Cranial Cradle

New Crib Safety Standards & Baby Bumpers Make Headlines

This summer is steadily heating up with ongoing new standards within the highly regulated industry of baby products. Manufacturers, retailers, physicians, media and our government are required to monitor and assure the level of products hitting the retail stores are not only innovative, but project the highest level of safety standards in the world ― something that should ease our minds as parents.

 

Crib recall and new safety standards

The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) recently recalled 11 million cribs.  According to the press release, consumers will see a new generation of cribs for sale online or in-store retailers as of June 28th, 2011. All cribs manufactured, sold, or leased in the United States must comply with the new federal standards.

Child care facilities, such as family child care homes and early Head Start Centers, and places of public accommodation, such as hotels and motels, have 24 months to comply with the new cribs standards in their facilities.

In addition to improving slat strength, they also improve mattress support and durability, prohibit traditional drop sides, require tougher testing and make the hardware stronger.

 

What about baby bumpers?

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein is currently reviewing whether the ban or sale of baby bumpers will be permitted in the state of Maryland. Maryland may be the first state to pass the law forbidding the sale of baby bumpers in the US.

Maryland, like many public health agencies and pediatricians, currently advises parents to keep babies on their backs in a crib without bedding, pillows, stuffed animals or bumpers.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has asked manufacturers to stop baby bumpers after a series of critical articles examining their hidden hazards appeared in the publication. Even the manufacturers themselves advises removing bumpers once a baby can pull up and possibly use the bumper to launch over a crib rail or suffocate by being caught in it.

 

Basic safe sleep tips for baby

With all of these new advisories, regulations, alerts, laws being passed and banned, remember these key tips for safe sleep:

·         Keep baby’s crib or bassinet dwelling clean and bare

·         Do not add pillows blankets

·         Do not add sleep-positioners

·         Do not add stuffed animals or bumpers

·         Swaddle baby and lay him/her in the center of the crib or bassinet in the supine position (on the back)

·         Remove baby from their crib dwelling when awake

·         Ensure baby get’s adequate tummy time daily. See tummy time standards from Pathways.org.

 

For more information, visit the CPSC FAQs on “The New Crib Standard”:

Vince and Sheryl Lake are the founders of Cranial Cradle and previously operated a 6000 sq. ft. childcare center in Maryland. Cranial Cradle’s cutting-edge products ensure babies have a surface to sleep on that may reduce excess pressure to the developing cranium. Like Cranial Cradle on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @CranialCradle

 

Written by Lisa Lake — November 11, 2011

Back to Basics: Back-to-Sleep, Tummy-to-Play, Keep Positional Plagiocephaly Away

Many parents and caregivers are finding it increasingly difficult to stay up-to-date with the many health advisories, regulations, bans, alerts, and laws regarding their child's health.

 

Going back to the basics…

The American Academy of Pediatrics Back to Sleep campaign began in 1994 as a way to educate parents, caregivers and healthcare professionals on ways to reduce the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Since the campaign started, SIDS rates have declined by more than 50%. However, a notable concern has also been an associated rise in babies with positional plagiocephaly (flattening of the head).

 

What is positional plagiocephaly?

Positional plagiocephaly is a condition where the baby’s head develops a flat spot(s) or becomes misshapen due to external pressure to the back or side of the skull.  This can also result in irregular development of the skull structure ― ever see a baby wearing one of those helmets and wonder why? Referrals for treatment of cranial asymmetry during the two year period after the AAP’s recommendations increased six-fold compared with the previous 13 years (Kennedy, Majnemer, Farmer, et al., 2009).

 

What can parents/caregivers do to prevent condition from occurring or getting worse?

In response to this increase, the AAP has published specific guidelines for parents/caregivers to prevent cranial asymmetry related to positioning issues:

  • Ensure baby get’s adequate tummy time daily. See tummy time standards from Pathways.org.
  • Avoid leaving baby in crib, bassinet, car seat or swing for an extended amount of time.
  • Remove baby from crib or bassinet once baby is awake.
  • Limit baby’s time in infant equipment such as car seats, swings, and carriers.
  • Encourage the use of toys from side-to- side for repositioning and playtime distraction; baby should rotate his/her head from side-to-side.
  • Reposition baby from one end of crib to opposite end of crib daily
  • Carry your baby in your arms or in a sling (i.e.: babywearing).

