A study to examine the relation between room ventilation during sleep and risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) has found that using a fan during sleep can significantly decrease the risk of SIDS.
Reported in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, this population-based case-control study included mothers of 185 infants with a confirmed SIDS diagnosis and 312 randomly selected infants matched on county of residence, maternal race/ethnicity, and age.
The researchers based in California found that fan use during sleep was associated with a 72% reduction in SIDS risk, which seemed more pronounced in adverse sleep environments. For example, fan use in warmer room temperatures was associated with a greater reduction in SIDS risk compared with cooler room temperatures.
Similarly, the reduction associated with fan use was greater in infants placed in the prone or side sleep position. Fan use was associated with a greater reduction in SIDS risk in infants who shared a bed with an individual other than their parents versus with a parent.
Finally, fan use was associated with reduced SIDS risk in infants not using dummies but not in dummy users.
The researchers concluded that fan use may be an effective intervention for further decreasing SIDS risk in infants in adverse sleep environments.
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