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Saturday, March 03, 2007

SIDS: Is There Hope? One Scientist's Amazing Findings

I came across some information on SIDS, backed by scientific research and time-tested results, that may show SIDS is preventable. When I first came across the information, I was skeptical, but I did some digging. Seems there's something to it, something most of the world isn't told - at least not from those in authority who could make a difference. The more I read on this, the more indisputable the evidence is. Please read on. I'll provide links as we go, so you can see for yourself.

In the early 1990's, New Zealand had the highest infant mortality rate related to SIDS. More than 2 babies in 1,000 were dying of this horrible syndrome until a New Zealand scientist and chemist named Dr. Jim Sprott made an earth-shattering discovery: Crib mattresses treated with fire retardants were producing toxic gases. Dr. Sprott realized baby fluids were seeping into these mattresses and creating a common fungus often found in mattresses. This fungus produces a heavier-than-air poisonous gas which hovers just at the surface of the mattress.

This fits much of what we do know of SIDS - laying a baby on his back reduces the risk. If he's on his back, he's a little further from the gases. A second baby is more susceptible than a first, a third child more susceptible than a second, and so on. Since we know used mattresses can increase the risk, it stands to reason that the more babies have slept on a mattress, the more possibility these gases exist.

In 1994, Dr. Sprock created a mattress wrap that blocks these gases. The information was publicized through New Zealand, and since then, of the over 100,000 babies to sleep on this wrap, not one has died of SIDS. Not one.

In 2002, German doctor Hannes Kapuste published statistical results of the New Zealand mattress wrapping campaign. He stated: “…the statistical proof that mattress-wrapping prevents cot death (SIDS, crib death) is 1018 i.e. one billion billion times the level of proof which medical researchers generally regard as constituting certain proof of a scientific proposition.”

If you're as floored by this information as I am, then you'll want to look into it even more. The original article I found is at For all the scientific research and references to the scientific and medical journals this extensive research appeared in, check Cot Life 2000 and click on the link on the main page "Research which confirms the toxic gas theory for cot death". Cot Life 2000 is full of thorough information, including bedding analyses, FAQs, research info, and contact information. If you want to buy a BabeSafe mattress cover from New Zealand, it's $30 US dollars, and that includes the shipping and handling. They can be purchased directly from Please take a moment and read the research for yourself, then tell every parent you know. Information like this is too important not to pass on.


Piana Nanna said...

Absolutely amazing!! I can't wait to pass this on to two new mothers I know. Thank you for writing this article.

Tracy said...

That is so creepy! Isn't it amazing that they put fire retardant into beds in the first place. We all know it's the smoke that usually gets people. If a crib is on fire, then the whole danged house must be on fire. It's too bad non-smokers can't just get a mattress that doesn't have fire retardant.

The Anonymous Mama said...

Hi, Tracy! You can actually get mattresses without fire retardant - they make them that are filled with organic cotton. Apparently, the packed cotton can't catch fire very easily, so no fire retardant is needed. They do make them for cribs too, but they're pretty pricey.

Anonymous said...

Natural Latex? Also, is it OK to take getty images?

The Anonymous Mama said...

Hi, Anonymous! I know it's not made of natural latex - the material fails me right now. It does say on the site that sells the covers, though. As for Getty Images, yes, they are free; not all of them though. You can do searches in the royalty free section if you're looking for nice images. I love their stuff - it's absolutely endless. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Ah, thanks for the info on Getty. I was in a hurry, so I didn't explain carefully - I meant to suggest firm natural latex as an alternative for matresses - it is made from rubber tree sap, inert, closed cell so doesn't support dust mites, etc.

One example:

Rachel said...

Actually, "Royalty Free" doesn't mean that the images are *free*. It means that you pay for the image once and can use it as many times as you want, without having to pay an additional royalty charge (i.e., 5 cents for every brochure you print w/ the image on it.)

If you want truly free photos, check out stock.xchange . is also good, & their images are only $1/ each.

Just wanted to post this, because Getty has really been cracking down on people using their images & I don't want you to get slapped with a big fine.

And thanks for the great info on your site! I'll have to add the mattress cover to our baby wish list.

The Anonymous Mama said...

Thanks, Rachel! I did some digging after that last question about the images, and realized that I'd better find another source. I've been looking but haven't found much so far. I will definitely check these two sites that you recommend. I'm planning on switching all the images over, which sort of pains me because I just love these old black and whites. Thanks again for the very helpful comment!