Two Frequently Asked Questions:

"Offgassing" from Mattresses:

Offgassing is often misconstrued as the cause of SIDS. "Outgassing", or off-gassing, refers to the emission of gases already present in a substance, for example from a mattress. But SIDS is not associated with off-gassing. The BabeSafe® covers are manufactured from an inert plastic and are not capable of any gas generation.

Our Toxic Gas Theory cause of SIDS says, rather, that the toxic nerve gases are created in situ, and are not already present as gases in the mattress. These toxic gases have been chemically characterized to be phosphine, arsine and stibine. They are all heavier than air. BabeSafe® covers provide complete protection from SIDS nerve gases because of the gas impermeability of the cover over the mattress.

There are ventilation holes on the bottom side of BabeSafe® mattress covers that are to reduce condensation and to keep the covered mattress from pillowing up like it would if it were completely air-tight. The same toxic gases float, diffuse away, to the floor below the crib from the bottom of the covered mattress because the gases are heavier than air.

Volatile organic compounds (VOC's)—which includes formaldehyde—are the most common gases off-gassed by some mattresses. The VOC's generally float upward as they are lighter than air.

Our BabeSafe® covers give significant protection against the lighter-than-air VOC's involved with offgassing. That is, the VOC's are restricted from being immediately close by to your baby.

Some new mattresses do emit a noticeable "chemical smell" when first unpacked. This chemical smell is not the toxic nerve gases. The rate of gas dissipation can be greatly speeded up by airing the newly unpacked mattress outside in bright sunshine for a few days, but still bringing it inside for overnight.

The following factors are necessary for SIDS-causing-nerve-gases to be created:

  1. the fungus that grows everywhere,
  2. sweat and other fluids for the fungus to grow on,
  3. heat from your baby (or adult/sibling) causing the fungus to grow faster and
  4. the presence of chemical compounds in mattresses/bedding that contain phosphorous (P), arsenic (As) and antimony (Sb).

At issue are commonly used flame retardants in the mattresses/bedding, plasticizers that make mattress plastic soft and polymer-forming agents in the fabrics of bedding (such as polyester and acrylic), all these within the infant sleeping situations.

By your covering the mattress with a BabeSafe® cover—to separate your baby from the mattress—and by using 100% cotton bedding with no padding or quilting... You've solved the SIDS problem!

All said, the BabeSafe® SIDS wrap is also able to significantly protect babies from off-gassing, for those parents/grandparents that have those concerns, in addition to protecting babies against SIDS.

Adult-Sized Mattresses:

Bedsharing, a.k.a., co-sleeping between adults and babies, must not occur under any circumstances, even if there is a mattress protector or wrap on the adult-sized mattress. Placing a BabeSafe® wrapped co-sleeper mattress within arms reach, but separate and next to your bed, is indeed permitted.

Yet, even if the adult sleeping situation were to meet all the BabeSafe mattress-wrapping and bedding requirements, simply the presence of another person in the same bed with your baby heightens the risk of SIDS happening. Another body gives added heat for fungus to grow. This added heat, increases the risk of toxic nerve gases being formed. We greatly discourage co-sleeping with your baby.

Unless the adult user has been medically diagnosed with an allergy or chemical sensitivity, there is no need to wrap adult-sized mattresses for medical or environmental purposes. It is our view that commercial western-style mattresses do not generate gases which could be of any medical or environmental concern for most adults.

Two FAQs Page Summary:

  • Preventing off-gassing is not our goal.
  • But our BabeSafe® covers do also provide a barrier from off-gassing.
  • Since SIDS only occurs in infants, BabeSafe of New Zealand only makes, and we only sell, infant-sized mattress covers to prevent SIDS.
    That is, BabeSafe in New Zealand does not manufacture covers for any mattresses larger than infant-sized mattresses.

We are #CampaigningToPreventSIDS