Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) has been confusing health care providers and parents alike. It is also known as crib or cot death. It is when a child dies in bed without an explanatory reason. In an effort to avoid SIDS health agencies have recommended children sleeping on their backs, avoiding all pillows, stuffed animals, and avoiding co-sleeping. Even with the above recommendations there remains thousands of cases of SIDS every year.
Dr. James Sprott, OBE, a New Zealand scientist and chemist, states that the reason behind SIDS is found in mattresses. More specifically caused by toxic gases from the mattresses. How is this toxic gas created? Dr. Sprott claims it is caused by an interaction of fungus, which commonly grows in mattresses with chemicals (in fire retardants found in most mattresses) to create poisonous gases.
Dr. Sprott believes the accumulation of poisonous gases are stopping the nervous system causing a complete stop in breathing and heart activity.
This theory has neither been proven or disproven yet.
Dr. Medhat Abu Shaaban the pediatrician behind myPediaclinic in Dubai Health Care City believes that the theory could be true. He has 3 recommendations that would help children avoid breathing the toxic gases to stay on the safe side in case the theory proved to be true.
- Avoid reusing mattresses from child to child as that increases the chance of fungus adding up in the mattress causing more interaction and toxic gases.
- Go for organic mattresses free of chemicals.
- Use polyethylene wraps around mattresses as has been done in New Zealand. In New Zealand there has not been a single case of SIDS in over 200,000 babies who have slept on mattresses wrapped in a specially formulated polyethylene cover.
For more information and references behind this theory, you can read “Has the Cause of Crib Death SIDS been found?”