and fill every prescription handed over by a doctor who has had absolutely no training in anything outside of making diagnoses and writing prescriptions. Unfortunately, there is no prescription for SIDS. The only symptom is death, and it's too late to listen then, isn't it?

Friday, March 31, 2006

"Serotonin Levels" Theory for SIDS Disproved

29 March 2006

Research* published this month in the "Journal of Neuroscience" claiming that disturbed serotonin levels in babies may be linked to cot death (SIDS) is already disproved, says New Zealand cot death expert Dr Jim Sprott.

A research team headed by physiologist Dr Andrew Tryba (Medical College of Wisconsin) claims that findings relating to serotonin 5-HT2A receptors in mice suggest that if serotonin levels in babies are disturbed, babies may not respond appropriately in situations where they are deprived of oxygen.

"The idea that cot death may be caused by disturbed serotonin levels or faulty serotonin receptors in babies can be refuted in a few sentences," said Dr Sprott. "It is already disproved by well-established cot death epidemiology."

Statistics show that the incidence of cot death rises with birth order: the risk rises from first babies to second babies in families; and from second babies to third babies; and rises again for later babies. Cot death risk is highest among babies of solo parents.

"The rising rate of cot death from one sibling to the next disproves any theory that cot death is linked to disturbed serotonin levels," stated Dr Sprott. "Quite obviously, whether or not babies have disturbed serotonin levels or faulty serotonin receptors is not linked to whether they are first, second or third babies in families, or whether they were born to solo parents."

Dr Sprott states that the rising rate of cot death from one sibling to the next is explained by the toxic gas theory for cot death: Cot death is caused by certain toxic gases generated in mattresses (and other bedding), and the risk of exposure to those gases rises as mattresses are re-used from one baby to the next.**

"Here in New Zealand we've been wrapping babies' mattresses for cot death prevention for eleven years," said Dr Sprott. "Since mattress-wrapping began, the New Zealand nationwide cot death rate is down by 62% and the Pakeha*** ethnic rate is down by about 76%. And there have been no reported cot deaths on wrapped mattresses - regardless of whether the babies had disturbed serotonin levels."

Dr Tryba stated that further research was needed to establish a connection between disturbed serotonin levels and cot death, following which screening of babies for potential risk could be appropriate.

"Both this further research and the screening of babies would be a waste of money," said Dr Sprott. "It is already proved by well-known epidemiology that cot death is not linked to disturbed serotonin levels or faulty serotonin receptors in babies."


* Gasping Activity In Vitro: A Rhythm Dependent on 5-HT2A Receptors, The Journal of Neuroscience 2006;26(10):2623-2634.
** Case-control study of sudden infant death syndrome in Scotland, 1992-5, British Medical Journal 1997;314:1516-20; Used infant mattresses and sudden infant death syndrome in Scotland: case-control study, British Medical Journal 2002;325:1007-1009.
*** Note for overseas readers: "Pakeha" means non-Maori non-Pacific Island. The Pakeha ethnic group comprises 80% of the New Zealand population, and 91% of this group are of European descent.

Media release issued by:
Consulting chemist & forensic scientist
10 Combes Road
Auckland 1005
Phone/fax: +64-9-5231150

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Why THEY Can't See the True Cause of SIDS

Before I start, I want to talk about the term "SIDS." I know that over time, some babies' deaths were mislabeled. For instance, it took a while for suffocation deaths and true unknown deaths to be separated and correctly labeled. There have also been a lot of vaccine deaths labeled as SIDS. But no matter what the history of the term, we all know that there are some babies dying from unknown causes that continue to perplex many scientists (but not all). These are the babies we are talking about.

Who are "they"? First, they are the orthodox SIDS researchers who are paid to find a "cure." Second, they are the SIDS organizations taking in funds to find a "cure." Third, they are parents who have lost babies to SIDS, who have been misled by the first two groups, and whose mission it is to raise awareness and money so that a "cure" can be found. So...why is it that Barry Richardson and TJ Sprott, who discovered the toxic gas explanation for crib death, are shut out by all three groups, even though their SIDS prevention method has been 100% successful since 1989? Okay, I won't exaggerate...I'm sure SOME scientists, SOME organizations (haven't found another yet) and SOME SIDS parents have "seen the light." But overall, these groups denying the validity of the theory is doing nothing but keeping the information from spreading across the globe, since THEY are viewed as the crib death/ SIDS experts and the only ones people should listen to. So why are THEY keeping the true cause of SIDS from all of us?

