I became a grandma about the same time as several co-workers/friends became parents. A statement I heard a lot was “things have changed since you were a parent, so it was recommended to take a new grandparents class…” Well yes, things have changed, Grandma but let’s talk about whether or not we need to take a class.
Here are a few of the things that have changed:
- Crib bedding – WTHeck, why is every piece sold separately and why is there a disclaimer when I click on a crib bumper???? I was told crib bumpers are not recommended because a baby can suffocate in them. Okay, but I thought crib bumpers were designed to keep said baby from getting their arms or legs caught in the rails??
In 2006, a study was published that linked 27 infant deaths to a crib bumper from 1985 – 2005. Yes, 27 deaths in 20 years. There were over 70 million babies born between 1985 and 2005. This study was significant enough to ban crib bumpers in two states, to force retailers to no longer sell crib bedding as a bundle and to also decide that NO soft bedding should be allowed in a crib, including a blanket.
- Cold medicine – My granddaughter had a head cold, couldn’t breathe very well and was just generally miserable. We tried propping her head up and using a humidifier with no luck. Every cold medicine I could find was for children 6 years and up and I know I had given my son an over-the-counter medicine when he was little.
In 2008, the FDA recommended that children under 2 years old should not be given any type of cold medicine. It was a recommendation not a requirement and manufacturers responded by changing their packaging to indicate that their product was not suitable for children under 4 years old. The AAP recommended waiting until a child was 6 years old and several manufacturers changed their packaging again.
The FDA’s recommendation was based on an increase in Emergency Room visits from parents with children who had overdosed on cold medicine. Children were taking cold medicine unsupervised or parents were either using a large eating spoon to give medicine; or they were giving two different types of cold medicine with doses too close together with both medicines containing acetaminophen.
- Rear-facing car seats – This idea was completely foreign to me. Rear-facing wasn’t an option when my son was little and the options for car seats was making my head hurt.
In 2007, a study was published that indicated children were 75% less likely to be injured in a car accident if they were rear-facing. The AAP recommended that children sit rear-facing until they were 20lbs or 1 year. Recently the AAP recommended that children sit rear-facing until at least 2 years and preferably until they are 4.
The first study and subsequent ones, all focus on front-end and side crashes. A recent study however looked at rear-end crashes with the same speed criteria (30 mph) and that study indicates that the impacts to a child sitting rear-facing is the same as a child sitting front-facing in a front-end crash.
I am not going to tell any grandparent to not take a class, buy the bumpers, give a child cold medicine or to feel free to follow the state law on rear vs front-facing car seats. I will tell you to not assume that the way you parented is incorrect. The second thing is that knowledge is a powerful thing.
Davilyn Ward is a member of the FB group, The FIRST Young Glam-ma (Grandma’s) Group