Your Baby

Manufacturers Move to Ban Drop-Side Cribs

A push is underway by some crib makers to ban drop-side cribs.A push is underway by some crib makers to ban drop-side cribs because of concerns over infant deaths, injuries and a series of recalls in recent months.

Officials familiar with deliberations of a committee that sets industry standards say the proposal would end production of drop-side cribs - where one side moves up and down. The proposal would require cribs to have four immovable sides. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the proposal has not been finalized. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says at least three children have died in drop-side cribs in the last 18 months. The agency knows of more than two dozen incidents in which drop-sides detached from cribs.

Your Baby

Infant Antibiotic Use and Asthma

1:45 to read

Antibiotics are a common treatment for bacterial infections in children and adults however; some infants who receive antibiotics in their first year of life may be twice as likely to develop asthma, as they grow older.

The drugs themselves may not be the culprits though.

A child’s impaired immune system and genetic variations could explain why some kids face a higher likelihood of developing asthma.

The study, reported online May 15 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, also didn't find any link between early use of antibiotics and development of allergic diseases.

The study’s authors noted that this contradicts a theory that antibiotics increase the risks of allergic asthma by disrupting a child’s immune system.

Antibiotics are often given to children for ear and respiratory infections. While the study found an association between infants who receive antibiotic treatment and asthma later in life, it was not designed to prove an actual cause and effect link.

In the new study, British researchers analyzed statistics from a study that tracked more than 1,000 children from birth to 11 years of age.

Information on antibiotic prescription, wheeze and asthma exacerbations were taken from medical records. Skin reaction tests that show whether a child is hypersensitive to allergens were done at ages 3, 5, 8, and 11 years. 

At age 11, blood was collected from children who had received at least one course of antibiotics or no antibiotics in the first year of life to compare their immune-system cell response to viruses and bacteria. Genetic testing was also done to look at the links between common genetic variations on chromosome 17, known as 17q21, and antibiotic prescription.

The study’s findings are believed to be the first to show that children with wheezing who were treated with an antibiotic in the first year of life were more than twice as likely as untreated children to experience severe wheeze or asthma exacerbations and be hospitalized for asthma. 

"We speculate that hidden factors which increase the likelihood of both antibiotic prescription in early life and subsequent asthma are an increased susceptibility to viral infections due to impaired antiviral immunity and genetic variants," lead author Adnan Custovic, of the University of Manchester, said in a journal news release.

"However, further studies will be needed to confirm that the impaired immunity was present at the time of the early childhood respiratory symptoms and predated antibiotic prescribing rather than as a consequence of the antibiotics," Custovic added.

The study was published in the journal The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

Source: Randy Dotinga, http://www.webmd.com/asthma/news/20140515/study-probes-link-between-early-antibiotic-use-asthma

http://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/article/?id=12094

Your Baby

Similac Baby Formula Recall

Abbott Laboratories, manufacturers of Similac baby formula recalls up to 5 million powdered products for insect contamination. The makers of Similac baby formula, is voluntarily recalling several products due to insect contamination.

Abbott Laboratories is recalling their powdered baby formula sue to the possibility of small insect parts and beetle larvae. The beetles were found in the production area of one of Abbott’s manufacturing facilities that makes Similac. There is currently no reported immediate healthy risk to infants drinking Similac baby formula.  Parents should look for any gastrointestinal symptoms such as refusal to eat or stomach aches as possible symptoms of ingesting the recalled formula. The Similac recall includes the following products:

  • -all lots of Similac formula powder product lines offered in plastic containers, including 1.38-lb, 1.45-lb and 2.12-lb containers
  • -Similac Sensitive Isomil Soy - 12.4-oz cans - only lots numbers containing RB
  • -Similac Advance - 12.4-oz cans - only lots numbers containing RB
  • -certain lots of Similac formula powder product lines offered in sizes such as 8-ounce, 12.4-ounce and 12.9-ounce cans
  • -Similac formula powder in 8-ounce sample cans that could have been given out in doctor's offices and hospitals

The Similac recall does not affect the ready-to-feed or concentrated baby formula or specialty Similac formulas. Check out the recalled brands at www.similac.com/recall for all brands and lot numbers or you may call Abbott’s consumer hotline 800-986-8850.

Your Baby

Social Networks Influence Kid’s Vaccinations

2.00 to read

A new study looks at what influences parents to either have or not have their infants vaccinated. Researchers reported that parents make decisions about whether to vaccinate fully, vaccinate over a period of time or not vaccinate their children at all largely based on social networks.