1. Money. Researchers are getting paid to find something; as long as it's not found, they have a job. As long as they keep looking, they will get a paycheck. Ironically, the CotLife 2000 campaign, the work of Dr. TJ Sprott, has provided a method of 100% SIDS protection (according to statistics) and Dr. Sprott makes no money off of his efforts. You don't always get what you pay for. Interestingly, some scientists are leaving SIDS research because the numbers of SIDS deaths continue to go down. Billions of dollars are spent on SIDS research, and our US tax money funds research as well. Some organizations are now expanding their services to include still birth and miscarriage. With the SIDS rates declining (and oddly these organizations take credit for that; not sure why) they find it necessary to add these services so that they can continue to ask for money, receive tax money, and pay those on payroll who would lose their job if they didn't pretend to need it so desperately.
2. Pride. When you have worked for decades to find a cure to something, you sure as heck aren't going to concede that easily. Especially when you need the money (see #1). Google AIDS. After two decades, there are still scientists (and the list is growing) that contend HIV does not cause AIDS. The HIV claim was made because US and France were battling who could discover the cause of AIDS...and a rush to find the cause has misled the world about AIDS. That is pride.
3. Fear. Parents who have lost babies to SIDS have a fear that there was something that they could have done to prevent SIDS and they didn't do it. Again, not ALL parents who have lost babies to SIDS feel this way, but the most vocal do- the ones who hang out on SIDS boards or become activists supporting the SIDS organizations. These parents are very defensive when it comes to SIDS, and ironically, they will probably not accept any explanation. Explanations don't bring babies back! Sadly, these parents could be helping more people than any of us if they would examine the evidence of the toxic gas theory, accept it, and vocalize it.

Unfortunately for babies, money, pride, and fear are preventing the necessary information from becoming mainstream. The truth about SIDS is this:
  • The toxic gas theory for crib death states that toxic nerve gases are coming from babies' mattresses (as well as adult mattresses) leading to babies' deaths
  • You can prevent these toxic nerve gases from entering your baby's air space by wrapping his mattress with a BabeSafe mattress cover
  • The toxic gas theory and mattress wrapping have been proven successful since not one baby sleeping on a wrapped mattress has died since mattress wrapping commenced over 10 years ago.
In the next 10 years, the SIDS industry will have a completely different face. The numbers will be even lower, the money will slow to a halt, and you will probably even see some researchers join the ranks of the "toxic gas party." Who knows how long it will take for "mainstream" SIDS organizations to see what we know? Instead of giving your money to find the "cure," buy mattress covers for those who can't afford them...SIDS occurs most often in socio-economically disadvantaged groups. Ask a SIDS researcher why that is, and they will probably shrug their shoulders!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Co-sleeping and SIDS topic. There are two very opposing sides to this, so a debate over co-sleeping ALWAYS gets nice and steamy. I will attempt to separate facts from feelings, which is what I always try to do, and which always tends to tick the emotional people off.

Here's the thing... I understand why people like to sleep with their baby in the bed. I've done it. It is nice, especially when you are exhausted and too darn tired to put the baby in her bed. It is comfy, it is sweet, it is nice to wake up to a sweet smelling, peaceful little person that you are finally able to touch, stroke, and snuggle with after 9 months of waiting. I get co-sleeping. I do.

Let me clarify terms I will use going forward so that this makes more sense. Co-sleeping includes bed sharing, but also includes having baby in a co-sleeper next to the adult bed. Bed sharing is actually bringing the baby into the adult bed. The difference is important. I will use the term "co-sleeping" to define a sleeping arrangement whereas the baby has his own sleeping environment next to the adult bed, such as a co-sleeper. I will use the term "bed sharing" to define a sleeping arangement whereas the baby actually sleeps in the adult bed.

That said, bed sharing is NOT safer than placing your baby in her crib. Co-sleeping CAN be safer than any other type of sleeping arrangement, but only under certain circumstances which I will explain in a minute. When it comes to bed sharing and SIDS, many proponents who defend bed sharing usually don't know what they are talking about. Not all. But many. For instance, some say that no babies have died while bed sharing, which is absolutely untrue. Others will blame bed sharing deaths on SIDS, with the idea that if it wasn't caused by suffocation or overlying, then the baby would have died in her crib, bassinet, or co-sleeper anyway, since, "SIDS is not preventable, detectable, yada yada..." and they feel that this exonerates bed sharing. Well, it doesn't.

How so? If you cannot (for whatever reason) accept the toxic gas theory for crib death, you are never going to be able to grasp the concepts pertaining to bed sharing and crib death (SIDS). This is where so many proponets of bed sharing go wrong. They are too busy "but"ing that they miss the facts. Set the emotions aside, peek your head out of the natural parenting- defend it 'til death- world and take a look at what's really going on.

