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Tight Swaddling Gives Permanent Injuries

Tight Swaddling Gives Permanent Injuries

(ePharmaNews) - Though tight swaddling may give the baby a feeling of warmth and security, studies have shown that this practice may cause the hip ball to grow aberrantly and dislocate out of the joint, which may cause limping, limb length discrepancy, and eventual pain and arthritis.

To prevent developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH), the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI) are recommending a more contemporary form of swaddling, that allows ample room for hip and knee movement.

“Many cultures, and a growing number of Americans, practice traditional swaddling – the tight wrapping of infants with their legs together and fully extended,” said orthopaedic surgeon Peter M. Waters, MD, president of POSNA. “Unfortunately, this practice places infants at a high risk for dysplasia. Instead, the infant’s arms and torso should be snugly wrapped, while the legs are wrapped loosely, ensuring the legs are bent up and out.
The legs should be free to move, and most importantly, the legs should never be wrapped in a ‘straight down’ position.”

Animal studies have shown that forced hip and knee extension in the neonatal period causes increased tension in the hamstring and hip muscles, which can lead to loose ligaments, instability, and eventually, dislocation of the thighbone from the hip socket.  Approximately one out of every 20 full-term babies has some hip instability, and 2-3 out of every 1,000 infants will require treatment, according to IHDI.

In contrast, cultures that carry their children in the straddle or “jockey” position, with their legs wrapped around a parent or caregiver’s back or torso, have very low rates of hip dislocation.

‘Hip-healthy swaddling’ – where a blanket is more loosely wrapped around the baby’s hips and legs – allowing for ample hip, knee and leg movement –  also can provide comfort and security to an infant without the risk for hip dislocation.

اضغط هنا للقراءة باللغة العربية

Prepared by: Mohammed Kanjo
Translated by: Awss Zidan

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