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Fans 'may help babies sleep safely'

Parents who decide to add a fan to their baby's sleeping environment have been found to aid safe sleep.
New research has suggested that parents who decide to add a fan to their baby's sleeping environment aid safe sleep by improving ventilation.

The study, carried out by researchers in California and published in October's Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, found that adding a fan reduced the risk of poor breathing conditions by 72 per cent.

Researchers said that the study did not explain why using a fan helped babies, but they suggested that it could be because the circulation of air prevents infants from "re-breathing" carbon dioxide that has already been exhaled.

Doctors added that parents should not worry that adding a fan will chill their baby, explaining that fans only succeed in moving air around, not cooling it.

"Even though we don't know why certain babies are more susceptible, sleeping environment matters," explained study senior author Dr De-Kun Li of the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research.

"This seems to suggest that by improving room ventilation we can further reduce risk."

Dr Li reminded parents that babies should be placed on their backs on a firm mattress in order to ensure a safe and restful sleep.

Excessive toys and pillows should also be removed from cots and babies should not be allowed to become too warm.

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