Study Looks at Safety, Effectiveness of High Tech Baby Monitors

Study Looks at Safety, Effectiveness of High Tech Baby Monitors

As technology advances, the abundance of smartphone monitors that are aimed at giving parents of newborns more peace of mind have flooded the market.

A recent study looked at the safety and effectiveness of smartphone-integrated monitors that claim to monitor a baby’s vital signs while they’re sleeping.

The type of monitors that were studied were those that have special sensors that are designed to alert parents when there is a problem with a baby’s pulse or heart rate.

Kimberly Giuliano, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic Children’s, did not take part in the study, but said that one of the biggest concerns that doctors have about these monitors is that they’re not regulated.

“They are not tested and regulated by the FDA, so they don’t have to go through the same rigors that medical equipment would,” Giuliano says. “So it’s quite possible that something could happen to a child that the monitors wouldn’t necessarily pick up on.”

The study authors expressed concern over the ability of these monitors to trigger false alarms, which can put both parents and babies through unnecessary stress.

Giuliano says when it comes to monitoring a healthy baby, a device that will aid a parent’s ability to hear or see their baby is enough.

She says that video monitors are helpful, because when parents can see the baby on the screen of their smart phone, they are able to tell if the baby is crying because they want to be held, or if they’re crying because something happened and a parent needs to go in and help.

Giuliano says what most parents and doctors worry about in the first year of life is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, which is an unexplained death of a seemingly healthy baby during their sleep.

She cautions parents from allowing any monitor to give them a false sense of security.

“The biggest thing that we’re concerned about when babies are sleeping at night is SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – and that’s silent,” Giuliano says. “There’s nothing that’s going to show up on a monitor that’s necessarily going to tell us that. So just because you’re not hearing anything, doesn’t always mean that everything is 100 percent okay.”

Giuliano adds that the most important thing when it comes to laying baby down to sleep, is to remember what doctors call the “ABCs” of sleep. This means a baby must sleep alone, on their back, and in a crib to minimize the risk for accidental suffocation.

Click here to see complete results of the study.

— Submitted by Cleveland Clinic News Service

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