As soon as I found out I was pregnant with Jet people immediately started talking to me about SIDS monitors and products that claim to prevent SIDS. I went back and forth over whether or not I wanted to try any of these products. I was unaware before Olivia passed away that some of these products even existed, such as the SIDS baby monitor and sleep apnea monitor, and because Olivia wasn't in my care when she passed away doctors hadn't even mentioned them to me. After doing some research online, talking to doctors, and even a paramedic who had responded to SIDS cases, I decided that a SIDS monitor wasn't for me.
SIDS monitors are not regulated by the FDA and to have the claim that they prevent SIDS, they need to be regulated. The FDA has never approved a product to prevent SIDS and is asking companies to stop marketing their products with these claims until they have received FDA clearance or approval. The FDA has said "These products are absolutely not necessary and they can be very dangerous". I have also read many stories from parents about SIDS monitors that have false alarms and it's more stress than it's worth, being woken up many times in the night thinking that your infant has stopped breathing. The paramedic I spoke to told me (and I learned in my CPR/First Aid class) that once a child has stopped breathing for the amount of time it takes the SIDS baby monitor to alert you, the child will most likely not be able to be resuscitated, and if they are they will have brain damage.
Other products to watch for are baby sleep positioners. I had bought one when I was pregnant with Olivia because it claimed to prevent SIDS only to find out that 13 infant deaths in the past 13 years had been caused by sleep positioners.
For more detailed information on statistics and what the FDA is saying about these products see the FDA website.