The toxic gas theory states that toxic nerve gases permeate from crib mattresses when a naturally occuring fungus eats away at elements in the mattresses. These elements are phosphorus, arsenic, and antimony. Sleeping a baby face up helps keep these gases away from babies' breathing space, but it is not always enough. IMPORTANT NOTE: These gases are also found in adult mattresses. Many parents, having heard that bed sharing is not safe, have lost babies during sofa-sharing. Sofas and other furniture also contain the same elements and are just as dangerous as a baby or adult mattress, if not more dangerous. (On a side note, infant car seats and swings contain the same chemicals that can produce toxic nerve gases. The chemicals are used as preservatives and fire retardants.)

Proponents of bed sharing say that it helps prevent SIDS because of information presented by Dr. William Sears such as There are other articles out there, by different authors, and other studies, but generally, Dr. Sears' article is full of speculation and guess work about SIDS and what causes it. Oddly, he gives credit to the Back to Sleep campaign which was started in the UK by the very scientist who discovered the toxic gas theory! Similarly with the results in New Zealand: the co-discoverers of the theory helped diminish SIDS in the UK and New Zealand, but oddly, Dr. Sears has no idea how or why. Same with the US SIDS "experts." They tell you that you should put your baby on his back, but have no idea why. Or maybe they do, but that's a whole other can of worms not to be opened just yet.
Okay, so let's assume that Dr. Sears and other "experts" don't know what they're talking about, and Dr. Sprott and Barry Richardson, the co-discoverers of the toxic gas explanation for crib death, were 100% correct and toxic gases are in fact the sole cause of SIDS. (More proof on this later!) A mattress wrap was developed by Dr. Sprott called the BabeSafe mattress cover. This cover has been used on approximately 200,000 babies' sleep surfaces with NO crib deaths. The cover prevents the toxic nerve gases from permeating into the baby's breathing space. The covers are available in various sizes for babies' bassinets, co-sleepers, and cribs. They are not available in adult bed sizes, and now we come to the secondary problem when it comes to bed sharing. (And this is why Dr. Sprott does not condone bed sharing).

Since most people aren't aware of the toxic gas theory and the danger of mattresses, usually the main concern with bed sharing is suffocation, parent overlying, strangulation, and falls. There is such a thing as "safer" bed sharing by removing ALL pillows and blankets, putting the baby in the middle so she doesn't roll off, not sharing with an older child, etc. But not only will you still have the initial risk of SIDS from sleeping your baby on an unwrapped mattress, you have the secondary concern of things or bodies in the shared bed which can harm the baby during sleep.

The absolute safest sleeping environment for a baby until 14 months of age is in a co-sleeper with a wrapped mattress, next to the parents' bed. The mattress cover prevents SIDS, and the separate sleeping environment prevents the additional bed sharing risks. It is worthy to note here, that with a mattress cover on the baby's co-sleeper, your baby can now sleep on his stomach. Since I personally purchased a mattress cover because both of my children were tummy sleepers, I wonder how many other parents purchased one for that same reason...and yet there are STILL no SIDS deaths on wrapped mattresses!

Yes, I *know* that bed sharing has been happening since the beginning of time. So has overlying. There is no sense in putting your infant at risk rather than placing him a foot or so away into his co-sleeper. Dr. Sears can go on and on about how well babies sleep with their mommies. What about all the babies who are held frequently throughout the day, nurtured, breastfed, etc. who sleep perfectly well in their own space in the parents' rooms? He didn't ask ME! My daughter slept wonderfully from day one. She didn't care where she was, she slept fine. And talk about THRIVING! The thing is, most co-sleepers/bed-sharers practice other attachment parenting idealogies, so there is no way that Dr. Sears can speculate on just the sleeping arrangement. He even admits that. I shouldn't pick on Dr. Sears, and I'm not really. I just wish he would be more open about what he doesn't know rather than stating things that appear to some readers as fact.

Back to my point. The safest environment for baby is sleeping on a wrapped mattress, whether it is a bassinet, co-sleeper, or crib mattress. There are other steps you should take to provide a SIDS safe bed. These are VERY important.

So no matter how good it feels to snuggle with your baby in bed, it is not the safest place for baby to sleep. Imagine the feeling of all the moms who woke up to a cold baby. I cannot imagine the guilt I would feel if I took my chances and something happened to my baby. If you were proactive enough to search out this information, keep using your head and place your infant on a wrapped mattress where she is safest of all. Do not allow other moms who have not done the research to convince you that bed sharing is safer. It is simply not true.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Pacifiers Do NOT Prevent SIDS

21 February 2006



New Zealand cot death expert Dr Jim Sprott is advising parents to ignore cot death prevention advice issued by the New Zealand Ministry of Health and the Plunket Society.

