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Posts Tagged ‘Private Practice

Last week on Private Practice one of the doctors had a new baby.  Unfortunately, the depiction of the baby’s crib was very unsafe.  This just frosts me!  Safe Sleep practices have been well documented and countless hours are spent by health professionals and not-for-profit organizations trying to spread the word to new parents about the importance of placing baby on his back, alone in a safe crib with no soft bedding.  Then, one television show comes along and wipes out much of that good work.

We know from our research that parents are heavily influenced by advertisements, magazine articles and television shows depicting baby rooms.  When talking with new parents, we hear all about J-Lo’s twins cribs (YIKES), and now this.  Why is it so difficult to incorporate a safe sleep message into these shows.  As the saying goes – a picture is worth a thousand words.  Do you think that you might have noticed if Dr. Montgomery had placed her little Henry down in a crib without bumpers, blankets, pillows, stuffed animals and a hat on his head?

Kudos to the Consumer Product Safety Commision for writing such a well-done letter to those in charge at Private Practice.

By CPSC Blogger on May 1, 2012

Dear Dr. Addison Montgomery,

On last week’s episode of “Private Practice,” we saw that you have a new baby. Congratulations on becoming Henry’s mom! As you’re learning, parenthood is life altering.

You’re clearly a mom who researches and finds the best for her baby, even supplying breast milk from a milk bank. As an obstetrician, however, we would expect you to have researched the latest information about crib safety as well.

Henry's cluttered crib on the ABC TV Show "Private Practice"

This screen grab from “Private Practice” shows baby Henry in his crib

Those blankets and pillows in the crib have to go. Henry doesn’t need the cushioning. His baby needs are different than adult needs like yours. CPSC staff estimates that between 1992 and 2010 there were nearly 700 deaths involving children 12 months and younger related to pillows and cushions. Nearly half of the infant crib deaths and two-thirds of bassinet deaths reported to CPSC each year are suffocations from a baby being placed on top of pillows and thick quilts or because of overcrowding in the baby’s sleeping space.

We are disappointed with the lack of research that went into creating Henry’s nursery, so allow us to help. We have a great video here that can teach you about how to put Henry to sleep safely. While you rightly placed Henry on his back, we did a double take through the TV for all the loose blankets and clutter in Henry’s crib.

In Henry’s — or any baby’s crib — bare is best. As a respected obstetrician watched in millions of homes around the country, we expect better.

Henry needs a firm, flat surface and nothing else.

Even though the pillow in the back of Henry’s crib looks small, pillows are a big problem in cribs. Pillows can block babies’ noses and mouths and can cause them to suffocate. On average, there are 32 infant deaths each year on pillows used as a mattress or to prop babies’ heads. The majority of these deaths are to infants in their first three months of life, just like Henry.

We’re guessing that you covered Henry with all those blankets in a well-meaning way, worried about his temperature. If his room is cold, dress him in warm clothes like footie pajamas. Do not use thick blankets. Babies can and do get their faces stuck in thick blankets and suffocate.

Thanks for taking the time to read and learn about how to make Henry’s crib safer for him. We hope he starts sleeping through the night for you soon!


The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Children’s Safe Sleep Team


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