How Important Is Sleep?
All living creatures needs sleep. Sleep is especially important for children as it directly impacts mental and physical development. Sleep deprivation can impair a child’s learning, memory, attention, and concentration. Preschool aged children get the recommended 12 to 15 hours of sleep per day, including naps.
When children are sleep deprived, they can exhibit any combination of these symptoms:
When children don’t get enough sleep, it can have a negative effect on their overall health. Sleep deprivation in children has been linked to lowered immune systems, diabetes, depression, obesity, hindered physical development, stress and anxiety.
“PROVIDENCE, R.I., Dec. 1 - Preschoolers are getting short-changed on their sleep, just like their older siblings and their parents, according to researchers here. When 169 children ages one to five were studied, they were found to have slept an average of 8.7 hours per night and about 9.5 hours total when naps were included. This is much less than the recommended 12 to 15 hours per day, said Christine Acebo, Ph.D., of Brown Medical School in a study published in the December issue of the journal Sleep.
"The children, about half boys, wore activity monitors on their ankles or wrists to record their sleep for one week, and mothers also chronicled their children's sleep habits in detailed diaries during this time. The shortest individual mean nocturnal sleep time was 7 hours for a 12-month-old girl, and the longest was 10.4 hours for a 30-month-old girl. Sleep time was not affected by sex and, other than a dip between those aged 18 months and those aged 24 months, did not appear to be linked to age.
"Time spent napping declined sharply with age, with mothers reporting naps averaging 2.5 hours for one-year-olds but only 30 minutes for the 43% of five-year-olds who still napped.
Children who took longer naps tended to sleep less at night and awaken earlier than those who took shorter naps. However, only four- and five-year-old nappers slept less during the night compared with their non-napping counterparts.
"The researchers speculated that as adults sleep less because of fast-paced lifestyles, they may be transferring their sleep habits to their children, unaware of their children's sleep requirements.
They also noted that lack of proper sleep in older children and adults has been shown to be linked to lower academic performance and reduced cognitive functioning during the day.
"'We are concerned that the problem of too little sleep extends even to the youngest members of families, though we do not know if this puts them at risk for problems down the line,' Dr. Acebo said. However, she added, 'I think based on what we know in older children, teens, and adults, it's fair to speculate that insufficient sleep in children would be related to difficulties -- although this is an area that's been little studied for decades.'"
Primary source: Sleep
Acebo C et al. Sleep/wake patterns of healthy 1- to 5-year-old children derived from activity monitoring and maternal report. Sleep. 2005; 28(12):1286-1295
Another interesting article on sleep requirements: http://www.thehealthsuccesssite.com/daily-sleep-requirements.html
Crib Injuries Average 26 Daily in the United States. February 17, 2011 — Nearly 10,000 crib injuries in children younger than 2 years are treated in emergency departments in the United States each year, with about two thirds of the injuries resulting from a fall, a new study suggests.
Elaine S. Yeh, BS, and Gary A. Smith, MD, DrPH, FAAP, and colleagues from the Center for Injury Research and Policy, Research Institute, at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio reported their findings online February 17 in Pediatrics. According to the researchers, this is the first study to use a nationally representative sample to investigate injuries among young children associated with cribs, playpens, and bassinets.
Yeh and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System of children younger than 2 years who had been treated in emergency departments in the United States for injuries associated with cribs, playpens, and bassinets. Data from 1990 through 2008 were included in the analysis. During this 19-year study period, an estimated 181,654 (95% confidence interval [CI], 148,548 - 214,761) children younger than 2 years were treated.
On average, there were 9561 cases per year, which is estimated to represent 12.1 injuries per 10,000 children younger than 2 years per year. Of the injuries, 83.2% were attributed to cribs, 12.6% to playpens, and 4.2% to bassinets. In 66.2% of cases, falls were cited as the main cause of injury. The most common diagnosis was soft-tissue injuries (34.1%), and the most common area of injury was to the head or neck (40.3%).
Patients with fractures were hospitalized 14.0% of the time, making them 5.45 (95% CI, 3.80 - 7.80) times more likely to be hospitalized than patients with other types of injury. Children younger than 6 months were 2.97 (95% CI, 2.07 - 4.24) times more likely to be hospitalized than older children.
"Given the consistently high numbers of these injuries over the 19-year study period, current prevention strategies are clearly insufficient, and greater efforts are required to minimize the hazards associated with these nursery products," the authors note. "Healthcare professionals, child care providers, parents, and other child caregivers also should be cognizant of the recommendations for proper use of these products," they suggest.
The investigators have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Pediatrics. Published online February 17, 2011.
Check Your Crib for Safety
There should be:
Cribs that are incorrectly assembled, have missing, loose or broken hardware or broken slats can result in entrapment or suffocation deaths. Infants can become strangled when their head and neck become entrapped in gaps created by missing, loose or broken har