Safe Use of Infant Sitting Devices

September 8, 2019

Information from the Healthy Child Care Pennsylvania ECELS Program

A recent study in Pediatrics, “Infant Deaths in Sitting Devices,” reviewed the safety of infant sitting devices. The study found over 300 sleep-related infant deaths from 2004-2014 happened in car seats, strollers, bouncers, swings, and other infant seats. Most sleep-related infant deaths in sitting devices occurred in car seats. Incorrect use of car seats led to most infant deaths in this type of device. Sleep-related infant deaths in sitting devices were more likely to happen when an infant was supervised by a caregiver or child care provider.

Car seats are safe and effective for infant travel.  Always remove an infant from a car seat after traveling. It is OK if an infant falls asleep in a car seat while traveling.  Transfer sleeping infants from a car seat to a safe sleep environment, such as a crib. If an infant is in a sitting device and falls asleep, move the child to a crib.  

Avoid using sitting devices as a substitute for a crib, bassinet, or portable crib/play yard. Sleeping in a seated position can restrict breathing and may lower blood oxygen levels in infants. Injuries and death have occurred when sitting devices fall from a surface or when straps entrap body parts.

Follow national best practice standards to prevent sleep related deaths in group care settings. Review recommendations in Caring for Our Children Standards 2.2.0.2: Limiting Infant/Toddler Time in Crib, High Chair, Car Seat, Etc, and 3.1.4.1: Safe Sleep Practices and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID)/SIDS Risk Reduction. Check your early care and education (ECE) program’s policies and procedures to make sure infant sitting devices are used safely.

Key Messages for ECE Program Staff and Families:

  1. Use sitting devices for their specific purpose, for example, transporting, feeding or playing.  Avoid having infants sleep in car seats, strollers, bouncers, swings and other infant seats.
  2. If an infant arrives at the ECE program sleeping in a car seat, move the child to a crib.
  3.  Always put infants alone on their back for every nap or sleep time in an individual, safe crib.
  4. Limit sitting in a high chair or other equipment that restricts movement indoors or outdoors to no more than 15 minutes. This time can be longer for feeding or while traveling in a vehicle. Infants need to be free to develop physical skills, explore the environment and interact with peers and adults.

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Recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month During April!

April 15, 2019

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Every child deserves to grow up safe and loved!

Join Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina (PCANC) in recognizing Child Abuse Prevention Month during April!

The future success of our state relies on the healthy growth and development of all children. When we work together to ensure their healthy development, the next generation pays it back through a lifetime of productivity and responsible citizenship.

With the support of engaged communities making connections that matter, all children can thrive and have the opportunity to grow into contributing, caring, and healthy adults. Resources from PCANC include:

  • Child Abuse Prevention Month 2019 Toolkit
  • Info about Recognizing and Responding to Abuse and Neglect
  • Tips for Planting a Pinwheel Garden
  • Pinwheel Activities for Families, and more…..

National Poison Prevention Week – March 17-23, 2019

March 12, 2019

Information from the Healthy Child Care Pennsylvania ECELS Program

National Poison Prevention Week is a chance to highlight the dangers of poisonings. Substances most commonly involved in poisonings of children are cosmetics, personal care products, cleaning products, and medications. Fifty percent (50%) of all exposures involve children younger than age 6!

To avoid poisonings when caring for children:

  • Store medicines and all cleaning products in areas that are completely inaccessible to children.
  • Supervise children at all times!
  • Never carry something that can be poisonous, e.g., medicine, in a purse where a child may find it.
  • Safety latches on drawers/cabinets and child resistant caps on bottles help keep poisons out of the hands of children.

When accidents happen with chemicals, medicine, or household items, call Poison Help 1-800-222-1222.

Post the number by the telephone where it is visible for early care and education staff.  Program the poison control center number into cell phones so you have the number when you need it. Get help right away from a local poison expert. If someone is unconscious or has trouble breathing, call 911.

When you call 1-800-222-1222, you will reach specially trained poison experts at a poison center that serves your area. They provide free, confidential help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Interpretation services are available in 161 languages.

For safety tips to keep children safe from poisons see Child Tips.

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