Used crib mattresses may contribute to sudden infant death syndrome, say researchers in Scotland in the November issue of the British Medical Journal. The Scottish Cot Death Trust at the Royal Hospital in Glasgow conducted a four–year study on the connection as a follow–up to the group’s 1997 research that showed an association between SIDS and second–hand mattresses.
According to the group, babies who died of SIDS were three times more likely to have slept on a used mattress at the time of their deaths.
The researchers concluded that “a valid significant association exists between use of a used infant mattress and an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, particularly if the mattress is from another home. Insufficient evidence is available to judge whether this relation is cause and effect.”
The link could be due to bacteria that grows in the mattress after exposure to urine, saliva and milk, scientists say.