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.