For years now, Halo SleepSack has been a recommended product for babies to help prevent SIDS. But did you know that the SleepSack Swaddle was also a highly recommended product for the prevention of hip dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia is the medical term for instability, or looseness, of the hip joint that affects thousands of children each year. This ranges from mild instability to complete dislocation. Approximately one out of every 20 full-term babies has some hip instability and two or three per thousand will require treatment.
Hip dysplasia is not a “birth defect” because nothing is missing. This looseness is because the mother makes hormones that help ligaments relax during the birth process. Those hormones affect the baby’s hips, and girls seem to be more affected than boys. The birth position may also stretch the hip joints and make them loose.
Fortunately, most loose hips in babies tighten up naturally and the hips grow correctly. That happens almost 90% of the time, but tight swaddling, genetics, and other conditions can prevent natural correction from occurring. There is also a recent understanding that mild hip dysplasia is a very common cause of hip arthritis in young adults. Almost one third of hip joint replacements before the age of 50 are because of unrecognized hip dysplasia. About 10% of all hip joint replacement surgery is because of minor forms of hip dysplasia.
Prevention and early diagnosis are the keys to simple treatment before the hip dislocates or becomes stuck in a bad position.
Although swaddling has been used for years to reduce the startle reflex, you can swaddle a baby incorrectly. Swaddling babies the wrong way can cause serious hip problems. To prevent hip dysplasia it is important to leave the babies hips and legs free allowing them to move freely instead of being tightly strapped with the legs straight together.
In order to reduce the risk of hip dysplasia we recommend avoidance of swaddling with the hips and knees in an extended position. A leading proponent of swaddling, Harvey Karp, M.D., has stated, "Contemporary swaddling techniques…permit infants to be snugly wrapped with their hips being safely flexed and abducted." Additional free movement in the direction of hip flexion and abduction may have some benefit. The HALO SleepSack wearable blanket and SleepSack Swaddle have sufficient legroom to allow safe swaddling and free movement of the hips and knees.
You can purchase the Halo Swaddle Sleepsack for $28.95 from Halo
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