PRODUCT ALERT: Parent Early Childhood Education Series
An urgent message for those who have purchased or own a copy of the Parent Early Childhood Education Series or any portion of this Series:
It has come to our attention that two passages in these materials, published by APH in 1993, suggest placing an infant to sleep on his or her tummy. Since that publication date, this practice has been linked to the occurrence of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Although the causes of SIDS are not known, The American Academy of Pediatrics now advises: “One of the most important things you can do to help reduce the risk of SIDS is to put your healthy baby on his her back to sleep. Do this when your baby is being put down for a nap or to bed at night . . . Your baby can be placed on his or her stomach when awake. Some 'tummy time' during awake hours is good for your baby.” www.aap.org/new/sids/reduceth.htm
Please DELETE these two passages from all copies of the Parent Early Childhood Ed. Series:
* DELETE: “Put your baby to bed on his tummy.” (General Suggestions 1, “General Suggestions for Infants with Visual Impairments,” left column, fourth paragraph)
* DELETE: “Put your baby down to sleep on his tummy.” (Motor Skills 5, “Head Control,” right column, third paragraph)
We suggest you ADD this statement to both pages:
“Ask your doctor which positions are safest for your baby. Most babies should be put on their backs to sleep but can be placed on their tummy when awake and supervised.”
Other pages in the Parent Early Childhood Ed. Series suggest placing the baby on his or her tummy for activities: Emotional Development 3, Sensory Development 6, Motor Skills 6, and Cognitive Skills 3. Although these imply that the baby is awake while on his or her tummy, the caution statement should also be added to these pages.
Above all, it is important to note that the guidelines established by the American Academy of Pediatrics are for most, but not all infants. It is critically important that caregivers follow their doctor's recommendation regarding their child's positioning. Many children with visual impairments have additional risk factors and contra-indications that must be taken into account. The risk of SIDS for infants weighing less than 3.5 pounds at birth or for infants who have already had an apparently life-threatening event is greater than for the general population; however, it is possible that other factors, such as reflux disease (also linked to low birth weight) may influence the doctor's recommendation.
Another risk factor associated with SIDS is the presence of soft bedding, pillows, or stuffed toys in the crib. In keeping with the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics that such items be removed from infants' cribs and sleeping areas, please delete the following sentence:
*DELETE: “Alter the objects in the crib: put in different toys, pillows, blankets, etc.” (Orientation and Mobility 1, “Listening and Moving,” left column, third paragraph, third sentence)
For more information about SIDS risk factors and research, contact:
American SIDS Institute
Thank you for complying with our request to update these materials in order to safeguard the well-being of children whose caregivers use the Parent Early Childhood Education Series. If you have distributed photocopies of the materials, please contact anyone who may have received these and alert them to these changes.