Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Launches Safe Swaddling Initiative to Reduce Hip Dysplasia in Infants
New moms use swaddling, the practice of wrapping a baby in a blanket for warmth and comfort, to curb restlessness, promote longer sleep time and help develop motor-skill growth in their newborn. However, exercising improper swaddling technique can lead to hip dysplasia, according to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.
Doctors at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta are encouraging parents and professionals to learn a more improved form of swaddling, which includes leaving room at the bottom of the blanket for the infant’s hips and legs to move freely. Wrapping a baby’s legs too tightly with the hips and knees extended can be detrimental to the hips, especially in the first three months of life.
“About one in every 20 babies has some form of looseness in their hips,” said Dr. Tim Schrader, Medical Director of the Hip Program at Children’s. “Improper swaddling can make this worse.”
Dr. Schrader’s team of physicians, nurses and physical therapists launched a system-wide initiative to teach Children’s staff this improved form of swaddling. His team is also working with birthing hospitals and pediatricians around metro Atlanta to teach safe swaddling in hopes of reducing hip dysplasia in infants.
In order for swaddling to allow healthy hip development, the baby’s legs should be able to bend up and out at the hips. This position allows for natural development of the hip joints. Swaddling infants with the hips and knees in an extended position could potentially lead to hip dysplasia and dislocation.
For more information and to view a step-by-step instructional video, visit www.choa.org/swaddling.
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Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a not?for?profit organization, is committed to enhancing the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research and education. Managing more than half a million patient visits annually at three hospitals and 17 neighborhood locations, Children’s is one of the largest clinical care providers for children in the country. Children’s offers access to more than 30 pediatric specialties and is ranked among the top children’s hospitals by U.S.News & World Report. With generous philanthropic and volunteer support, Children’s has made an impact in the lives of children in Georgia, the United States and throughout the world. Visit www.choa.org for more information.