|Using a fan to circulate air has been
found to lower the risk of SIDS in a study of nearly 500 babies at
Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA. The researchers found that fan use
was associated with a 72 percent lower risk of SIDS:
Kimberly Coleman-Phox, MPH; Roxana Odouli,
MSPH; De-Kun Li, MD, PhD
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008;162(10):963-968.
Objective To examine the relation between room
ventilation during sleep and risk of sudden infant death
Design Population-based case-control study.
Setting Eleven California counties.
Participants Mothers of 185 infants with a confirmed
SIDS diagnosis and 312 randomly selected infants matched
on county of residence, maternal race/ethnicity, and age.
Intervention Fan use and open window during sleep.
Main Outcome Measure Risk of SIDS.
Results Fan use during sleep was associated with a
72% reduction in SIDS risk (adjusted odds ratio [AOR],
0.28; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.10-0.77). The
reduction in SIDS risk seemed more pronounced in adverse
sleep environments. For example, fan use in warmer room
temperatures was associated with a greater reduction in
SIDS risk (AOR, 0.06; 95% CI, 0.01-0.52) compared with
cooler room temperatures (0.77; 0.22-2.73). Similarly, the
reduction associated with fan use was greater in infants placed
in the prone or side sleep position (AOR, 0.14; 95% CI, 0.03-0.55)
vs supine (0.84; 0.21-3.39). Fan use was associated with
a greater reduction in SIDS risk in infants who shared a
bed with an individual other than their parents (AOR, 0.15; 95%
CI, 0.01-1.85) vs with a parent (0.40; 0.03-4.68). Finally, fan
use was associated with reduced SIDS risk in infants not using
pacifiers (AOR, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.07-0.69) but not in pacifier users
(1.99; 0.16-24.4). Some differences in the effect of fan use
on SIDS risk did not reach statistical significance.
Conclusion Fan use may be an effective intervention
for further decreasing SIDS risk in infants in adverse
Author Affiliations: Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente
Northern California, Oakland (Mss Coleman-Phox and Odouli and Dr
Li); and University of California, Berkeley, School of Public
Health, Berkeley (Ms Coleman-Phox).