News Roundup: May 22

Highlighting the Importance Of Focusing on Babies

  • “Once hatched, a duck can quickly go about its business, while a human infant is completely dependent on adult caregivers for about two years…. It is during this period of life that babies shape their brains from learning from others how to operate.”

  • “Few of us pay as much attention to infants’ development as we do that of third or fourth graders. Instead, we depend largely on luck to deliver children with suitably well-structured brains to the schoolhouse door. If we expect children to be successful in school, we must ensure that their brains are developed adequately in their earliest years of life.”

These two quotes from the work of our director, Dr. Ron Lally, were recently featured in a speech to retired educators by Dave Lawrence, Chair of the Children’s Movement of Florida. Mr. Lawrence noted the evidence that supports early investment in our children’s futures is everywhere, what’s needed now is action from leaders to guarantee all children a chance of success.

Further News on Safe Sleeping

Last week we linked to First 5 Santa Clara’s podcast addressing safe sleeping practices for babies. The issue of how to keep babies safe in their sleeping hours has garnered attention across the country recently.

  • A recent edition of a monthly column jointly produced by county health departments in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia discusses the factors that can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), including providing a safe sleeping environment.  [DelmarvaNow]
  • In Minnesota, safe sleep practices have drawn attention as an increased infant mortality rate in recent years revealed a trend in childcare facilities with unsafe sleep conditions. Reviewing the state’s licensing website, the Star Tribune found that a number of both home providers and larger childcare centers have been cited for license violations for not maintaining proper safety standards for babies’ sleeping areas. According to experts and advocates, a lack of education may be a major factor. With childcare providers only required to undergo SIDS and safe-sleep training every five years, there is an increased chance that they might not be aware of new research or changing recommendations.  [Star Tribune]

What’s being done with the knowledge about what’s needed for safety in our children’s sleeping hours?

  • Ohio’s Child Care Resource Center has been working to help daycare centers conform to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s revised safety standards for cribs. With the help of a grant from the Community Foundation of Lorain County, the CCRC has been able to provide nonprofit childcare centers with funding that allowed them to upgrade their cribs. In addition, a seminar for childcare workers and the public reviewed basic childcare, with a focus on sleep practices. [Chronicle-Telegram]
  • In Binghamton, NY, UHS Wilson Medical Center gives parents information on save sleep practices and has begun using and providing parents with “wearable blankets” that reduce the risk of interference with an infant’s breathing that may be caused by loose bedding.  [WBGN]
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