Posts Tagged ‘ crib bumpers ’

The (Strict) New Safe-Sleeping Guidelines

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

If you have a baby younger than 1 year of age, chances are that he or she is sleeping in a way that goes against the latest recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). At the AAP’s national conference in Boston, which wraps up today, the Academy released their revised policy statement on safe sleeping and SIDS prevention.

Until babies are 1 year old, they should:

Be put to sleep on their back. Always, always, always. At some point, your baby will be able to roll from her back to her front and from her front to her back—and at that point, you can leave her in whatever position she ends up.

Sleep in the same room as—but not the same bed as—their parents. To keep a baby in your room until age 1 may seem… let’s say… difficult, but “these recommendations are most important in the first few months,” says pediatrician Rachel Moon, M.D, lead author of the new guidelines and chair of the AAP SIDS task force. Bedsharing is not recommended at any age, even if you’re using an actual cosleeping device that attaches to the side of your bed. “No bedsharing can be classified as safe,” says Dr. Moon, who adds that babies under 3 months are at a “very, very high risk” of suffocation.

Use a pacifier as often as possible. Pacifiers are associated with a decreased risk of SIDS, perhaps because it may position the tongue in a way that helps keep the airways open, Dr. Moon says. Pacifiers also tend to arouse babies as they sleep (I’ll say! Who else has experienced that sinking feeling every time their newborn’s pacifier popped out of her mouth and woke her up?!), and when babies are able to be easily woken, their risk of SIDS goes down.

Be breastfed. Lots of research backs up the positive connection between nursing and SIDS risk reduction.

Be fully immunized. There may be a protective effect here, too; evidence points to a 50 percent decrease in the risk of SIDS.

Not have anything in their cribs (or bassinets or Pack & Plays) except a tight-fitting sheet. No bumpers—not even the mesh kind. (Chicago now bans the sale of bumpers.) No stuffed animals. No pillows. No blankets. Nothing between the mattress and the sheet to make the surface softer. (“Soft does not equal safe,” says Dr. Moon. “Soft is bad.”) No elevating the head of the crib mattress by propping pillows underneath it, either, because babies can slide down to the bottom of the crib and end up in a position that obstructs their airway, or get wedged between the mattress and the side of the crib.

Not sleep in a car seat, stroller, swing, or sling for more than 60-90 minutes, and even then only under close supervision. Nothing but a crib, bassinet, or Pack & Play is recommended for extended periods of sleep. If your baby falls asleep in one of those other places, Dr. Moon recommends moving him as soon as is practical. Otherwise, they run the risk of sliding or slumping down and boosting the chance of suffocation.

Not sleep with the help of any products marketed as reducing the risk of SIDS. This goes for wedges, positioners, and home apnea monitors. “Parents believe that if a product is sold, it must be safe. They don’t always understand that these items don’t have to be tested or proven to work in order to be in stores,” says Dr. Moon.

She made an important point about why some parents don’t follow safe sleep recommendations. “Everybody thinks their baby is the exception to the rule,” she explains. “They’ll say ‘My baby has reflux.’ ‘My baby was premature.’ ‘My baby’s not a good sleeper.’” But she sees more than her share of infant deaths—at least one per month in her hometown of Washington, D.C. “We have to get the message out.”

 

 

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Chemotherapy Appears Safe in Pregnancy, Study Finds
Treating pregnant cancer patients with powerful chemotherapy drugs appears not to harm their unborn children, but pre-term delivery to avoid subjecting them to chemotherapy does, according to a study by cancer experts on Tuesday.

What Creates Picky Eaters: Pressure to Eat
Urging kids to chow down can have the opposite effect, study shows.

Maryland Health Officials Propose Banning Crib Bumpers
Maryland health officials on Tuesday proposed a ban on sales of crib bumper pads out of concern that they can cause babies to suffocate — a move that would make that state the first to prohibit sales of the popular infant bedding product.

Number of U.S. Kids on ADHD Meds Keeps Rising
The use of stimulant medications such as Ritalin or Adderall in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is continuing to climb, although at a slower pace than in decades past, a new study finds.

Students’ Knowledge of Civil Rights History Has Deteriorated, Study Finds
Ignorance by American students of the basic history of the civil rights movement has worsened, according to a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Parents of a Certain Age
Is there anything wrong with being 53 and pregnant? Exploring child-rearing’s final frontier.

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

New York Remembers 9/11: America’s Children Mourn at Ground Zero
Thousands made the early-morning pilgrimage to Ground Zero as, 10 years to the day since the 9/11 attacks, New York remembered the 2,977 victims. Children left without mothers and fathers on 9/11 provided heart-wrenching moments at the memorial service.

