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Reducing the Risk of SIDS
(Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)

Installed 21 June 2005. Latest update 20 Mar 2016.
Changes or new material is in bold.

The American SIDS Institute website has a page titled Reduce the Risk. In the summary Parents are urged to:

Don’t Smoke – Don’t expose your baby to cigarette smoke before or after birth.

Don’t Bed-Share – Never fall asleep with your baby in your bed or in a chair or sofa.

"Place in Bare Crib – The baby should be placed in a crib with no cover, pillows, bumper pads or positioning devices."

Place on Back to Sleep – Always place your baby, day or night on his or her back to sleep.

[Emphasis added.]

In 1989-1992, when I was working in mosquito research. we used white rats to provide blood meals for our female mosquitoes.

Frequently our rats would develop cancers, and when that happened the protocol was to take them to the vet school for euthanasia.*-

The normal procedure in these cases was to use carbon dioxide (CO2) in high concentration to kill multiple animals at a time. That generally produced about 20 seconds of bedlam. [In 2005 The Humane Society of the United States studied this process of euthanasia and rated it low on the humaneness scale.]

I devised what I think was a much more humane techinque of CO2 euthanasia. The animal to be "put down" would be placed on bedding material in an open-topped container about two feet long and one foot wide. The walls of these containers were about a foot high. A wafer of CO2 dry ice would be placed in the container where, as it sublimated, it would gradually increase the CO2 concentration in the container. (CO2 is heavier than air and collects in the lower part of the container.) The animal would get mildly restless, no running around and thrashing of feet, and then go gently into its night.

It now occurs to me that baby crib bumper pads could prevent the baby's exhaled CO2 from flowing out of its crib, especially when there is restricted air circulation in the room.

I recommend that parents with babies follow the American SIDS Institute's recommendation to NOT use infant crib bumper pads.

Related Articles

New Research on Bedsharing and Infant Breathing

Fan in Baby’s Room Lowers SIDS Risk

Send comments/questions to Robert Fritzius at fritzius@bellsouth.net