Posts tagged with "American Academy of Pediatrics"

Sleeping like a baby: American Academy of Pediatrics releases new safe slumber guidelines

June 22, 2022

Co-sleeping under any circumstances is not safe for infant sleep, the American Academy of Pediatrics stressed on Tuesday, June 21, in its  first update to its safe sleep guidelines for babies since 2016, reports CNN.

“We know that many parents choose to share a bed with a child, for instance, perhaps to help with breastfeeding or because of a cultural preference or a belief that it is safe,” said Dr. Rebecca Carlin, who coauthored the guidelines and technical report from the AAP Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and the AAP Committee on Fetus and Newborn, in a statement.

“The evidence is clear that (co-sleeping) significantly raises the risk of a baby’s injury or death,” said Carlin, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. “For that reason AAP cannot support bed-sharing under any circumstances.”

Some 3,500 infants, many of whom are living in socially disadvantaged communities, die from sleep-related infant deaths in the United States each year, the AAP said.

“The rate of sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs) among Black and American Indian/Alaska Native infants was more than double and almost triple, respectively, that of white infants (85 per 100 000 live births) in 2010-2013,” the AAP noted in a statement.

“We’ve made great strides in learning what keeps infants safe during sleep but much work still needs to be done,” Dr. Rachel Moon, lead author of the guidelines and professor of pediatrics at the University of Virginia, said in a statement.

Put babies to sleep alone on their backs on a flat, firm mattress covered in a snug, fitted sheet, with no extra bedding or bumpers, the AAP advised.

While the AAP strongly advises against co-sleeping, its updated guidelines say babies should sleep in the same room with their parents for at least six months on a separate sleep surface with a firm, flat surface.

Based on new Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations that will go into effect this week, the only products that can be marketed for infant sleep include cribs, bassinets, play yards, and bedside sleepers. Bedside sleepers are separate small cribs or bassinets that attach to the parent’s bed but allow babies to sleep alone without any bedding. Parents should not use products for sleep that aren’t specifically marketed for sleep, the AAP said.

Other sleep environments also can put infants at risk. Resting with a baby on a couch, armchair, or cushion and falling asleep raises the risk of infant death by 67%, the AAP noted. If the baby is pre-term, born with a low birth weight or is under four months old, the risk of death while co-sleeping on a bed, couch or other spot increases five to ten times, the academy said.

“A great way to test if a surface is too soft is to press your hand down and then lift it up. If your hand leaves an indentation, it’s too soft,” said Alison Jacobson, CEO of First Candle, a national nonprofit committed to the elimination of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths through education and advocacy.

Parents should always put babies to sleep alone on their backs on a flat, firm mattress covered in a snug, fitted sheet, according to the AAP. Avoid all extras in the crib, including soft toys, blankets, pillows, soft bedding, sleep positioners or crib bumpers, as babies can become trapped by such items and suffocate.

Babies do not need any of those cushioned products to be warm and comfortable, Jacobson said. “Instead of a sheet or blanket, place baby in a swaddle sack or wearable blanket.”

“Crib bumpers have been linked to more than 100 infant deaths during the past 30 years,” the AAP states on its consumer website,

In fact, putting excessive clothing or blankets on an infant, especially in a warm room, can be associated with an increased risk for SIDS, Jacobson said.

“Hats and any other head covering should be removed before placing your baby down to sleep,” she said, adding that babies only need one more layer than an adult would typically wear.

What’s more, the new CPSC regulations will ban all products marketed for infant sleep that have more than a 10% incline. Those include inclined sleepers and sleep positioners—which are also called baby nests, docks, pods, loungers, rockers, and nappers, the AAP said. A number of the products may not be sold as sleep aids, but babies often fall asleep while using them.

Baby rockers have led to more than a dozen infant deaths, government agency warns. Many such products on the market have up to a 30% incline, which can be dangerous because babies’ heads fall forward during sleep, the APP said. This chin-to-chest position can restrict their airway, causing suffocation. Infants can also roll out of the devices and become trapped under them, the AAP warned.

The Safe Sleep for Babies Act, signed into law last year, outlaws the manufacture and sale of inclined sleepers and crib bumpers.

