With all of the dangers in the world today it is quite the task to keep up. It seems that each week we are told of a new danger that could end up hurting our children. It is important to take these risks seriously but it is also important to be able to sift through everything and separate the fluff from the real dangers. Here are 5 “no no’s” that new parents tend to make that if avoided will help keep baby safe. See the CNN story here.
We all know that they grow up fast, too fast in fact, but many new parents tend to try to move their child up to the next size of things before it is time. In many instances the move won’t make much of a difference, but parents should be cautious when moving up to the next size when it comes to car seats.
It is strongly recommended that all children stay in rear-facing seats until they are a minimum of 1-year-old and weighs 20 lbs. but the American Academy of Pediatrics and CPSafety recommend that the children remain in rear-facing car seats as long as possible, as it is safest position a child can possibly ride in. The agencies urge that rear-facing car seat use should continue well into the second year of life in most children.
Another mistake parents make is letting their baby sleep in a swing. While swings may be very effective for getting babies to fall asleep they are not good for babies to sleep in. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics letting babies sleep in a sitting position for too long may make it hard for a baby to get enough oxygen and increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
The same goes for car seats. Taking the car seat out of the car and letting a sleeping baby continue sleeping in it is not safe and may increase the risk of SIDS. Parents are urged to take their children out of their car seats and place them in a crib upon arriving home or to their destination.
Letting babies watch “educational” videos is another area where the American Academy of Pediatrics says parents make common mistakes. According to the Academy children under the age of 2 cannot understand the content or context of videos and therefore cannot learn from them.
Parents are urged to keep young children as screen free as possible, but with over 90% of parents admitting their children under the age of 2 watch some form of electronic media, it seems much easier said than done.
Another area where parents get low grades is that many often try to keep babies off of their stomachs. While it is certainly true that babies belong on their backs to go to sleep, it is important to allow babies to spend time on their stomachs while they are awake in order them to develop the upper body strength that will allow them push themselves up and crawl.
The final mistake that we will touch on is the microwaving of baby bottles. At one time heating bottles in this fashion was the norm, but in recent years we have learned that a substance known as Bisphenol-A or BPA can leach out from bottles when heated making the microwave a less than desirable method for heating baby bottles.
Bottles warmed in the microwave have also been known to cause burns to a baby’s mouth due to hot spots in the milk.
To avoid these dangers, parents can either warm a bottle by placing it in warm water or using a commercial bottle warmer, which can be purchased at most baby stores.
While far from comprehensive this list does touch on some of the most common and completely avoidable mistakes made by parents. For more information on safe parenting practices visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website here.