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Comments on Hobo Mama: Unintended consequences of child "safety"





Updated: 2017-12-17T18:09:01.174-08:00

 



Hi, Tom!Thanks so much for the information -- I'll...

2008-03-03T20:38:00.000-08:00

Hi, Tom!

Thanks so much for the information -- I'll be sure to check out your blog.

It's so interesting (and yet so sad) that there are these unintended consequences. It's usually well-meaning people behind it, but they get these "safety" agendas that often just make things worse. It reminds me of the nurse in the hospital who insisted our son needed formula because colostrum wasn't cutting it, when that's of course ridiculous -- but that kind of thing happens all the time, and can often cause true health problems (in that case, breastfeeding issues), rather than a little crankiness for a couple days.

I thought your mention of all the developmental delays was very interesting, and I have definitely heard anecdotally that many babies prefer to sleep on their stomachs. I remember my little brother did, as that was pre-SIDS campaign.

This is so awful to think about, too, but I wonder how many "SIDS" deaths are due to child abuse, and mislabeled. And I think mislabeling is what happens to a lot of cosleeping deaths, as I mentioned in my post -- a ped or coroner hears "sleeping in adult bed" and assumes that it was the adult's fault.

I feel for Dr. Kattwinkel's loss and any parent who's lost a baby -- I'm sure it does make you safety-obsessive. But it's too bad that the conclusion of the safety campaigns is not always the safest solution after all.



Great Blog!I have a blog that I just started which...

2008-03-03T17:41:00.000-08:00

Great Blog!

I have a blog that I just started which is dedicated to detailing the negative unintended consequences of the SIDS Prevention "Back to Sleep" campaign:
http://tummysleepcentral.blogspot.com/

I think one of the things people should be aware of is that Dr. John Kattwinkel who chaired the AAP SIDS Task Force that changed the sleep position of U.S. infants in 1992 had a 3 day old daugher die in 1966. I think he's biased and never lets any of the unintended consequences see the light of day because he's so obsessed with preventing SIDS at all costs. Unfortunately, his personal tragedy I think makes him biased and he's still in charge of the SIDS task force to this very day 17 years later. I've only seem him make note of the death of his 3 day old daughter once in a Dartmouth Alumni magazine. Here is some other information I've found:

Back sleep (aka supine sleep) is associated with social skills delays at 6 months, motor skills delays at 6 months, deformational plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome), torticollis (tightening of neck muscles), decreased sleep duration, increase sleep awakenings, increase episodes of sleep apnea (lack of oxygen), shoulder retraction, and temperomandibular jaw disorder. Stomach sleep has none of those negative effects and also helps prevent hip subluxation, increases sleep duration by 8% to 16%, decreases awakenings by 40%, decreases infant screaming episodes, and lessens colic. The SIDS prevention "Back to Sleep" campaign statistics are misleading, overstated, and not even applicable to 99% of babies. Before 1993 over 70% of American babies slept on their stomachs, 13% slept on their backs, and the rest slept on their sides. Since 1993 there has been a 500% increase in plagiocephaly as well as a huge increase in developmental delays and disorders. If a parent decides to put their infant to sleep on their stomach they should watch them first or have the baby sleep on it's own stomach on the parents chest to see that the infant is ok. Sorry for writing so much. Good Luck.

“Since the implementation of the "Back to Sleep" campaign, therapists are seeing increasing numbers of kindergarten-aged children who are unable to hold a pencil.”
Susan Syron, Pediatric Physical Therapist

“There are indications of a rapidly growing population of infants who show developmental abnormalities as a result of prolonged exposure to the supine position.”
Dr. Ralph Pelligra regarding the impact of the Back to Sleep Campaign

Dr. John Kattwinkel is in charge of advocating the Back to Sleep Campaign and will tolerate no criticism of it whatsoever. Unfortunately, I think he is biased because of his own personal tragedy.

"Why should she be a beautiful, healthy-looking girl and be dead two days later?"
Dr. John Kattwinkel on the death of his 3 day old baby daughter in 1966

"The Academy was looking for someone who didn't have an agenda. So they chose me."
Dr. John Kattwinkel on being chosen to head the 1992 American Academy on Pediatrics Task Force on SIDS Prevention

"Federal records show a dramatic decline in reported cases of SIDS, dropping from 4,895 cases in 1992 to only 2,247 in 2004, the most recent year for which complete data is available. The records reviewed by Scripps showed that cases of SIDS virtually disappeared in some states and cities over the last several years, but closer examination of the data makes it evident that thousands of those lives have not been ‘saved,’ but rather lost under another name. Coroners and medical examiners said SIDS was responsible for nearly 80 percent of all sudden infant deaths 15 years ago and only 55 percent in 2004. What increased during this time were diagnoses that CDC statisticians labeled as "threats to breathing" and ‘other ill-defined causes of mortality.’"