Tuesday, June 17, 2014

SIDS Deaths Don't Only Occur in Cribs

By now most people have heard of babies who have died, diagnosed as SIDS, but not in a crib. "SIDS" simply means that there is no apparent reason the baby died. Once called crib death, the term SIDS became necessary when officials realized babies weren't just dying in cribs, cots, or prams. I wonder if this is what threw them off their game; is this why they don't realize it is the mattress that is deadly?

If it's the mattresses, why are babies dying in infant swings, car seats, and on couches? If you are an environmentally conscious consumer, you already know the answer. Since most people aren't, is there any wonder we are mostly clueless when it comes to this problem?

I will answer the question in a minute. But first, how many people do you know who...
  • still use bleach to clean their home?  
  • install new carpet without any concern about offgassing?
  • laugh at your purchasing organic fruits and vegetables? (or growing your own?)
  • put brand new clothing on their babies without washing it first?
  • use so much fabric softener their towels don't absorb anymore?
  • microwave in plastic containers and laugh when you watch them in horror?
All of these scenarios depict people who are not aware of the environmental concerns in each situation, but they are there. And some of us know it. So some of you reading this realized straight away that mattresses, swing seat padding, car seat padding, and couches all contain the same or similar chemicals, whether by additives or by their actual make up. As well, they are all items which are not generally (if at all) laundered, which leads to fungal growth and toxic gas generation.
In probably the worst environmental disaster of the 20th century, these toxic gases have killed about one million victims of SIDS worldwide. Gas generation starts when a mattress, containing both the chemicals and the fungi, is warmed to body temperature in contact with the baby. Perspiration, dribble, urine, vomit, body heat... enable the fungi to grow and generate gas rapidly. ~The Infant Survival Guide: Protecting Your Baby From the Dangers of Crib Death, Vaccines and Other Environmental Hazards
by Lendon H. Smith and Joseph Hattersley.
 While babies spend a lot of time in swings, bouncy seats, infant car seats, and high chairs, they are using these products face up, where they are generally free to breathe fresh air. The danger in mattresses, where babies lie flat, is compounded when babies are put face down or roll over on their stomachs. In these situations, babies are breathing in directly the gases which are coming from the mattress, which are so heavy, they generally stay right near the surface rather than dissipating into the air. So why is there a danger in these other products at all? 

The question really is, how much of the gases can any one baby handle or process? And what affect do the chemicals have being absorbed through the skin?

Lots of questions remain unanswered because the mainstream scientific community still turns away from the validity of the toxic gas explanation. What you can do is this:
  • use padded ANYTHING sparingly for baby (no comforters in baby's bedding)
  • launder padded items regularly
  • use a BabeSafe cover for your baby's mattress
  • use a fan to keep fresh air circulating, pushing gases down to the floor
  • hold or wear your baby frequently
  • never place baby to sleep on a couch or other similar product (adult bed)
  • relax.
While SIDS is a real concern, worrying about it should not affect your ability to enjoy your baby. I am the type of person that seeks education, so that I can change what I need to and then not worry about it anymore. Almost a decade ago, I switched to drinking home distilled water to avoid fluoride, chlorine, and other toxins that were in our municipal water. Someone who drinks tap water laughed at me recently and said, "I just don't worry about that stuff," to which I replied, "Neither do I," because I don't have to anymore. I took care of it. I no longer drink toxic water. Who's the dummy?