Thursday, March 11, 2010

Container Syndrome

I was reading an article from October today.

"Car Seats can be Dangerous Outside the Car"

Ok, so finally - an article to back up my thoughts! I see the desire to have one of those "travel systems".. it's convenient, it's easy... but what is NOT easy about wearing your baby? And it is so much nicer to be close to your baby, and you can snuggle them and smell their "BABY" smell. Ahhh.... I digress.
More than 8,700 infants end up in the emergency room each year because their car seats are used improperly outside the car, according to study presented Monday at the American Academy of Pediatrics' annual meeting in Washington.

Interesting. So first, I was wondering what on earth are they doing with these car seats? Leaving them on the roof? Flinging them around? But then I read on...
Most of the injuries in Parikh's study occurred when car seats fell off tables, countertops or other high surfaces. In some cases, babies who weren't securely buckled fell out of the seats. Babies also were injured when car seats flipped over on soft surfaces, such as beds and couches, where infants can suffocate, he says.

But, THIS is what I thought was the MOST important part of the whole article.
Spending too much time in car seats can cause other problems.

Physical therapists are seeing more babies with "container syndrome," or weak muscles and flat heads caused by too much time spent lying on their backs, says Colleen Coulter-O'Berry of the American Physical Therapy Association.

And a study in Pediatrics in August found that car seats can make it difficult for babies to get enough oxygen, which led the authors to suggest that the seats be used only while infants are in cars.

Think about it... how often are we putting our babies "IN" things. Swings, Bouncers, Car Seats, etc. They don't NEED these things. Sure, they help if you need a shower... but you just can't use them ALL day because they calm them.
Container syndrome is a relatively new term, first popularly used in mid 2008 to describe a condition observed by a variety of pediatric health care providers. In a survey sponsored by Pathways Awareness, pediatric health care workers have noted an increase in motor delays in infants, that may well be related to the amount of time infants spend on their backs. The broad strokes of container syndrome theory is that children who are not given adequate time on their tummies (tummy time) may be missing opportunities for natural and developmentally appropriate muscle development, especially of head and neck muscles.-WiseGeek

I suppose the bottomline is that we, as mothers, need to be MORE connected to our babies, both physically AND emotionally. We have to take them out of the "container" and hold them, love them, nurse them, carry them, wear them, interact with them.

Yeah yeah - I know! You have "things" to do, laundry to fold, dinner to cook. Why not try a sling - AND NOT THE ONES AT TARGET - but a real sling or wrap... Check out Maya Wraps for a good place to start.

It's not THAT hard to hold your baby. :)


Kristin said...

Do you happen to have the brand/model info for the carseat pictured in your March 11th post? My son has just been diagnosed with a severe medical condition and he cannot ride in a traditional car seat. The baby in that picture appears to be lying down.

Thanks in Advance,

The Fifth Street Mama said...

Really would you wear your baby while cooking dinner?

Anonymous said...

Absolutely. An SHBC (secure high back carry) in a quality wrap keeps baby up where he can watch all the exciting things you're doing, happily snuggled up against you, and safely away from knives and hot pans.