SpongeBob May Cause Attention and Learning Problems
The cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants is in hot water from a study suggesting that watching just nine minutes of that program can cause short-term attention and learning problems in 4-year-olds.

New Federal Rules Target Crib Safety, Durability
A night in a crib shouldn’t be a dangerous thing for a baby, but thousands of injuries occur each year.

Preston County Father Reunites With 2 Children Through Facebook
After searching records in Ohio for more than 25 years to find his children that were put up for adoption 32 years ago, John Johnson can thank the social media outlet for reuniting with his son and daughter.

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Crib Bumpers Now Banned in Chicago

Friday, September 9th, 2011

ss_101128633The babies of Chicago just got a little bit safer. Yesterday, the Windy City became the first to ban the sale of crib bumper pads due to the suffocation hazards they are known to pose, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Though bumpers are commonly marketed as stylish nursery decor, recent history indicates they are, in fact, a serious threat and can easily block a baby’s ability to breath. In fact, according to the Tribune, the  National Center for Child Death Review has received 14 reports of infant suffocation due to the presence of a bumper pad in the past 3 years.

City Council members James Balcer, and  George Cardenas said they are eager to get the message out that these popular accessories simply aren’t safe. “If we were to wait for federal regulators, it probably would never get done,” Balcer said. “We have a responsibility here as government to address issues like this.”

Indeed, Federal regulators have resisted taking a firm stance on the safety of bumper pads, and are reportedly ”trying to determine if there is a scientific link between bumper pads and suffocations, or if factors such as blankets, pillows or medical issues played a primary role in babies’ deaths.”  In fact, as we reported in March, the Tribune identified 17 cases of infant deaths that the Consumer Product Safety Commission failed to investigate when they were fully-aware that crib bumper pads played roles in the fatalities.

At the end of the day, most experts seem to agree, there should only be two things in your baby’s crib: a firm, tight-fitting mattress and a crib sheet. “It’s tempting to make it look cute and cozy with lots of blankets, stuffed animals, and pillows, but they’re all suffocation hazards for kids under 1 year old,” says Meri-K Appy, president of the Home Safety Council. The bottom line: the suffocation risk of bumper pads outweighs their benefits.

Share your thoughts on Chicago’s banning of crib bumpers. Are you hoping your city follows suit?

Read more about nursery safety, below, and be sure to keep up with the latest product recalls with our helpful Recall Finder on Parents.com.

Safe-Sleep Guide for Baby

The Safe Nursery

Repurpose Your Crib Bumpers

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CPSC Has Not Investigated 17 Deaths Involving Crib Bumpers

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

ss_09016aThe Consumer Product Safety Commission failed to investigate 17 cases of infant deaths when they were fully-aware that crib bumper pads, a popular nursery product, played roles in the fatalities, reports today’s Chicago Tribune.

According to the Tribune’s breaking news report, the CPSC is currently deciding whether bumpers pose suffocation risks, but have disturbingly avoided investigating all of deaths they have on record involving the padded crib liners. Medical examiners and coroners have confirmed that bumper pads were indeed involved in the aforementioned 17 deaths by suffocation the agency has on file.

The CPSC claims these deaths cannot be entirely attributed to bumpers because of other items that may have been in the child’s crib at the time of death. According to the Tribune, Commission spokesman Scott Wolfson said officials are examining if there is a scientific link between bumper pads and suffocations, or if factors such as blankets, pillows or medical issues played a primary role in the babies’ deaths.

 One might argue the defensiveness of an agency, who claims it’s mission is to protect consumers from hazardous products, seems strangely lacksidaisical regarding this matter, despite urging from the  American Academy of Pediatrics and other parental safety groups to take a firmer stance. 

“If the baby was found with the face smushed up against the bumper pad, then I don’t understand the relevance of the pillow or the blanket,” said Dr. Rachel Moon, a pediatrician at Children’s National Medical Center and researcher for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

While identifying bumpers as the sole cause of death in these instances may be difficult, isn’t it better to be safe than sorry? Dr. Marion Burton, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, seems to think so. He feels, “federal regulators don’t need to base safety considerations on ’cause and effect,’ a high bar to meet scientifically, when there is a strong association between bumper pads and suffocations.”

He concludes, “It’s a potential hazard, so don’t have it in the child’s environment. I can’t think of any reason to have them.”

Do you think it’s better to be safe than sorry and avoid bumpers entirely or do you feel the popular products cannot be fully blamed in these cases and a deeper investigation is warranted? Tell us where you stand.

Be sure to keep up with the very latest on recalls with our helpful Recall Finder on Parents.com.

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