An article in the 2/1/11 New York Times by Andrew Martin discussed safe and unsafe equipment for infants and toddlers. It is hard to believe that some parents still place infants on their stomachs to sleep after all the press about sudden infant death (SIDS). It is even harder to believe that parents leave soft pillows, toys and other things in a crib that can cause suffocation. It has been know for many years that these could cause sudden infant death. The New York Times article discusses the use of crib bumpers. They, too, are now considered to be a possible cause of SIDS. I think this is difficult to really judge because there could also be toys or pillows in a crib. Certainly any crib bumpers should be solid and firmly anchored. Sleep positioners have also been faulted as causing infant deaths, as have baby monitor cords and cribs with sides that can fall down.
One of my great concerns is that parents these days seem to have the mistaken idea that playpens and gates on a child's playroom can retard development. I think the use of both is extremely important. How can a parent or caretaker keep a child safe if a little one can wander around the house when a parent or caretaker is answering the phone, taking a shower, or emptying the trash? My two adult children are both extremely bright and creative and I used a playpen and gates on their playrooms. My own grandchild was crawling around in a house with a door leading from the small eating space down to the basement. If the door was left open she could have fallen down the basement stairs to the concrete floor below. Fortunately, her father purchased a playpen as soon as I pointed out what could happen if the door was left open. She is now a wonderful artist and an A student, so i don't think her development was retarded by the use of a playpen!