Emily K. Brunson, PhD, MPH, from Texas State University in San Marcos, presented the results of her survey in an article in the online journal Pediatrics. Dr. Brunson surveyed United States–born, first-time parents who had children aged 18 months or younger and resided in King County, Washington. A total of 126 participants conformed to vaccination recommendations and 70 did not. The 70 other parents forged their own paths: 28 delayed vaccines, 37 partially vaccinated and five didn’t vaccinate at all.

The two groups were described as “conformers” and “non-conformers”. 95% of both groups said they get their advice from people that they go to for information. The non-conformers were also significantly more inclined to use “source networks” (sources people go to for information and advice such as books, pamphlets, research articles and the Internet).

The current study connects immunization decision-making with the pressure to conform to group opinion. It also looks at whether parents are more likely to choose a social group that reflects their own beliefs and actions, or let the social group dictate their beliefs and actions. Dr. Brunson's data suggest that the social groups dictate the decisions.

Parents who did not conform to the recommended Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) schedule had a higher percentage of people in their social networks that recommended not conforming to the vaccine schedule.

Conformers were more likely to get their information from family, friends and healthcare providers.

“Parents’ people networks matter a ton,” says Brunson, now an assistant professor of anthropology at Texas State University. “Having those conversations with your sister, with your parent, with your friends matter a lot more than we thought.”

On an average, 59% of non-conformers reported that their sources – many of which persist in promoting a widely debunked association between vaccines and autism- recommend ignoring the CDC’s guidelines for vaccinations as compared to only 20% of conformer’s sources.

The actual number of “zero dosers” has stayed at less than 2%, but the numbers of parents who don’t trust that vaccines will actually do what they are told they will do is growing. This frustrates many pediatricians who have seen first hand or know about the deadly consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases. Some parents are deciding for themselves which vaccines they feel are necessary and then developing their own vaccine schedule by spacing out shots over a series of years, which experts argue only extends the time their kids are susceptible to disease or capable of passing it on to others.

Vaccines have been widely studied and current research has shown that multiple vaccinations do not pose a hazard to young children. Some of the older vaccines exposed toddlers to more antigens than newly formulated vaccines do.

Scientists noted that public-health officials should consider the importance of social networks when getting out the message that childhood immunizations are important for children’s health. It may be time, they say, to extend their reach beyond doctors and start paying attention to other people who influence parents’ vaccination decisions, namely friends and family whom moms and dads list as part of their “social network.” “If we want to improve vaccination rates, communication needs to be directed to the public at large,” says Brunson.

Preliminary data on Immunity Community’s effectiveness look promising: last year, one Montessori-preschool pilot site raised its immunization rate from 60% to 80%. The CDC is keeping tabs on the results and could bring it to other states as a potential national model, albeit one rooted at the local level. “For people to be passionate and credible and persuasive about this, they have to be local community members,” says Kris Sheedy of the CDC’s immunization-services division. “We know that birds of a feather flock together, so it’s a good thing to make vaccinating parents more visible.”

As the battle rages on about the safety and necessity of infant vaccines, too many children are not receiving the recommended doses. Doctors and public health officials are going to have to be more clear and aggressive in getting information to the general public on the facts surrounding immunizations.

Sources: Bonnie Rochman, http://healthland.time.com/2013/04/15/how-social-networks-influence-a-parents-decision-to-vaccinate/#ixzz2QZyv47qZ

Larry C. Pullen, PhD., http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/782558

Your Baby

Small Birth Size Linked to Sleep Problems Later

Children who were born at a relatively small size may be more likely than their peers to have sleep difficulties, a new study suggests. The study, which appears in the journal Sleep, included 289 8-year-olds born healthy and full-term. It found that the lower the children's weight and length at birth, the greater their odds of having poor sleep or sleep disturbances such as sleep-related breathing problems or nightmares.

What's more, mothers' prenatal drinking -- a habit that can impair fetal growth and development -- was linked to a greater risk of childhood sleep problems. The researchers report it is possible that in some children, smaller birth size is a marker of alterations in nervous system development, which might affect the body's sleep regulation later in life. "We showed that even within children born healthy and at-term gestation, smaller body size at birth increases the risk for poor sleep," said lead researcher Dr. Anu-Katriina Pesonen, of the University of Helsinki in Finland. That does not mean, however, that every child born at a relatively small size is destined for sleep difficulties. For one, birth size is partially determined by genetics, and Pesonen said it's possible that the current findings do not pertain to newborns who are simply naturally on the smaller size. On the other hand, she said, factors that can impair normal fetal growth -- which, besides prenatal drinking, include prenatal smoking and high chronic stress levels -- may help set the stage for sleep problems later on. For their study, Pesonen and her colleagues had each child wear an actigraph -- a watch-like device that measures sleep and activity patterns -- for one week. Their parents also completed a standard questionnaire on childhood sleep disturbances. In general, the researchers found, the smaller a child was at birth, the greater the likelihood of sleep disturbances or low sleep efficiency. Sleep efficiency refers to a person's ability to fall asleep and stay asleep once the head hits the pillow. In this study, 26 children had low sleep efficiency -- spending roughly three-quarters or less of their time in bed actually asleep. The researchers also found an association between sleep problems and mothers' prenatal drinking, even at relatively moderate levels. Among children whose mothers had consumed more than one drink per week during pregnancy, the risks of short sleep duration -- less than 7.5 hours per night -- and low sleep efficiency were about three times higher compared with other children. Prenatal smoking was not linked to sleep problems. However, Pesonen's team notes, this could be because few mothers in the study said they had smoked during pregnancy, limiting the study's ability to find an association. For now, the researchers conclude, the findings suggest that even moderate levels of drinking during pregnancy, and birth size variations within the normal range, may affect children's sleep later on.

