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BabeSafe Mattress Wrapping Success

Mattress-wrapping for SIDS prevention, which has been publicized in New Zealand since 1994, has been 100% successful. Approximately 740 crib deaths occurred in New Zealand during the years 1995 to 2005 inclusive, but there has been no reported SIDS death among the very large number of babies who have slept on mattresses wrapped to the Cot Life 2000 specifications.

After being static for three years, the NZ crib death rate immediately began to fall. From 1994 to 2010 the nationwide rate fell by 72%. The reduction in the Pakeha rate over the same period was even greater: about 85%.

These major reductions in crib death cannot be attributed to the SIDS prevention advice publicized by the New Zealand Ministry of Health and the New Zealand Cot Death Association. There has been no material change in that advice since 1992.

Sales information relating to BabeSafe mattress covers shows that a very large number of New Zealand babies (and at least 205,000 total) have slept on wrapped mattresses, and also that mattress-wrapping has been enthusiastically adopted by Pakeha (European) parents. The Ministry of Health has confirmed that mattress-wrapping is more prevalent among the Pakeha community than among other ethnic groups.

A considerable body of research has been reported which supports the toxic gas theory for crib death (on which mattress-wrapping is based). Contrary to media publicity, the 1998 UK Limerick Report did not disprove the toxic gas theory, a fact which has been confirmed in the New Zealand Medical Journal. In fact, the Limerick Committee's experiments proved the gas generation on which the toxic gas theory for crib death is based.

Parents, however, are more interested in the practical proof: no reported SIDS death on a correctly wrapped mattress.

Statistics of Mattress Wrapping Program in NZ

  • The "p" factor for the mattress-wrapping intervention was calculated by Dr. Hannes Kapuste, in collaboration with experts from the Statistics Department of the University of Munich; result:  p = less than 1.9 x 10-22
  • Medical researchers regard p less than 0.01 (10-2) as good proof of a scientific proposition; and "p" less than 0.001 (10-3) as virtually certain proof.
  • The p factor for mattress-wrapping, 1.9 x 10-22 can be written as:  0.000,000,000,000,000,000,000,19
  • Put another way, the statistical proof that mattress-wrapping prevents crib death is one billion billion times the level of proof which is generally regarded as constituting certain proof of a scientific proposition.
 
     
 

Please note that we use "SIDS" and "crib death" interchangeably. For an explanation of these terms, please visit SIDS or Crib Death?
 
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