In its new guidance, the AAP also warns against the use of commercial devices that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS or other sleep-related issues, including wearable monitors.

In addition, do not use home cardiorespiratory monitors—devices that monitor baby’s heart rate and oxyge —as a way to reduce the risk of SIDS, because there is no evidence that they work, Jacobson said.

“Using products claiming to increase sleep safety may create a false sense of security” for parents that “could result in reducing infant safe sleep practices,” she said.

Research contact: @CNN

Judge upholds New York City’s vaccine mandate for educators

September 30, 2021

A vaccine mandate for more than 150,000 teachers, custodians, school aides, cafeteria workers and other school staff in New York City can proceed as planned, a federal appeals panel ruled on Monday evening, September 27—a decision that reverses the temporary block put on it over the past weekend, reports U.S. News.

Unions representing the city’s teachers and principals had been urging Mayor Bill deBlasio to delay the vaccine requirement as concerns mounted that the country’s largest public school system could find itself with a shortage of 10,000 teachers and staff overnight.

While more than 90% of teachers and 97% of principals are already vaccinated, the mandate was expected to cause staffing shortages in a handful of schools where a significant portion of school staff remain unvaccinated—especially in and around Staten Island.

A judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit granted an injunction on a temporary basis this past weekend and referred the case to a three-judge panel to review on an expedited timeline. Their decision wasn’t expected until Wednesday.

The New York Times first reported the panel’s decision to support the mandate.

It’s not the first time the vaccine requirement has been challenged. Indeed, a state Supreme Court judge batted down a separate lawsuit filed by a group of smaller unions representing school employees—ruling last week that state and federal courts have historically upheld vaccination requirements.

The challenges to the city’s vaccine mandate are just the latest legal skirmish over COVID-19 safety protocols playing out in states and school districts across the country. And they come at a time when the Biden Administration is leaning on vaccines as a way to allow schools to stay open while the highly contagious Delta variant causes transmission and hospitalization rates to spike, including among school-age children.

The latest data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association show that nearly 29% of the cases recorded in the week leading up to September 2 were contracted by children. And after declining in early summer, cases in children have been increasing exponentially, with over half a million cases added in the last two weeks.

Research contact: @usnews

Hit or miss? AAP strengthens ban on spanking children

November 6, 2018

In an updated policy statement on corporal punishment, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued new evidence on November 5 that spanking harms children—and even may affect normal brain development.

Indeed, updated research has shown that striking a child—or yelling at or shaming them—can elevate stress hormones and lead to changes in the brain’s architecture. Harsh verbal abuse is also linked to mental health problems in preteens and adolescents.

This week, at the AAP’s 2018 National Conference, the professional group is strengthening its ban on corporal punishment with an updated policy statement, “Effective Discipline to Raise Healthy Children.”

Pediatricians long have believed that corporal punishment—or the use of spanking as a disciplinary tool—increases aggression in young children in the long run and is ineffective in teaching a child responsibility and self-control. The policy statement, to be published in the December 2018 issue of Pediatrics also addresses the harm associated with verbal punishment, such as shaming or humiliation.

“The good news is, fewer parents support the use of spanking than … in the past,” said AAP member Dr. Robert D. Sege, an author of the policy statement. “Yet corporal punishment remains legal in many states, despite evidence that it harms kids—not only physically and mentally, but in how they perform at school and how they interact with other children.”

He noted that, in one study, young children who were spanked more than twice a month at age three were more aggressive at age five. Those same children at age nine still exhibited negative behaviors and lower receptive vocabulary scores, according to the research.

“It’s best to begin with the premise of rewarding positive behavior,” said Dr. Benjamin S. Siegel, co-author of the policy statement. “Parents can set up rules and expectations in advance. The key is to be consistent in following through with them.”

The policy statement provides educational resources where physicians and parents can learn healthy forms of discipline, such as limit setting, redirecting and setting expectations.

“There’s no benefit to spanking,” Dr. Sege said. “We know that children grow and develop better with positive role modeling and by setting healthy limits. We can do better.”

Research contact: @BobSegeMD