Now, it’s your turn to put these guidelines into practice with your baby. If you remember nothing else, remember “Back-to-Sleep, Tummy-to-Play.”

Vince and Sheryl Lake are the founders of Cranial Cradle and previously operated a 6000 sq. ft. childcare center in Maryland. Cranial Cradle’s cutting-edge products ensure babies have a surface to sleep on that may reduce excess pressure to the developing cranium. Like Cranial Cradle on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @CranialCradle

Written by Lisa Lake — November 11, 2011

Plagiocephaly and Your Baby

Most new parents prepare for their baby’s entrance into the world by reading copious amounts of information on how to feed, wash, swaddle, clothe, and protect their little bundles of joy.  Many ailments such as colic, diaper rash, and SIDS are covered within this reading material but more often than not, parents are unaware of ailments that can be caused each time they lay their child down to sleep.

Each year as many as 400,000 families in the U.S. discover that their baby has a misshapen head due to positional plagiocephaly or flat-head syndrome.  In recent years, the reported cases of plagiocephaly have dramatically increased to 1 in 10 children due to the physician supported national campaign “Back to Sleep” which purpose was to reduce the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome by lying babies in the supine (back) position to sleep. 

The supine sleep position has been strongly associated with plagiocephaly. As the infant spends more time supine or reclining with his or her head on a hard surface such as a car seat, swing, bassinet or cot mattress, the more likely to cause the baby’s head to develop flat head syndrome or deformational plagicocephaly.

Studies show in recent years that people have taken this campaign seriously, SIDS has decreased, but plagiocephaly is on the rise. (http://healthland.time.com/2011/04/05/babies-with-flat-heads-are-on-the-rise-is-back-to-sleep-to-blame/)

Flat Head Syndrome is a condition where a baby’s head develops a flat spot or becomes misshapen because of external pressure to the back or the side of the baby’s skull. This can result in irregular development of the skull’s structure.

External pressure on the baby’s head causes their malleable skulls to flatten, which can lead to more than just a misshapen head.  Ocular protrusion, vision problems, and developmental delays have all been attributed to this condition while difficulty chewing and a higher risk of jaw problems such as TMJ have been known to occur in severe cases. 

Regular monitoring is highly recommended since there are varying degrees of unilateral flattening, some symptoms to monitor is bald or flattened spots, forehead protrusion, facial asymmetry, anteriorly displaced ears and should be inspected often by aerial view.

There are two basic shapes for heads with Flat Head Syndrome – Brachycephaly and Scaphocephaly. With Brachycephaly, the skull appears flat, wide, and short; with Scaphocephaly the skull appears long and narrow. Another condition commonly linked to Flat Head Syndrome is Torticollis. This is a condition that affects the baby’s neck muscles, so that the baby rests his/her head on one side more than the other.

Preventing Flat Head Syndrome can be straightforward for parents and caregivers using repositioning techniques. Flat Head Syndrome treatment can be more challenging and may require the use of a customized helmet that the baby wears for 23 hours per day for a number of months and can cost thousands of dollars not to mention discomfort for your baby.

In addition to deformation, studies by Seattle’s Children’s Hospital now suggest there may be a link to motor and cognitive development. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100215081730.htm)

 

To help prevent Flat Head Syndrome occurring, you should:

Ensure your baby gets an adequate amount of ‘tummy time’ everyday

Avoid leaving baby in crib, bassinet, car seat or swing for an extended amount of time

Remove baby from crib or bassinet once baby is awake

Regularly change your baby’s position

Encourage the use of toys from side-to-side for repositioning & playtime distraction; baby should rotate his/her head from side-to-side

Reposition baby from one end of crib to opposite end of crib daily

Carry your baby in your arms or in a sling

When your baby is on a flat firm surface consider placing a contoured pillow or pad under the baby’s head to reduce pressure

If you notice any changes in the shape of your babies head, please consult your physician

Written by Lisa Lake — November 11, 2011

June 1, 2011

The Cranial Cradle Bassinet Pad ships for free and is available now!

Written by Shopify — April 10, 2011

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