His advice follows news yesterday that in the wake of a US study claiming that use of a dummy reduces cot death risk by more than 90%, New Zealand health officials are considering whether to add dummies to their cot death prevention advice.

The US researchers suggest that dummies may assist in keeping babies' airways open if they get into a face-down position in their cots or become covered by bedding.

According to a Television New Zealand report, Plunket's General Manager of Clinical Services has described the US research as "particularly important knowledge".

"Certainly dummy use is associated with reduced cot death risk," stated Dr Sprott, "but not for the reason suggested by the US researchers. The reduced risk comes about because in order to sleep a baby with a dummy, a mother will often use the face-up sleeping position so the dummy stays in place. And face-up sleeping reduces the risk of cot death, because the gases which cause cot death are more dense than air and babies sleeping face-up are less likely to ingest them."

The US study does not mean that New Zealand parents should be advised to use dummies for cot death prevention, stated Dr Sprott. "Any notion that increased dummy use would reduce the New Zealand cot death rate is incorrect. Face-up sleeping is already so widespread in New Zealand that adding dummies would not affect the cot death rate."

Instead, Dr Sprott considers that telling parents to use dummies could cause needless parental anxiety. "To those parents who feel anxious because their babies won't sleep face-up, and those who feel anxious that face-up sleeping might give their babies flat heads, a new group could be added: those who are anxious because they don't wish to use a dummy or their baby won't accept one."

Parents should ignore the advice of Plunket and the Ministry of Health on cot death prevention, stated Dr Sprott.

Dr Sprott advises parents to wrap babies' mattresses in accordance with a specified protocol, and sleep the baby in the alternating side-sleeping position. "That way cot death is prevented, and the baby doesn't develop a flat head," he stated. "And whether or not a dummy is used is irrelevant."

Mattress-wrapping for cot death prevention has been publicised in New Zealand since late 1994. Since that time the New Zealand nationwide cot death rate has fallen by 62% and the Pakeha ethnic rate has fallen by around 76%. There has been no reported cot death on a "wrapped mattress".

Dr Sprott describes Plunket's response to the US research regarding dummies as ill-considered. "New Zealand babycare advisers need to be careful when it comes to overseas cot death research," he stated. "In particular, US cot death research can be highly contradictory and inconsistent.

"Last week a US research study claimed that cot death is caused by a genetic brain defect resulting in a non-function in the baby's breathing. This week a US study is claiming that dummies will prevent 90% of cot deaths. Yet these claims are patently incompatible: using a dummy would obviously have no effect on a brain defect which caused a non-function."

Issued by:T J Sprott
10 Combes Road
Auckland, 1005
New Zealand
Phone/fax: 64-9-5231150

P.S. My favorite part of this release is the last paragraph. SIDS researchers in the US are grasping at straws. None of them are on the same page, even though billions of dollars are being funneled into this industry to find a "cure" for SIDS. Unfortunately, this is nothing new. Our tax dollars at "work."

The Truth About SIDS

I love a great debate. But sometimes, you just gets old. The worst thing when it comes to people arguing with you are people who don't know what they are talking about, are too lazy to research the info, but continue to insist that they know better. Isn't it the WORST?!

Here's the thing...people who have lost a baby to SIDS insist that there is NO way to prevent it. They can't look at the information objectively. They can't imagine that there is something that they could have done to prevent their baby's death. They argue that if there was a way to prevent SIDS, it would be all over the news. Why? Why would they think that? Maybe 10 years ago when I was naive and didn't understand the way this world works, I might have believed that, too. I didn't realize that we were only supposed to believe what was on the news. That we couldn't learn anything other than what is mentioned on the news. I'm sorry, someone must have forgotten to tell me somewhere along the way!

The TRUTH is that a SIDS prevention technique practiced for over two decades has resulted in 0 baby deaths. The technique is mattress wrapping, which has been promoted in the UK and New Zealand with amazing results. It is estimated that well over 235,000 babies have slept on wrapped mattresses with NO infant deaths. With a moderate SIDS rate of 1/1000, two hundred babies statistically "should have" died. So how can anyone say that SIDS is not preventable? Lack of knowledge? Refusal to see the truth? Too many "buts..." to look at the entire picture?

I do have sympathy for parents who have lost their babies. That is why I tell everyone I can about mattress wrapping for SIDS prevention. It is very unfortunate that parents have not been educated on mattress wrapping and continue to suffer loss across the US and abroad. But even worse are those parents who learn it and don't want to believe it, or are convinced by SIDS moms that it is rubbish and a waste of their money.

I will continue to post SIDS information here when it becomes available and every reader who comes across this site can decide for themselves. For more information, please take a look at Prevent SIDS.

Article updated May 2016