Monday, March 14, 2011

6:40 -- Baby Hip Health Week

STEPS Charity in the UK celebrates Baby Hip Health Week March 13th-19th. It would be great to have a similar thing in the States. I think holding an event such as "Put the Kettle On" is a fantastic idea.

Baby Hip Health Week 2011
Following the success of our Baby Hip Health Weeks ( 2008, 2009 and 2010 we are holding another Baby Hip Health Week 13th - 19th March 2011 to continue to raise awareness amongst parents and health professionals of the vital need to check babies' hips during the first few weeks of life to prevent unnecessary pain and disability in later years.

Safe Swaddling
As part of Baby Hip Health Week in 2011 we want parents and professionals to learn how to swaddle babies correctly because if done wrong it can potentially lead to hip dysplasia.

Whilst swaddling can comfort a baby, reduce crying and assist with settled sleep patterns, in order for healthy hip development, the legs should be able to bend up and out at the hips and the baby’s legs should not be tightly wrapped straight down and pressed together. Swaddling infants with the hips and knees in an extended position may increase the risk of hip dysplasia and dislocation.
It’s also important that when using a travel system, a baby’s legs should not be restricted in a straight down and pressed together position. They need to be able to spread their legs wide in an “abducted position” and care should be taken on limiting the time your baby spends in these “bucket type seats” as this could affect the way the hip grows, causing hip dysplasia.

We don’t want to scare you but by swaddling babies in the wrong way or putting them in travel systems for extended periods of time, there is a real risk that you could affect the growth of your child’s hips.

STEPS is working with the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI) to promote safe swaddling. They have produced a safe swaddling video.

Hip Dysplasia Facts:
In the UK alone, up to 2000 children a year are diagnosed with Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH), which describes a range of conditions from mild instability to total dislocation of the hip. Early detection means DDH can often be corrected by a simple outpatient treatment, but a later, or missed, diagnosis can leave a child requiring hospitals stays, operations and potentially a permanent disability.
The story so far………
•STEPS published a Baby Hip Screening
•EDM (Early Day Motion) with a staggering 118 MP signatures calling for improvements
•Raising profile of STEPS and DDH with the Department of Health via a letter writing campaign with MPs and Ministers
•Raising awareness of DDH and screening with general public through national and regional press coverage in 20 + newspapers across the country plus local TV and radio.
•Representation on the New-born Infant Physical Examination (NIPE) Implementation Group
•Telling the parents’ story at conferences and training sessions for health professionals.
One of our most dedicated campaigners, STEPS Trustee, Oonagh Keith became involved with STEPS when her daughter was given a late diagnosis of DDH.
She said: "When Siomha was born, she was discharged from hospital without an examination. I mentioned at her 6-8 week check that she made some funny leg movements but no action was suggested and yet at 14 months old a complete dislocation of the hips was diagnosed"
The aim of our Baby Hip Health Awareness Week is to continue to raise awareness amongst parents and health professionals of the vital need to check babies' hips during the first few weeks of life to prevent unnecessary pain and disability in later years. Putting it simply early diagnosis is so important because:
•Early treatment is cheap and simple - A simple splint put on in outpatients.
•Late treatment is costly and complex - Inpatient treatment involving invasive surgery & hip spicas. Also late treatment is more likely to lead to problems in later life.
We want you to:
•Distribute the STEPS award winning leaflet on Baby Hip Health to your local surgery or clinic.
•Host a “Put The Kettle On” fundraising event whereby you hold a tea/coffee morning at home, work or in the community to spread the word about baby hip health and help raise vital funds at the same time.
•Get your story featured in a local magazine or newspaper to raise awareness. Alternatively send us your story and we will try and get media coverage for you.
Anyone wishing to get further advice, tell their story to the media, distribute leaflets or wanting a “Put The Kettle On” fundraising pack please contact the STEPS helpline or email  or phone 01925 750271

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