Your Baby

Controversial Time Magazine Cover

1:45 to read

You’ve probably either seen or heard about the current Time magazine cover with the photograph of a mother breastfeeding her 3 year-old son.  It’s definitely stirring up a lot of debate.  Some people think the photo is inappropriate. Some are “grossed out.” Other folks are wondering how the child will deal with the sudden- and thanks to the Internet- eternal notoriety. Then there’s the debate over breast milk versus formula.

Most of the comments I have read are by women with the occasional man wondering if years of breastfeeding are ruining the mother’s breast. Images certainly can spur a myriad of reactions.

The actual article that the photo is supposed to represent is about attachment parenting. Attachment parenting has come into vogue through the writings of Dr. Bill Sears and his wife Martha. Their book, The Baby Book, was published in 1992, and promotes extended breast-feeding, co-sleeping and “baby wearing,” in which infants are physically attached to their parents by slings. But a lot of people are having a hard time getting pass the cover to read the article.

Another debate the photo has inspired is "how old is too old" for a child to breastfeed?

Personally I think that’s a parent’s choice. I’ve known mothers who breastfed till their child was 3, others who breastfed from 6 months to a year, and others who didn’t breastfeed at all. All the children are doing well.

Breastfeeding is the natural way to feed your baby. Not every mom can or wants to breastfeed her child, but there are plenty of good reasons to give it a try.

Breast milk contains all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs in the first six months of life, and it is easily digested. Also, breast milk contains antibodies that help protect infants from a wide variety of infectious diseases, including diarrhea. Studies suggest that breastfed babies are less likely to develop certain medical problems, including diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma, and allergies. Breastfeeding may also decrease the chances that the child will become overweight or obese.

Those are all very good reasons for mothers to breastfeed their children.

There are times however, when breastfeeding isn’t recommended. Sometimes a mother's health can interfere with her ability to breastfeed. For example, a mother undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, or a mom who is infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV, the virus that causes AIDS) should not breastfeed.

If you have a medical condition or take any medications on a regular basis, you should check with your doctor before breastfeeding. Mothers with inverted nipples can have a difficult time breastfeeding.

How long should you breastfeed? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mother and baby desire. The World Health Organization recommends continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.

Is the Time magazine cover making a positive or negative statement about breastfeeding, or is it just a clever way to get publicity and sell magazines? I think we know the answer to that.

Sources: http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/feeding/feednewborn.html

http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/faq/index.htm

Your Baby

Safer Baby Cribs

1.45 to read

Good News for Babies! After years of accidents- including some that were fatal- caused by unsafe baby cribs, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has strengthened the safety requirements for baby-crib production.There was excellent news from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for babies, parents and caregivers yesterday! Consumers will see a new generation of safer cribs for sale at local and national retail stores.

After years of accidents- including some that were fatal- caused by unsafe baby cribs, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has strengthened the safety requirements for baby-crib manufacturing. Safer cribs will mean a safer sleep for babies across the country. On December 15, 2010, the CPSC voted unanimously to approve new mandatory crib standards, establishing the most stringent crib safety standards in the world. Beginning immediately, all importers, distributors, manufacturers, and retailers must offer only cribs that meet the CPSC’s new and improved full-size and non-full-size crib standards. The new rules prohibit the manufacture, sale, or resale of traditional drop-side cribs. Mattress supports and crib slats will be strengthened, crib hardware will be made more durable and safety testing will be more rigorous. "A safe crib is the safest place for a baby to sleep. It is for this reason that I am so pleased that parents, grandparents and caregivers now can shop with confidence and purchase cribs that meet the most stringent crib standards in the world," said Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "From the start, our goal has been to prevent deaths and injuries to babies in cribs, and now the day has come where only stronger and safer cribs are available for consumers to purchase." CPSC has recalled more than 11 million dangerous cribs since 2007. Drop-side cribs with detaching side rails were associated with at least 32 infant suffocation and strangulation deaths since 2000. Additional deaths have occurred due to faulty or defective crib hardware. The new standards aim to prevent these tragedies and keep children safer in their cribs. Starting on December 28, 2012, child care facilities, including family child care homes and infant Head Start centers, as well as places of public accommodation, such as hotels and motels, and rental companies must use only cribs that comply with the new crib standards. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) required the CPSC to update the old crib standards, which had not gone through a major revision in more than 30 years, to ensure that the standards provided the highest level of safety possible. If you already own a drop-side crib, contact the crib manufacturer to find out if your crib has been recalled or if it will send you a bracket that will immobilize the drop side. For more information on crib safety you can go to www.cpsc.gov/cribs

