Safe Sleep

Safe sleep.

Yes, “Safe Sleep.” It’s a topic that can easily be ignored, but definitely should not be pushed aside. It could mean the difference between life and death for an infant—just ask any parent who has lost a child as a confirmed result as “SIDS.”

Many parents don’t really consider this somewhat “under the radar” element when designing a newborn’s nursery—one this new baby will “grow up” in over at least the next year.

But, did you know that just a few changes could possibly mean the difference between life and death? Yes, life and death. It could be that serious.

Safe sleep environments have been linked to a decreased risk for SIDS. While these practices might agree with a parent’s anticipated early parenting goals, they should be considered.

Many mothers, much like myself, start dreaming of the “perfect” nursery room once a pregnancy test reveals a “Positive” reading. It’s exciting! We are ready to plan—we LOVE to decorate. However, it is important to know that just because a product is for sale at the biggest “Baby Store” doesn’t mean it is necessary or entirely safe for babies.

One of the biggest crib concerns are bumpers. Yes, they are cute. They add a great photographic element to our pictures, but are they crucial? Researchers say no. The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees.

Why take the risk of SIDS when evidence supports not using them? Are a few “cute” pictures worth risking a child’s life?

The same research-based recommendations holds true for the use of sheets and blankets in a crib, and for parental smoking practices. Blankets, stuffed animals, pillows, smoke can all lead to difficulty breathing for an infant especially when it has not developed the ability to roll over or remove itself from something that is suffocating it.

So, what do you think? Did research-based practice guide your decisions? Were you even aware of them? Are you making changes now?

October is SIDS awareness month. What do you think about this? Do you have a supported opinion?

Weigh in. Leave us a comment. Join the discussion!

For more information on prevention programs in Alabama, as well as how to support their work, visit The Children’s Trust Fund of Alabama.

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The Time is Now

Imagine this:
You spend $150 per week on care for yourself. This “care” is advertised as supposedly preparing you for a future career, exercising your mind and body.
What you end up getting is several hours a day with a group of others like yourself, all being cared for by someone who doesn’t understand the best ways to teach you and isn’t clear on exactly what you should be able to do.
Would you demand a refund by the end of the week?
My guess is yes. And yet, for roughly 40% of our children under the age of five in Alabama, this is their reality. Child care in the United States is too often seen as glorified babysitting. Programs advertise using a curriculum and offering activities, but, more often than not, children are simply allowed to do as they please (within reason…most of the time). Our “standards” are not where they should be; they don’t look out for our children’s best interests.
Why, you ask? Easy: our society doesn’t put enough emphasis on the importance of the earliest years. We worry about our children once they get to the public school system, but pass over them until then.
It’s hard to turn on any media source without hearing or seeing the latest “hot topic” these days, mainly gun control. Society is crying out for the right and responsibility to protect our children, but what about their right to a solid educational foundation? Where are those supporters?
Social change doesn’t happen with silence and passivity.
The time has come, dear friends, to start getting angry at the injustice of early childhood education and our young children; after all, these will be our leaders and lawmakers soon enough. Shouldn’t we want them to have the best start?
Learn more about what Childcare Resources does to assist local early childhood teachers, families, the community, and what you can do to help!
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