Public Service Announcement– SIDS

I’m going a bit off topic here (not that I’m sure I ever announced what my topic was) and talking about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. SIDS.

Now, I’m a father of two amazing kids with another on the way in the middle of this year so SIDS is something I’ve given some thought to. I’ve never laid awake at night worrying, but I think a ‘condition’ (or whatever you call it) like that is something every parent has thought about. All the doctors telling you to sleep the baby on their back and and keep the blankets under control and… well, as far as I know those the only thing the doctors really say. They have no idea.

But my wife works in child care and was talking to someone at a seminar recently who mentioned New Zealander named Jim Sprott. This guy is a chemist who’s done some research and come to the conclusion that SIDS is caused by poisoning from a build up of chemicals in the babies’ mattresses. Plain and simple.

Sleep the baby on its back. He doesn’t argue with that– it gets the baby further away from the heavier than air gases released by these chemicals. But also don’t reuse mattresses for subsequent children (the risk of SIDS increases with 2nd child then increases again with 3rd children and so on). Or at the very least use a mattress cover made from a certain type of plastic or wrap them (the mattresses, not the children) in a sheet of the plastic from a hardware store.

The New Zealand government has no reported cases of SIDS for children sleeping on mattresses wrapped according to Dr Sprott’s instructions. The British armed services supplied mattresses for babies of service members (obviously shared around) and had one of the highest incidences of cot death in the world. They got rid of the old mattresses and wrapped the new ones and the rate dropped dramatically.

So, is it 100% positive that Sprott is correct? Probably not. Should the information be spread by the SIDS organisations anyway? Yes. Am I going to follow his advice as if my baby’s life depended on it? Hell yes.

Do a search for Sprott on the internet. Some of the SIDS organisations don’t seem to like him but the information is out there. Tell your friends. Spread the word. What’s the worst that can happen if you spend $30 on mattress cover or buy some plastic from a hardware store and ten minutes wrapping it around a mattress. What’s the worst that can happen if you don’t?

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