Your Baby

Rise in Infant Suffocations Tied to Bed-Sharing

Rates in the United States of sudden infant death from suffocation or strangulation have quadrupled in the past 20 years.

Rates in the United States of sudden infant death from suffocation or strangulation have quadrupled in the past 20 years, most apparently from parents sleeping with their babies, a new government study found. The trend is clear, despite successful campaigns to prevent SIDS by putting babies to sleep on their backs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in Pediatrics. Black male babies are the most affected, but it is not clear why. "Infant mortality rates attributable to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed have quadrupled since 1984," the CDC's Carrie Shapiro-Mendoza and colleagues wrote. "Prevention efforts should target those at highest risk and focus on helping parents and caregivers provide safer sleeping environments." Researchers looked at data from 1984 to 2004. It showed that sudden, unexpected infant deaths fell over the 20-year period. Rates of strangulation or suffocation, however, rose by 14 percent between 1996 and 2004. Evidence shows that babies should be laid to sleep alone, on a flat mattress, with no loose pillows or blankets and in a crib with bars designed to prevent entrapment.

Your Baby

The Pros and Cons of Circumcision

2:00 to read

If you’re the parent of a newborn boy, you’ll most likely be asked whether or not you want to have your little one circumcised.  It’s a decision that parents have been making for a very long time.  Hieroglyphs from before 2300 BCE depicting circumcision show that the procedure was practiced in ancient Egypt before 2300 BCE.

Circumcision is a medical procedure where the foreskin of a male newborn’s penis is removed. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) currently takes a neutral position on the necessity of the procedure, but in 1999, they issued a landmark statement recommending against routine circumcision of boys. In 2011, the AAP soften that stance and advised parents to consult with their pediatrician and to consider their religious and cultural traditions when making a decision on the surgery.

So, you can see that even experts have gone back and forth over whether the surgery is actually medically necessary.

Discussing the AAP’s stand, Marjorie Milici, MD, a pediatrician at Baylor Pediatric Center in Dallas says  “They are now neutral on the issue. They swing the pendulum back and forth every few years.”

Dr. Milici also says she has seen a significant drop in routine circumcisions since she began practicing medicine 18 years ago. “When I first started practicing, almost everyone was getting it done,” she says. “Now it’s 50-50.”

What are the benefits of circumcision? Research has shown that there are health advantages. Boys with a circumcision penis are less likely to get urinary-tract infections and penile cancer, and they are also at decreased risk for acquiring the sexually transmitted diseases syphilis and HIV. Studies have suggested that these conditions may appear more frequently in uncircumcised men because of the additional effort that is required to keep the foreskin clean.

On the other hand, Milici says the risk of these diseases is very small in uncircumcised men who take good care of their foreskin so it should not be a major consideration when deciding whether to circumcise. “We’re reinforcing that to the bigger boys and parents bathing littler boys,” Milici says.

There are some risks associated with the surgery such as bleeding and infection. Pain is also a consideration. Local anesthetics are typically given to infants before the circumcision, but the days during the healing process can cause soreness.

Tradition can play an important role in choosing circumcision. People who practice Judaism choose circumcision for religious reasons. Still others want their sons to have the procedure so they can look like other men in their family. “It can be sort of a rite of passage,” Milici says.

Circumcision surgery on infants can ignite heated debates. People who oppose circumcision believe that the procedure is a mutilation of the body and offers no health benefits.  People who support the procedure believe it is safe and offers a number of health benefits and better hygiene.

Parents-to-be should decide whether they do or do not want their infant boy circumcised before the baby arrives. Consultations with a pediatrician are recommended well before the baby is born so that parents have plenty of time to do their own research and discover what decision is best for them and their child.

Source: Jennifer Acosta Scott,  http://www.everydayhealth.com/kids-health/the-pros-and-cons-of-circumcision.aspx

Pages

Please fill in your e-mail address to be included in our newsletter.
You may opt out at any time.