Fresh air is important for everyone, but it’s particularly valuable for babies. A study reported in the journal Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine found that infants who slept in a bedroom with a fan ventilating the air had a 72% lower risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) than those who slept in a bedroom without a fan.
The researchers were interested in investigating ventilation for nursery rooms because some studies have suggested that SIDS might be linked to rebreathing exhaled air, which contains high levels of carbon dioxide. They theorised that ventilation might increase air circulation around the baby’s nose and mouth, reducing the risk of rebreathing.
After they did the research into nursery set up, which involved nearly 185 mothers who had recently suffered the loss of their baby to SIDS and 312 control mothers with infants who were still alive, they concluded that ventilation does reduce the risk of SIDS in children who sleep in environments where the rebreathing of exhaled air is a risk. So when parents are getting a room ready for a baby, they need to pay careful attention to ventilation.
Think about how to prevent SIDS when setting up a nursery
Ventilation is a basic human requirement. It’s needed to provide oxygen for metabolism and to dilute metabolic pollutants (carbon dioxide and odour). It also assists with maintaining good indoor air quality by diluting and removing other pollutants emitted within a space.
Long-term exposure to indoor pollutants has been linked to health issues such as allergies and asthma. Children are particularly at risk, because their respiratory systems are still developing.
For ventilation to take place, air needs to enter the room from one source and exit from another, i.e. you need a through-flow of air. Ventilation also needs to support a stable temperature in the room, which can be monitored with a wall thermometer. The ideal temperature for a baby room is from 20 to 22°C.
The old-fashioned approach to ventilation was all about leaving a window open, but it’s a strategy that comes with some risks:
To ensure air is flowing through the room, you would need to leave the door open as well – this might not be practical if you’re worried about noise from the home disturbing your baby.
In cold weather, the air coming in from outside may lower the room temperature to an unsafe level. The same applies to hot weather, when incoming hot air raises the room’s temperature.
An open window is a security risk. Depending on where you live, there’s the possibility of an intruder breaking in or a cat jumping in the window.
A slightly more modern approach to ventilation involves putting something like a desk fan in baby’s room. However, simply moving the existing air around a room fan isn’t enough, even if you’ve carefully researched the best fan for a baby nursery. As with the window strategy, you need to have an entry point and exit point to create air through-flow.
So if an open window or a desk fan isn’t ideal, what is the best way to ventilate a baby’s nursery? The answer is a positive pressure ventilation (PPV) system in the ceiling, like Unovent.
Proper ventilation for baby’s room - fresh air comes in, stale air goes out
The Unovent PPV system brings fresh, filtered air from the roof space into rooms below. This action pushes stale, moist air out through gaps under doors or around windows, and through bathroom and kitchen vent systems. As a result, your home becomes drier and the air is continually being changed, which is better for family health – especially baby’s.
If your budget is tight, you can have Unovent installed in just one room at a time. So you can start with the baby nursery, then add other rooms as your finances allow. Unovent does use electricity, but typically it will only put your power bill up by $1 a month.
There are other PPV systems on the market in New Zealand, but they’re not always as smart as Unovent. Some of them simply pump air from the ceiling into your home, even if it’s too hot, too cold or too moist. Unovent uses the Unobrain® controller, which decides if the air in the roof space is suitable for circulation. If it isn’t, the ventilation system will go on hold until conditions change. And with Unovent you have the option of adding PollenGuard®, to filter pollen from the fresh air entering your home.
Talk baby room ventilation with the experts
It won’t cost a thing to pick the brains of ventilation experts at Unovent. Tell them about the type of home you have, the size of the baby’s room and its location in the floorplan. They’ll come up with an affordable plan for a proper PPV ventilation system that will look after your family’s health for years to come. For a no-obligation assessment and quotation over the phone, call 0800 UNOVENT (0800 866 836) or email email@example.com and we'll be in touch.