The Consumer Product Safety Commission will be announcing shortly a warning on baby slings that parents use to hold their babies close to their chest. For young infants who do not yet have the muscle coordination to move around on their own are most at risk for suffocation in a baby sling. Additionally some infants have fallen out of the slings and have been seriously injured.
Suffocation is a common cause of death for little ones. The highest mortality rate for suffocation is due to co-sleeping. A sleeping parent can roll over on their infant in the middle of the night or move blankets or pillows obstructing their baby’s ability to breathe.
Babies and young children can suffocate on ordinary everyday items. Here are some of the more common things to avoid:
· Soft bedding
· Stuffed animals in crib
· Plastic bags
· Small parts such as legos that are designed for older children
· Certain foods such as hot dogs, carrots, popcorn or anything large enough to block the airway
· Discarded refrigerators that still have the doors left on that may be left on the parkway for garbage day
· Drop side cribs causing babies to get lodged between the mattress and railing--these types of cribs should not be used nor should bumper pads
· Cords on hoodies or jackets
· Cords on blinds
Parents and older siblings may want to take a CPR class for infants and small children. Due to their small body size, CPR is done with only a couple of fingers for compressions. Heimlich cannot be used for a choking infant so it is important to know the correct way to help an infant.
With spring and summer just around the corner parents may also want to consider swimming lessons for children over 3 years of age. Many community pools have lessons or at the YMCA. It is easy for busy parents to get distracted for a few seconds when their child is in a pool. That’s all it takes for a little one to get in over his/her head.
The link to the Naperville area YMCA is: http://www.heritageymca.org/
To read more on baby slings go to: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5htPrDure9F79qWev1dOcmVaud0tgD9EBB21G1
To read more on infant suffocation: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/123/2/533
Photo courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/38344617@N05/3842933958/