In the name of technology and modern adaptations, we have complicated our lives. In early days, Caesarian delivery was a rarity, but now normal delivery has become a rarity! Parents used to nurture healthy kids without any fuss, but now we use apps to monitor vital signs in our babies or even keep a CCTV camera to monitor their activities 24×7. Where are we heading to?
Although parents might be anxious to ensure that their infants sleep peacefully through the night and take every possible step such as using smartphone applications with sensors to monitor babies’ vital signs, there is no medical evidence proving that these products work.
Products Unleashed into the Market
A wide range of baby home monitoring products have invaded the markets. Electronic sensors attached to socks, buttons and dresses continuously check for vitals such as breathing, pulse rate and oxygen levels and notify parents via smartphones in case of any deviations from the normal ranges. But repeated false alarms can wreck a parent’s peacefulness and lead to unnecessary tests performed on the baby.
But, none of these devices are tested and approved in the same way as medical devices and neither there are any evidences supporting that these monitors are safe and effective. We, as parents, have the tendency to have a peek into our children’s room to make sure that we can hear them breathe normally.
What Makes Parents Choose Wearable Monitors?
There is so much excitement, fear and anxiety during the first few weeks after a baby is born and anything that seems to be of help in reducing the anxiety level seems appealing. But, vital sign monitors are not the solution to this problem.
Marketing strategies play on the parents’ fear of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and promote their products suggesting that the apps and sensors can be used when babies sleep to assure good health. While the incidence rate of SIDS has decreased, parents should take steps from their end to ensure a peaceful sleep to their loving infant. Read more on SIDS at www.firsteatright.com.
Instead of tying some smartphone to the baby’s leg, prevention efforts such as breastfeeding and sleeping in the same room as their infants are better ways to deal with the tension. The safest place for a baby to sleep is on a firm surface such as a crib or cradle without soft bedding, bumpers or pillows.
Parents and even grandparents have lost sight of what is safe for their infant-it is the presence of a responsible caregiver that keeps a baby safe rather than some smartphone/video-monitor. We think that we have better things to do than keep monitoring a baby with our own eyes, ears and touch. This is another disadvantage attached to smartphone monitoring-it reduces the care and affection kids get directly from their parents.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.