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.

Share this information with families too!

Spring 2019 E-News – The Joy of Feeding

April 29, 2019

The Joy of Feeding” Spring issue of the E-News includes:

  1. Feeding Young Children
  2. Supportive Environments for Breastfeeding in Child Care
  3. Food Allergies
  4. Pass the Peas, Please!
  5. Family-Style Dining in Child Care
  6. Calendar
  7. References

You can also access the issue in Spanish!

National Infant Immunization Week is April 27 – May 4, 2019

April 26, 2019

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs and their partners in promoting healthy communities.

Milestones Reached

Several important milestones in controlling vaccine-preventable diseases among infants worldwide worldwide have already been reached:

  • Vaccines have drastically reduced infant death and disability caused by preventable diseases in the United States.
  • Through immunization, we can now protect infants and children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age two.
  • Routine childhood immunization among children born 1994-2018 will prevent an estimated 419 million illnesses, 26.8 million hospitalizations, and 936,000 early deaths over the course of their lifetimes, at a net savings of $406 billion in direct costs and $1.9 trillion in total societal costs.
  • The National Immunization Survey has consistently shown that childhood immunization rates for vaccines routinely recommended for children remain at or near record levels.

It’s easy to think of these as diseases of the past. However, the truth is they still exist. Children in the United States can—and do—still get some of these diseases.

One example of the seriousness of vaccine preventable diseases is an increase in measles cases and outbreaks that were reported in 2014. The United States experienced a record number of measles cases, with 667 cases from 27 states reported to CDC’s NCIRD. This was the greatest number of cases in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000.

Learn more about vaccination from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)!