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Hi. Is an open fire place a risk of SIDS?

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Posted a response on 10/6/21

Red Nose Education

Red Nose does not have specific guidelines about combustion heaters, however as with any fuel based heating in the house it is important to ensure the air quality within the home is good.

The smoke from combustion heaters is different from tobacco smoke on its impact on baby. However, both are dose related - the greater the exposure the greater the risk.

As with gas heaters, airflow is important, & most Government Environment Departments recommend having a window open slightly to allow for this.

While I am not aware of any relationship between smoke from wood fire combustion heaters & sudden infant death, however, can smoke cause irritation to airways, particularly with babies
& children & in large exposure (eg house fires) can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

What can you do to minimise air pollution from your wood-burning heater?
Check your wood-burning heater conforms with the Australian Standard (AS/NZS 4013:1999) and that the heater and chimney are installed in line with any council-specific building requirements.
Ensure fresh air enters the room to prevent carbon monoxide build up
from NSW Health - Environment. Fact Sheet.
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/factsheets/Pages/wood-smoke.aspx - see link for full information.

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