Fan use linked to lower SIDS risk

October 9, 2008

Fan use may be associated with a lower risk of sudden death syndrome (SIDS), as reported in the October Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

Fan use may be associated with a lower risk of sudden death syndrome (SIDS), as reported in the October Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

Researchers analyzed data from mothers of 185 infants who had died from SIDS, as well as 312 randomly selected infants. In addition to fan use, other factors that were looked at included the use of pacifiers, open windows, room location and temperature, sleep surface, number and type of covers, and bedding.

Having a fan on during infant sleep was associated with a 72% decrease in SIDS risk compared to having no fan in the room. The decrease in risk jumped to 94% if the fan was being used in a room that was above 69 degrees Fahrenheit.

The study also found factors linked to a greater likelihood of an infant dying from SIDS in their cohort. These included: being placed on the stomach or side (68.9% infant deaths from SIDS versus 43.9%); not using a pacifier (95.9% versus 76.4%); bedding or clothing covering the infant's head (11.4% versus 4.5%); a soft sleeping surface (12.1% versus 6.8%); and bed-sharing with someone other than a parent (14% versus 5.5%).