Have we found the cause of SIDS?

I recently bought the book Raising Baby Green by Dr. Alan Greene. I found his brief information on infant crib mattresses to be very interesting and a little disturbing. I researched more online and then found the number of chemicals used in crib mattresses to be alarming. Then I found a study that actually LINKED these toxins in crib mattresses to infants who died of SIDS. This is alarming.

I found this article summarizing a study done on crib mattresses and SIDS. In short, Dr. Spoutt believed that crib death was caused by toxic gases released from the crib mattress. If a baby breathed or absorbed a lethal does of these gasses, the central nervous system would shut down, stop breathing and stop heart function. All this without struggle or waking the baby. A normal autopsy would not reveal signs of poisoning.

New Zealand for the past 11 years has had a 100% success rate in preventing crib deaths with an ongoing campaign by advising parents to wrap the mattress in a special cover that prevents leaching of toxic gasses. Over 100,000 infants slept on protected crib mattresses and not a single SIDS case has been reported by this group using the special mattress cover. Prior to the wrapping campaign, New Zeland had the highest SIDS rate in the world at 2.1 deaths per 1000 live births. Since the campaign, SIDS rates have dropped 70%.

I highly recommend reading the entire article. It’s very fascinating and educational. Certainly makes me feel better about wanting to spend 2-3 times as much on an organic mattress for our new baby, due in November.

It’s terrible that more parents do not know about this. The cover is inexpensive, at about $35. Who would not spend at least that to protect an existing mattress? So it’s not about parents not wanting safer alternatives, it’s that our government is keeping this information from us.

The best solution is to purchase a new 100% organic crib mattress. HealthyChild.com seems to be gung-ho about the NaturePedic line of organic crib mattresses.

Organic Crib Mattresses

Naturepedic: all have 100% organic cotton filing
No-Compromise Organic Cotton Classic $259
No-Compromise Organic Cotton Ultra $359
2 in 1 Organic Cotton Ultra $399
Quilted Organic Cotton Deluxe (note, does not have a waterproof cover) $339 
Port a crib pad $149 

Natural Mat
Latex Mat $385 Made of organic latex, organic lambswool and double organic cotton cover 
Mohair Mat $625 (mohair is from horsetail, which naturally springs back to its original shape). Also made of coir (from coconuts), organic lambswool and organic cotton. 
Coco Mat $375 Made of coir (from coconuts), organic lambswool and organic cotton.

Pure Rest
Organic Crib Mattress Innerspring with Edge Supports
Organic Innerspring Crib Mattress (Cotton & Wool) $299 242 coils, organic cotton filling, organic wool batting.

Eco Baby has a variety of mattresses ranging from $299 – $399

Pixel Organics
REFILL mattress is an interesting product in that it recycles food grade plastic bottles into filling for this crib mattress. Also uses organic cotton and wool. $170
Natural Rubber and Organic Wool $150
100% Organic 510 Coil Inner Spring Crib Mattress $342
100% Organic Natural Rubber Crib Mattress $490. Also uses organic cotton and wool.

Related Articles
Toxic chemicals found in infant crib mattresses can cause health problems
BPA free bottles, sippy cups and more
BPA and phthalate free pacifiers
BPA and phthalare free teethers and rattles
Toxins in cosmetics and beauty products
President Bush Signs Product Safety Bill to protect children

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5 responses to this post.

  1. If you have the money to spend on a crib cover, by all means, purchase one. In all likelihood, your child will live. Most babies do. But, understand that Dr. Sprout (a Chemist, not a MD) cannot really substantiate his claims. How can he claim that no baby has died using his mattress cover? Official sources involved in child deaths don’t question the make and model of a mattress – organic or otherwise let alone the covering.

    Dr. Sprout’s website and marketing materials truly sound like the answer to a prayer. But, there is a product for sale here. Maybe a good one, but hard to say.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Trisha on September 9, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Pam, thanks for your comments. The infants in his study focused on 100,000 subjects in New Zealand, not EVERYONE who used this cover. While it would be a very hard thing to track, it certainly would be interesting to know. I am going to look into organic crib mattresses and any cases of SIDS reported with an infact using such a mattress. While it may not be 100% fool-proof, I definitely believe the toxins found in crib mattresses do cause health effects.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Amanda on September 10, 2008 at 7:22 am

    Most Importantly, PLEASE PUT BABIES TO SLEEP ON THEIR BACKS!!!!

    THAT IS A MUST!!!!

    Reply

  4. [...] Some people say that SIDS is connected to plastic phthalates from crib mattresses. There was a study done in New Zealand that had crib matresses wrapped with a special mattress cover and almost zero SIDS incidences have [...]

    Reply

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