Posts Tagged ‘suffocation’

Safe sleep for babies

Friday, October 24th, 2014

cropped sleeping babySafe sleep can help protect babies from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related dangers, like suffocation (not being able to breathe). Newborns sleep about 16 hours a day, so it’s important to make sure that where and how they sleep are safe.

Here are some things you can do to help keep your baby safe when she sleeps:

Where to put your baby to sleep
• Put your baby to sleep on her back on a flat, firm surface—a crib is best. Use only the mattress made for your baby’s crib. The mattress should fit snugly in the crib so there are no spaces between the mattress and the crib frame.
• Keep crib bumpers, loose bedding, toys and other soft objects out of your baby’s crib. They put babies in danger of getting trapped, strangled or suffocating. This is important even as your baby gets older. A study recently published in Pediatrics showed that “rolling to prone [stomach], with objects in the sleep area, is the predominant risk factor for older infants.”
• Share your bedroom with your baby but not your bed. Co-sleeping means that babies and parents sleep together in the same bed. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that babies should not co-sleep with their parents and studies have shown that bed-sharing is the biggest risk factor for SIDS in children under four months. Instead, put your baby to bed in her own crib and keep it close to your bed during the night. This will allow you keep an eye on your baby and to breastfeed her easily.
• Don’t put your baby to sleep on a waterbed, sofa, soft mattress or other soft surface. “Of nearly 8,000 infant sleeping deaths in the United States, researchers found that about 12 percent were sofa-related. And nearly three-quarters of those infants were newborns.”

How to put your baby to sleep
• Put your baby to sleep on her back every time, until she’s 1 year old. It’s not safe for babies to sleep on their side or tummy. Most babies will roll over both ways by the end of the 7th month; but start them out on their backs.
• Dress your baby in light sleep clothes. Keep the room at a temperature that’s comfortable for you. If your baby is sweating or her chest feels hot, she may be overheated.
• Give your baby a pacifier for naps and at bedtime. Pacifiers may help protect against SIDS. Don’t hang the pacifier around your baby’s neck or attach the pacifier to your baby’s clothing or a stuffed animal.
• Don’t use products, such as special mattresses or wedges, that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS. There is no evidence that they do.

Mom and baby care
• Feed your baby only breast milk for at least 6 months. Continue breastfeeding your baby until at least her first birthday.
• Don’t smoke and don’t let anyone smoke in your home or around your baby.
• Take your baby to all her well baby visits and make sure she gets her vaccinations on time.
• Give your baby tummy time every day. Tummy time helps your baby develop her neck, shoulder and arm muscles.

Have questions? Email us at

Keep your baby safe when she sleeps

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

baby-sleepingI love watching my little girl sleep in her crib! She looks like an angel, all peaceful and quiet – nothing like the silly, giggly goose she is when she’s awake.

When we first set her crib up and laid out all the crib bedding, I couldn’t wait to see how it would brighten up her room. But I wasn’t quite sure about the bumper. It looked so cute, but was it safe?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has new sleep safety guidelines for baby and now says a big fat NO to crib bumpers.  The AAP says loose bedding, like crib bumpers, and soft objects, like stuffed animals or pillows, put babies at risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), suffocation and strangulation.

The AAP guidelines highlight other ways to reduce the risk of SIDS, like:
Put your baby to sleep on her back.
• Use a firm crib mattress.
• Keep soft objects and loose bedding out of the crib.
• Have your baby sleep in her crib in your room.
• Offer your baby a pacifier at night and during nap times.
• Avoid overheating your baby. Overbundling or using too many layers can overheat your baby.
Breastfeed. Breastfeeding has shown to lessen the risk of SIDS.
• Don’t smoke, use drugs or drink alcohol.

Infant sleep positioners – not a safe idea

Friday, October 1st, 2010

infant-sleep-positionerThe FDA published a warning this week on the suffocation risks associated with infant sleep positioners.  Sleep positioners are intended to keep a baby, usually younger than 6 months old, in a desired position.  The danger arises when the baby rolls or moves into another position.

Positioners are usually made of a flat mat with bolsters on either side and wedges to raise the baby’s head.  Some manufacturers have advertised that their product helps prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or flat head syndrome.  Although in the past the FDA has approved a few of these products to help with GERD or flat head syndrome, new information suggests that these products pose a risk of suffocation.

As a result of the new information, the FDA is requiring companies that produce the FDA-approved positioners to supply data that proves their product’s benefits outweigh the risks.  The FDA also is requesting that these companies stop marketing their positioners while the FDA reviews the data.  (Manufacturers who are making medical claims without FDA clearance must stop making their positioneers immediately.)

The FDA’s current position is that there is no scientifically sound evidence to support the medical claims of the manufacturers of infant sleep positioners.

Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine disagrees with CPSC about carrier slings

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) disagrees with the recent statement from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) about the suffocation risks posed by baby slings. According to ABM, ring slings, which carry infants in an upright position snug against the parent’s chest, protect the baby’s airway. The organization criticizes CPSC for its “blanket warning about all types of carrier slings.”

ABM also disagrees with CPSC’s advice on how to carry a baby safely. CPSC recommends positioning the infant so that the baby’s head is facing up and clear of the sling and the parent’s body. ABM says this position can be risky for a premature infant because it would not support his neck.

Dr. Arthur Eidelman of ABM recommends this position:

* Baby’s face sideways with cheek against the chest

* Baby’s head slightly extended

* Baby’s body, shoulders and face snug so that the baby can’t move

The ABM Web site has the organization’s full statement about the CPSC warning. ABM is a global organization of physicians dedicated to the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding.

If you are using a sling to carry your baby or are interested in using one, please talk to your child’s health care provider about what is best for your baby.

Warning about sling carriers for babies: Suffocation risk

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Slings have become really popular. You get to hold your baby really close, and baby seems to love them, too. But the Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a warning about how slings can pose a suffocation risk. There are two types of risks.

Risk 1: In the first few months of life, babies cannot control their heads because their neck muscles are weak. The sling’s fabric can press against the baby’s nose and mouth and block his breathing. If this happens, the baby can suffocate within a minute or two.

Risk 2: If the sling keeps the baby in a curled position, her chin can bend toward her chest. This too can lead to suffocation.

Without enough oxygen, the baby won’t be able to cry for help.

The risk seems to be the greatest for low birthweight babies, babies born prematurely, and babies born with breathing problems. Parents of these babies should ask their baby’s health care provider about whether to use a sling.

If you do use a sling for your baby, keep these safety tips in mind. Be sure the baby’s face isn’t covered and that you can see it at all times. If you nurse your baby in a sling, change the baby’s position after feeding so his head is facing up and is clear of the sling and your body. Check your baby often when she’s in the sling.

Update: The Academy for Breastfeeding Medicine disagrees with CPSC’s recommendation. Go to the March 22 post for more info.

More drop-side cribs recalled: Generation 2 Worldwide and ChildESIGNS

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

The Consumer Products Safety Commission has announced the recall of all Generation 2 Worldwide and ChildESIGNS drop-side cribs. Three chidren have suffocated and died in these cribs when they became trapped between the mattress and the drop side. The cribs cannot be repaired.

For more information, see the CPSC announcement.

Recalls: Dorel drop-side cribs and Graco strollers

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Dorel Cribs
Once again, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced a recall of drop-side cribs. This time it’s for over 600,000 cribs distributed by Dorel. Hardware can fail causing the drop side to come loose. This can cause a baby to strangle and suffocate.

As a general rule, cribs with sides that don’t move are usually the safest option.

Graco Strollers
About 1.5 million Graco strollers have also been recalled. The hinges on the stroller’s canopy pose a hazard to children’s fingers. Several children have had fingers amputated because they were injured by the hinges. The CPSC Web site has detailed info about the recall.


Dorel play yards with bassinets recalled

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Dorel has recalled over 200,000 Safety 1st Disney Care Center Play Yards and Eddie Bauer Complete Care Play Yards. The metal bars supporting the floor of the bassinet can come out of the fabric sleeves and create an uneven sleeping surface, posing a risk of suffocation.

The play yards were sold at several different retail stores beginning in 2007.

For more info, see the statement from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Two recalls: Baby hammock and activity center with cake toy

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced the recall of two products. Anyone who owns these products should stop using them immediately.

The Amby Baby Motion Bed/Hammock has been linked to infant suffocation. The baby can roll and become trapped in the hammock’s fabric. For pictures and more information, read the CPSC announcement.

The Evenflo ExerSaucer 1-2-3-Tea for Me Activity Learning Center poses a choking hazard. The candle flame attached to the top of the cake can come loose. For pictures and more information, read the CPSC announcement.

Child proofing your home

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Our daughter is on the verge of crawling. I’m excited, but nervous at the same time. Everywhere I look around our house I see a potential hazard — the stairs, furniture, cabinets, outlets, lamp cords and book cases. We have a lot of work to do! We plan to go through one room at a time on our hands and knees to make sure we don’t miss anything, remove/secure potential risks and make a shopping list as we go.

A close friend of mine (hi Tricia!) appeared on the evening news a couple of days ago. Her home was assessed by a professional who offered some great recommendations on making her home safer for her toddler twins.

According to Safe Kids Worldwide more than 4.5 million children are injured in the home every year. Taking simple prevention measures and closely supervising your children can help protect them from common household hazards, such as fires, burns, drowning, suffocation, choking, firearm injury, poisoning and falls. A few easy, relatively inexpensive steps – locking household cleaning materials in a cabinet out of reach, installing carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms, blocking stairways with baby gates – can greatly reduce your child’s risk of injury in the home.

Please feel free to share any safety tips that you may have!