3
Nov

Electronics and Sleep Problems

electronics-before-bed-sleep-problems-in-childrenChildren develop sleep problems when they use portable media devices, such as tablets or smartphones, before bed.  They have more difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, are more sleepy during the daytime, and are twice more likely to sleep less than children without access to their devices before bedtime.  A JAMA Pediatrics review (reut.rs/2fkjL1j) of 20 studies that involved children using these portable media devices. The review excluded their use of PCs and TVs before bed.  It included over 125,000 children between the ages of 6 and 19 years old.
 
 Even more interesting, is the fact that sleep problems are also more likely in children who had their portable media device near them at bedtime, even if they didn’t use it before bedtime.  If they receive texts or use social media, then they are more likely to check their devices throughout the night.  Before you know it, after checking the texts, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat & other social media, several hours of precious  sleep may have been lost.
 
So many of us are guilty of using out smartphones in the middle of the night.  We’ve commonly woken up, after a deep sleep REM cycle, checked our smartphone, and interrupted our sleep.  A good amount of sleep for most children is 10 hours per night, for teens it lowers to 9 hours per night.  For a child, this has a huge impact on their education the next day as well.  If sleep problems exist, learning difficulties are more likely to occur when they are sleepy during the daytime. 
 
Next time you use your smartphone before bed, think about how it could negatively impact your own sleep.  Poor sleep is linked to many potential negative health consequences, including dementia.
 
Please consider protecting your child’s sleep by making sure they don’t use their smartphones or tablets before bedtime, turn them off or remove them from their bedroom at night.
8
Aug

Drop Side Cribs: Closer to a Ban

Photo by CPSC
Nationwide, manufacturers are recalling their drop-side cribs left and right. Recently, over two (2) million have been recalled due to an increased number of injuries and deaths. This brings the total to over nine (9) million that have been recalled in the last five (5) years. Some of the manufacturers affected include Pottery Barn Kids, Simmons, Bexco, LaJobi, Jardine, Evenflo, Delta, Child Craft (out of business), Graco, Simplicity, Generation 2, ChilDESIGNS, Stork Craft, Simplicity, PlayKids USA, and L.A. Baby. Sadly, the list does not end here. It goes on and on. To check to see if your crib has been recalled, go to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
 
The injury or death can occur when the drop-side crib’s hardware comes loose, leaving a gap between the baby’s mattress and the rail, leading to suffocation or strangulation. Since 2000, these cribs have resulted in at least 32 deaths and 16 cases of entrapment in infants and toddlers, with another 14 deaths linked as well.

About two (2) weeks ago, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) (http://www.cpsc.gov/) proposed a new standard that cribs manufactured for sale or resale must have four (4) fixed sides. If passed, it is predicted that as early as Summer 2011, drop-side cribs will be banned sale, re-sale or use in stores, hotels, and daycare centers.

What should you do if you have a one? Stop using it. Contact the manufacturer or search their website. Many are offering kits that will immobilize the rail. If no such kit is available, please consider replacing your crib. Although the deaths have been few, your child could become one of the rare ones. It is not worth taking the chance.

You can also go to the CPSC’s Crib Information Center @ https://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/cribs.

If you have further questions, you can call the CPSC Recall Hotline at (800) 638-2772.

 
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