Products that Cause Infant Deaths Should Be Recalled
The Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper has been tied to 32 sleep-related infant deaths, according to a statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urging Fisher-Price to recall the product. Fisher-Price issued a warning about Rock ‘n Play Sleepers on April 5, but they still line store aisles, are available for order on websites, and are holding sleeping infants in homes across the country.
While overall infant mortality rates in the U.S. have declined in recent years, sleep-related infant deaths, including accidental suffocation and strangulation, have risen. Removing products, like the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, that are tied to sleep-related infant deaths can help remove one risk factor for infants and make things easier for families.
“When you bring home your new baby, you’re trying to remember all the advice you were given—not just about safe sleep, but about how to feed your baby and keep your baby healthy,” says NICHQ Chief Health Officer Elizabeth Coté, MD, MPA. “Having unsafe products on the market makes it harder for families who are already juggling so much, and a warning isn’t enough. Not when there is any potential of death.”
Reducing these dangers for families means holding infant sleep products to the highest standard, says NICHQ President and CEO, Scott D. Berns, MD, MPH, FAAP. “Every year, we lose thousands of babies to preventable deaths, and that means we need to do more to help families understand and follow safe sleep practices—that includes protecting them from purchasing products that could cause harm. We should all be working to make things easier for families, not more confusing. As a national children’s health organization, we stand behind the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.”
NICHQ currently leads multiple initiatives seeking to reduce sleep-related infant deaths, including the Safe Sleep Infant Mortality Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network and the National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep Improvement and Innovation Network (NAPPSS-IIN). These initiatives both illustrate the critical importance of providing families with consistent messaging and education about safe sleep practices and products—whether by modeling safe sleep in hospitals or raising awareness about safe sleep practices through city-wide campaigns and targeted community outreach.
“As a leader in the effort to promote safe sleep as a national norm, NAPPSS-IIN members are speaking out in support of an immediate recall of the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play and other inclined sleepers that do not meet the AAP standards for a safe sleep environment,” says Michael Goodstein, MD, a neonatologist and faculty expert for NAPPSS-IIN. “Before another infant can be harmed, we are urging the breastfeeding and safe sleep communities to spread the word about the danger of unsafe products.”
Supporting Indigenous Families for Improved Health Outcomes
Indigenous mothers and birthing people, fathers, partners, caregivers, and families, can speak for themselves. So, make sure seats are available – and filled – on your projects, your teams, your boards. Many projects within the MCH field have steering committees, and all should have family representation. As I hope you’ve intuited, it’s not enough to carry a message. When I think about justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion with regard to our committees, our faculty experts, or even in our improvement advisors, I have begun to ask the question: Are there people from American Indian and Alaska Native communities here?
Making Fathers Visible in Maternal and Child Health
From cognitive and social emotional development to education and accomplishments, children with involved fathers achieve better health outcomes. Yet despite fathers’ positive impact on maternal and child health, many of the systems intended to serve women and children were not designed with fathers in mind. That’s why we’re sharing strategies to increasing father involvement in early childhood programs.
Indianapolis Gives Moms and Babies in Prison a Healthy Start
Committed to championing a too-often forgotten population, Indianapolis Healthy Start partnered with the state’s women’s prison system to ensure that moms and babies could receive all recommended services and supports, starting with prenatal care and continuing for two years after birth.
Seven Strategies for Conducting Successful Services Virtually
Across the country, health and social service providers have had to find new ways to support children and families in the face of COVID-19. Home visiting services, pediatric well-child visits, prenatal care and mental health appointments have largely had to transition from in-person appointments to visits virtually—either via phone or video. By learning how to conduct a successful virtual visit, health and social service providers can help ensure children and families receive the support they need during and after this pandemic.
In the Face of COVID-19, Baltimore Healthy Start Builds Resiliency
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted daily life across the country, with schools and childcare closed, routine medical care delayed, public transportation limited, and millions of jobs lost. These disruptions have disproportionately affected vulnerable low-income communities where families already face significant threats to their health and well-being, including housing and food insecurity and less access to medical care. In response, Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc. has launched a multi-pronged approach to support the families they serve.
Strengthening Early Childhood Systems: Lessons from the Pandemic and a Call to Action
For years, experts have called for a comprehensive system that links young children and families to needed health and social services at the community, state, and federal level. The coronavirus pandemic has revealed that the need for that system is more urgent than ever.