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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Fan may be fug but it helps the baby



According to the gurus of home decorating, fans whether they sit on a desk, Mom_ceilingfans hang from the ceiling or stand upright on the floor, are the bete noire of design. Like any well-proselytized follower, I banished them from my house.

But slowly, my husband has been sneaking them in. He’s more concerned with turning off the air conditioning and saving money than with having picture-perfect rooms. So where there were once no ceiling fans, there are now two. Soon, our nine-month-old daughter’s room may sport one too. A new study showed that babies who sleep in rooms with fans are 72 percent less likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

According to the study, fans significantly lower the risk of “re-breathing” exhaled carbon dioxide. Re-breathing exhaled air is, apparently, one reason doctors caution parents about stomach sleeping. Babies who have the biggest decrease in risk from fan use and/or a nearby open window are those who sleep on their sides or stomachs, researchers concluded.

Of course, preventing SIDS is not as easy as installing a ceiling fan or putting one on the night stand. The American Academy of Pediatrics  and other governmental health agencies still recommend that parents place infants on their backs to sleep, remove soft bedding and other objects in a crib, put babies in their own beds to sleep and allow pacifier use.

So for now, my plans for a girly chandelier are out. A ceiling fan, despite its status in some quarters as a design disaster, is in. Did I mention that my daughter finds the slow whirl of ceiling fans absolutely captivating? Yet one more reason for me to stop listening to the design gurus, and concentrate on what works best for me. 

-- Sherri Day

[Photo: Times files]

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:58am]


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