Health and Safety for the Newborn -

Health and Safety for the Newborn

Hello friends and neighbours.  I wanted to take a moment and talk about the newest edition to your family.  Those little newborn babies.  First of all, congratulations on your child and expanding your family.  Secondly, I want to explain a few health and safety tip that a lot of new parents do not really think about.  As a Health Educator, it is important that the best practice is known by people so they can make the best decisions for their families and those who cannot care for themselves.  Choking and breathing issues are all too common for infants. . . take a look at this

One of the first things I like to mention to new parents is co-sleeping.  The University of Notre Dame has given a great comprehensive list as to why cosleeping/bedsharing with infants is not the best practice.  Look at this list from UND.  (

Bedsharing: It is important to be aware that adult beds were not designed to assure infants safety!

  1. It is important to realize that the physical and social conditions under which infant-parent cosleeping occur, in all its diverse forms, can and will determine the risks or benefits of this behavior. What goes on in bed is what matters.
  2. Bottlefeeding babies should always sleep alongside the mother on a separate surface rather than in the bed.
  3. If bedsharing, ideally, both parents should agree and feel comfortable with the decision. Each bed-sharer should agree that he or she is equally responsible for the infant and acknowledge before sleeping that they are aware that the infant is present in the bed space. Do not place an infant in the bed with a sleeping adult who is not aware that the infant is in the bed with them. My feeling is that both parents should think of themselves as primary caregivers.
  4. Infants a year or less should not sleep with other/older child siblings — but always with a person who can take responsibility for the infant being in the bed.
  5. Persons taking sedatives, medications or drugs, or intoxicated from alcohol or other substances, or otherwise excessively unable to arouse easily from sleep should not cosleep on the same surface with the infant.
  6. Excessively long hair on the mother should be tied up to prevent infant entanglement around the infant’s neck (yes, this has very unfortunately happened).
  7. Extremely obese persons or others who may have difficulty feeling where exactly or how close their infant is in relation to their own body, may wish to have the infant sleep alongside but on a different surface, such as a cosleeper attachment.
  8. Finally, it may be important to consider or reflect on whether you would think that you suffocated your baby if, under the most unlikely scenario, your baby died from SIDS while in your bed. Just as babies can die from SIDS in a risk-free solitary sleep environment, it remains possible for a baby to die in a risk-free cosleeping/bedsharing environment. Just make sure, as much as this is possible, that you would not assume that if the baby died, that either you or your spouse would think that bed-sharing contributed to the death, or that one of your really suffocated (by accident) the infant. While this is an unpleasant and uncomfortable topic, it is one that is worth thinking about before you make the choice to cosleep/bedshare with your infant.

We also love decorating the baby’s room with plush bedding and stuffed animals, but this can also be a hazard to the infant.  The American Academy of Pediatrics states that: More than 3,500 babies in the U.S. die suddenly and unexpectedly every year while sleeping, often due to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or accidental deaths from suffocation or strangulation.  In an effort to reduce the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) updated policy statement and technical report includes new evidence that supports skin-to-skin care for newborn infants; addresses the use of bedside and in-bed sleepers; and adds to recommendations on how to create a safe sleep environment.

To help lessen the likely hood of crib suffocation, reduce the stuffed animals, bulky blankets, pillows and extras we put in the crib for decoration.  Always, when placing the infant in the crib, place those babies on their back.  If and when they get to the point where they can roll over, then that is fine.  It is highly recommended by many accrediting institutions that the infants are betting placed on their backs.

There are so many things that new parents need to be aware of with newborn children, I did not want to overwhelm you with so much information. So, now you know some of those things that might not be best practice with those newborns that cause babies to stop breathing, how can we be trained to help those babies?  Well this is how.  Being prepared and trained in CPR in order to help those infants is best practice.  If we notice a change in color and temperature of these children, this is a sign that they are no longer breathing.  We immediately need to jump into action and providing full service CPR with chest compressions and rescue breaths is the best, if you are unable or unwilling to do the rescue breathing, then you can perform what is called compression only CPR.  CPR will help circulate blood and oxygen throughout the body to keep organs and organ systems viable. It is important to activate the EMS system as quickly as possible to get advanced medical care for the child.

Please, take a class, be prepared and love those babies.

Further Reading:

The Ultimate Guide to Baby Sleep Safety and SIDS Awareness

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