Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 5th 2017 Contents A22 body & soul
guardian.co.tt Monday, June 5, 2017
Baby boxes recommended during first week of infancy
Bed-sharing, the unsafe prac-
tice in which parents sleep in the
same bed as their babies, is asso-
ciated with sleep-related deaths in
infants, including sudden infant
death syndrome (SIDS) and acci-
dental suffocation and strangula-
tion in bed.
However, a research team at Tem-
ple University Hospital (TUH) has now
found that face-to-face postpartum
education about safe infant sleep,
combined with the distribution of a
baby box, which is a cardboard bassi-
net, reduced the rates of bed-sharing
during babies' first eight days of life.
The research was presented May 6 at
the Pediatric Academic Societies Meet-
ing in San Francisco, US.
To promote a safe sleeping environ-
ment for babies, the American Acad-
emy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends
room-sharing without bed-sharing,
a firm mattress, breastfeeding, baby
sleeping on the back and avoidance
of exposure to smoking, alcohol and
"In an effort to address the com-
mon high-risk behaviours associated
with infant mortality, we created the
Sleep Awareness Family Education at
Temple, or SAFE-T, programme," says
Megan Heere, MD, Assistant Professor
of Pediatrics at the Lewis Katz School
of Medicine at Temple University and
Medical Director of the Well Baby Nurs-
ery at TUH. "The programme seeks to
use education and baby boxes to curb
those high risk behaviors."
TUH is located in North Philadelphia,
an area that has one of the highest in-
fant mortality rates in the United States
with many babies born into poverty and
to young mothers who do not have ad-
equate resources to care for a newborn.
In order to determine if TUH's
SAFE-T programme was effective in
reducing the rates of bed-sharing,
the Temple research team performed
a prospective, controlled, interrupted
time series study using mothers and
infants who were discharged together
between January 1, 2015 and Novem-
ber 15, 2016. Within 72 hours after
discharge the mother was contacted by
phone for a standard post-discharge
interview to assess sleep environment
for the babies, including where their
baby sleeps. Baby box was added as a
response option after May 3, 2016, the
date that Temple began providing baby
boxes free of charge to all mothers who
delivered at TUH.
The study was divided into two
groups. The control group, whose
data was collected between January
1, 2015 and February 7, 2016, received
standard nursing discharge instructions
which included instructions on safe
infant sleep. Data for the intervention
group was collected between February
8, 2016 and November 15, 2016. The
intervention group received education
that included AAP safe infant sleep rec-
ommendations delivered in person by a
select group of registered nurses, under
the direction of a pediatrician. Each
mother was also given a summary of
the teaching points on a laminated door
hanger. The intervention group also re-
ceived a baby box, complete with a foam
mattress, cotton fitted sheet and baby
supplies. Each mother also watched a
three-minute instructional video on
the use of the baby box as a bassinet.
Temple contacted 5,187 mothers for a
post-discharge interview between Jan-
uary 1, 2015 and November 15, 2016. A
total of 2,763 mothers completed the
interview, with a response rate of 54 per
cent for the control group and 52 per
cent for the intervention group.
The research team found that:
• Face-to-face sleep education and
providing a baby box with a firm mat-
tress and fitted sheet reduced the rate of
bed-sharing by 25 per cent in the first
eight days of life.
• For exclusively breastfed infants,
a population at increased risk of
bed-sharing, bed-sharing was reduced
by 50 per cent.
• Of the mothers who received the
baby box, a majority said they used the
box as a sleeping place for their infants.
• Of the mothers who received the
baby box, 12 per cent said they used the
box as the primary or usual sleeping
space for their infants.
• Of the mothers who exclusively
breastfed and also used the box as a
sleeping space, 59 per cent said the
box made breastfeeding easier.
(Temple University Health System. )
Bed-sharing with your new baby is not recommended---you might accidentally suffocate them.
Babies under a year old don't
need fruit juice and older kids
should take it easy on juice, the
American Academy of Pediatrics
said this month (May 2017).
Fruit juice is loaded with sugar and
can cause tooth decay. And because
it tastes so good and is easy to suck
down from a bottle or sippy cup, it's
easy for little kids to get too much,
the academy said in new guidance.
"Fruit juice and fruit drinks are
easily overconsumed by toddlers
and young children because they
taste good," the AAP said in updated
advice on fruit juice.
While kids and adults alike need
plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables,
juice is not the best way to get that
nutrition, the AAP said.
"Fruit juice offers no nutritional
benefits for infants younger than one
year," it said. Juice is loaded with sugar
and calories and doesn't have the fibre
that whole fruit has.
“One hundred per cent fresh or re-
constituted fruit juice can be a healthy
part of the diet of children older than
one year when consumed as part of a
well-balanced diet. Fruit drinks, how-
ever, are not nutritionally equivalent
to fruit juice."
The new guidance:
• Infants don’t need juice unless a
doctor says so.
• Toddlers aged one to three should
get no more than four ounces a day
of juice and up to six ounces for kids
up to age six.
• Kids aged up to 18 need no more
than eight ounces a day.
• Don’t give toddlers juice in bottles
or sippy cups or at bedtime. Instead,
encourage children to eat fruit. (NBC)
Babies don't need juice
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