Baby Dangers New Parents Need to Know About

This Spring many new parents will welcome new additions into their family. Prior to taking on this important task, most parents hear and become knowledgeable about common safety precautions like preventing poisoning or selecting the right toys but there are big, hidden dangers that parents need to be aware of. These hidden dangers, by causes not often thought of or addressed, include the potential of suffocation, strangulation, germs and re-breathing which is a proven problem associated with SIDS.

Strangulation & Suffocation
Under age one, suffocation is the main cause of child fatalities such as suffocation from soft bedding or being put to sleep on their stomach. It is more commonly known that babies should never be allowed to lie or sleep face down on (or next to) pillows, cushions, adult comforters or adult waterbeds. Also, drapes, blind cords and decorative wall hangings with strings should be out of baby's reach to avoid a strangulation or suffocation hazard.

But what most parents do not know is that having a secure-fitting crib sheet is of vital importance as poorly fitted sheets can be pulled up or come loose by itself, which can be grasped by the infant and their rib cage or neck can become entangled in it. Most parents fail to consider crib sheets as a safety risk however, many children die each year from strangulation or suffocation caused by poorly fitted crib sheets. In 2001, the Good Housekeeping Institute put 54 crib sheets to the test. All but seven failed the test, which required that they stay in place under at least 10 pounds of force. What's more, there are no regulatory standards for crib sheets so parents need to take their own precautions.

Crib sheets that securely fit around the mattress and can not be pulled off are highly recommended including the Halo Secure-Fit Crib Sheet, a crib/toddler sheet featuring a wrap-around design that prevents the sheet from slipping, bunching or coming off. A mom who awoke one morning to find her baby entangled in a loose crib sheet invented the Secure-Fit Crib Sheet, while the baby suffered no injury, the mom never wanted to experience the situation again.

Rebreathing
Rebreathing carbon dioxide is felt to be one of the leading causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). According to the SIDS Alliance, when we exhale we exhale carbon dioxide or "bad air." When a baby sleeps on its tummy, or there is soft, fluffy or loose bedding or other objects in their sleep area, that carbon dioxide can build up around their head and face. So, rather than breathing fresh air, the baby breathes the bad air. To a normal, healthy baby breathing the bad air would not cause a problem as their brain would tell them that they are breathing too much carbon dioxide and they would cough, cry, turn their head or do something to get themselves out of the challenging situation. To a baby predisposed to SIDS, their brain does not tell them there is a problem, so they continue to breath the bad air, which can then cause them to die suddenly and unexpectedly.

Therefore, it is important that parents remove everything from a baby's sleep area that could cause the rebreathing of carbon dioxide. This can be difficult as parents struggle to keep babies warm and comfortable while sleeping. Endorsed by the SIDS Alliance, the Halo SleepSack wearable blanket reduces the risk of rebreathing because of a sleeveless, collarless and roomy sack design. Packed with features and available in Fleece or Cotton, the Halo SleepSack provides just the right amount or warmth for a comfortable sleep.

There is additional concern about the dangers that the traditional crib bumper may pose to infants. To many it is logical that if you cannot place a pillow in a crib, you should not effectively surround the crib with one long pillow. Again an ingenious parent who checked on her baby only to find that she had rolled up against the bumpers in her crib, with her face touching the cushions, invented the Breathable Bumpers, a mesh bumper that keeps baby's arms and legs safely inside the crib without posing the potential danger that the cushioned bumpers provide. As her baby grew older, and developed into an expert climber, this parent created a product called the Breathable Crib Shield that not only offers the breathable bumper features, but also extends higher up the crib sides to prevent those rambunctious toddlers from getting a leg up and out of their cribs.

Germs
From day one, invisible, health-threatening bacteria and viruses lurk all around baby from those in baby's home environment to objects they come into contact with outside the home. Healthy adults have strong immune systems that can fend off many dangerous germs, and can pass some immunity to baby through breastfeeding, but babies are at much greater risk. As measures for getting ready for their new baby, parents are encouraged to follow special instructions for washing babies laundry and objects that baby comes into contact with as well as special food precautions. But, once baby becomes mobile there is a hidden danger lurking, bacteria laden public surfaces.

A University of Arizona study on public surfaces like shopping cart handles and changing and restaurant tables found that they have a high grade in disease-causing microorganisms from the presence of bodily fluids such as blood, mucus, saliva, and urine. Parents can protect their babies from these life-threatening bacteria by using products like the Cart Comforter and Shopper Topper for grocery carts, the Table Topper disposable "stay-in-place-mat," and the Travel Bear Changing Mat with an antimicrobial agent.

In addition, parents are encouraged to use hand sanitizers so when their hands come into contact with germ-laden surfaces and later their baby, they are not introducing additional germs, which could harm babies health. Recommended by healthcare professionals and used in medical settings for more than 30 years, the AQtiv PURE alcohol free Hand & Body Sanitizer Gel or Spray offers more protection than commercial hand sanitizers and is alcohol-free to prevent against the drying of skin. Also an ideal first aid gel, the small size easily fits in purses or car glove compartments.

For more information or to purchase these products, visit http://www.inventiveparent.com.

Sharon Mullen is a parenting expert, mom and President & CEO of Inventive Parent (http://www.inventiveparent.com) which she started when she invented her own product, the Original Car Seat Cozy, after finding that attachable blankets did not exist for baby carriers and car seats for children over one years old. Later, after she recognized the lack of products and availability to solve parents' real-world challenges, she started Inventive Parent, a provider of over 200 parent-invented solutions for maternity through pre-teen and an online parenting resource. For more information, visit http://www.inventiveparent.com

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