ScienceDaily (Oct. 6, 2008) — Fan use appears to be associated with a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in rooms with inadequate ventilation, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Compared with infants who did not die from SIDS, at the last sleep, more infants who died from SIDS:
* were placed on their stomachs or sides (68.9 percent vs. 43.9 percent)
* did not use a pacifier (95.9 percent vs. 76.4 percent)
* were found with bedding or clothing covering the head (11.4 percent vs. 4.5 percent)
* slept on a soft surface (12.1 percent vs. 6.8 percent)
* shared a bed with someone other than a parent (14 percent vs. 5.5 percent)
The use of soft bedding underneath the infant and room temperature at last sleep were the same for both groups of children.
Having a fan on during sleep was associated with a 72 percent decrease in SIDS risk compared to sleeping in a room without a fan. Fan use in warmer room temperatures (above 21 degrees Celcius/69 degrees Fahrenheit) was associated with a 94 percent decreased risk of SIDS compared with no fan use. Fan use also was associated with a decreased risk of SIDS in infants who slept in the prone or side position, shared a bed with someone other than their parents or did not use a pacifier.