Safe sleep saves lives

There is nothing more innocent than a sleeping baby. There is nothing more tragic than a baby who dies in his or her sleep. Fortunately, research shows that many of these deaths can be prevented.

As a doctor at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, I see the good and the bad. I see smiling babies toddling down our hallways and giggling infants squealing with delight. But, I also …Continue reading →

Spring into good sleep habits

Spring is here! It’s so nice to have brighter, longer days, but it might mean that you’re having a hard time getting your kids to sleep in the evening.

You probably know that adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. But how much sleep do kids need?

  • Infants (birth to 12 months old) – 10 ½ to 18 hours (total of nighttime and naps)
  • Toddlers (1 to 3 years old) – 12 to 14 hours (total of nighttime and naps)
  • Preschoolers (3 to 5 years old) – 11 to 13 hours
  • School-age kids (6 to 12 years old) – 10 to 11 hours
  • Teens (13 to 18 years old) – 9 to 9 ½  hours

Here’s a helpful sleep checklist: …Continue reading →

Helping baby back to sleep

Several times a week, we find ourselves sitting in meetings discussing the best way to keep babies safe while sleeping. At Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin one of our initiatives focuses on injury prevention and death review. Additionally, we provide grief and bereavement services for families who have experienced the unexpected death of an infant. Our work keeps us motivated to find ways to keep babies safe and parents well rested!

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents follow the ABC’s of safe …Continue reading →

Smoke alarms don’t always wake a sleeping child

During the cold, snowy Wisconsin winter nights, I like to enjoy a cozy fire in our fireplace, sip hot cocoa and bundle up in a warm sweater. Sadly, winter also means a higher risk of home fires.

Did you know that over half of home fires happen late at night when people are sleeping? A nighttime house fire can be devastating, but knowing a few facts may protect your family if you wake up in the middle of the night and smell smoke.

Kids sleep more deeply than adults, and that may make it more difficult to wake them during an emergency. I recently read a study that said young children often sleep through …Continue reading →

Teens — too wired to sleep

Only 20 percent of all teens get the recommended nine hours of sleep per night. Yet more than half of all teens report feeling sleepy during the day.  The impact of this includes being late to school or falling asleep in school, being too tired to exercise or driving while drowsy.

According to a new study, electronic devices may contribute to teens not getting enough sleep at night. In the study, 100 teens filled out questionnaires about how much time after 9 p.m. they spent with various electronic devices.  The results were eye-opening: 82 percent reported …Continue reading →

Bad dreams and nighttime screams

With Halloween around the corner this month, horror movies are filling our theaters and TV guides. If your child has bad dreams, avoid these films and pay attention to what your child watches on TV.

Nightmares occur at all ages, but the peak ages are between 3 and 6 years old, when most children’s imaginations blossom. The content of these dreams varies across the age groups. Younger children may dream about separation from parents, shots at the doctor’s office or scary monsters. Older children may have nightmares about stories they’ve seen …Continue reading →

Safe sleep for babies

October is SIDS Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to review safe sleep practice for babies. Babies need to sleep safely and develop a healthy bond with their mothers. These two essential newborn needs must occur in the first months of an infant’s life, but they do not occur simultaneously.

How can a loving parent provide the safest possible sleep environment for that beautiful little infant? The most important advice has been repeated since 1992: Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep. This has cut the number of infant deaths from sudden infant death syndrome in half.

Unfortunately, 50 percent of babies still are dying. A close look at the deaths has revealed that many of these babies who died were sleeping in unsafe places. We don’t know all of the answers to the question of why these babies die. But we do know the chance of death would have been reduced if those babies were placed to sleep in the way recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

…Continue reading →

Back-to-school checklist: school supplies, clothes, sleep!

School will be starting soon. It’s time to help get your kids on a healthy back to school sleep schedule.

Kids need more sleep than adults. Children ages 6 to 12 years old need 10 to 11 hours of sleep at night. Teenagers need at least nine hours of sleep.

It’s important to get enough sleep because chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to poor school performance, behavioral, developmental and mood problems, weight gain and obesity. Drowsy teens who get behind the wheel of a car can cause a deadly accident.

Here’s a sleep checklist to start working on now:

…Continue reading →

The ABCs of safe sleep: alone, back, crib

At the Infant Death Center of Wisconsin, a significant part of our job is to educate families about the importance of a safe sleep environment and what exactly that means: Infants should be placed alone, on their backs in a crib, bassinet or portable crib for every sleep time. If these safe sleep measures were practiced, the number of preventable infant deaths in our community would be greatly reduced.

…Continue reading →

Spring ahead … and get some sleep

Most Americans will “spring ahead” and set their clocks forward one hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 8, marking the beginning of Daylight Saving Time.

Daylight Saving Time first was proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1784 as a way to conserve energy. London builder William Willett advanced the idea when he wrote the pamphlet, “Waste of Daylight” in 1907. In this publication, Willett proposed turning clocks 20 minutes ahead by 20 minutes on each of four Sundays in April, and turning them back …Continue reading →