Click here for COVID 19 Updates

Willows Pediatrics Blog - We Know Kids
We Know Kids
The Willows Pediatrics Blog

Tag: Child Safety

Teens On The Road: Willows Pediatrics Offers Advice For Keeping Them Safe

Having a teenager who is learning to drive can be one of parenthood’s most nerve-racking times. Not only are our children being given the keys to more freedom, they are being given control of a potentially dangerous motor vehicle.

Here in Fairfield County, where highways can be dicey and back roads can be slippery, encouraging our youngest drivers to navigate the roads safely is of the utmost importance. Here are some sobering statistics from the CDC: Read More

Willows Talks About The Family Bed & Co-Sleeping

Willows Talks About The Family Bed & Co-Sleeping

Many families spend their days together. Others stay together at night too! The “family bed,” or co-sleeping is a common practice in many societies, and there are advocates for it here in the U.S. too. However, there are child safety concerns related to having adults and children share a bed. So, is it an acceptable practice?

A recent blog posted on CT Now (and written by former local mom Sarah Cody), asked the same question. She’d heard about the possible benefits of co-sleeping—better nursing and enhanced emotional security—but worried about the dangers to newborns and infants, including injury and suffocation.

She turned to Willows Pediatric Group physician Dr. Jeff Owens for his take on the issue. Dr. Owens rightly pointed out that ‘”The American Academy of Pediatrics still doesn’t recommend it.” He also noted that the dangers stem from two major concerns: soft bedding and impaired judgment. A baby should never sleep on a futon, couch or waterbed, and a parent should not drink, smoke or use drugs with the infant nearby.  Moreover, twenty-four hour bonding can challenge a couple’s need for a healthy physical relationship and leave a mother drained and exhausted.

However, Dr. Owens did allow for some wiggle room. “If it’s a stark, firm [bed] and the baby is on his back, the baby is probably safe.” Dr. Owens believes we should also respect different cultures, some of which believe “the family bed” is the answer to peaceful nights and strong attachments.

In other words, “do what works for your family as long as it’s a safe situation.”

New Car Seat Recommendations Released

Last fall, we blogged about the importance of correctly using car seats and booster seats to keep babies and older children safe while driving. Just a few weeks ago, however, the AAP released new recommendations relating to car safety, and we wanted to share them with you.

The AAP issued two important revised recommendations:

(1) Parents are now advised to keep toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat.

(2) The AAP now recommends that children ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years of age.

More detailed information on these guidelines can be found at the AAP’s website.

According to the CDC, in 2008, an average of 4 children ages 14 or younger were killed in motor vehicle crashes every day, and many more were injured. Willows Pediatrics is here to answer questions about car seats or child safety in general. In addition, most of our local communities offer car seat check services.

We hope you will take these new recommendations into consideration when putting your children in the car. Use your best judgment and try to adhere to the weight/height guidelines, even if the age guidelines might not be appropriate for your child. For example, as Dr. Czuzcka notes, “The new 4’9” advice to stay in the back booster seat would mean that my wife’s grandmother would be a in a booster seat until she died in her 80s!” In other words, while these are important safety recommendations, each child is unique and there are times when exceptions may be made. (Feel free to ask us about your own child and your specific concerns at your next appointment.)

Thanks for checking in today … and, please, drive safely!