Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hip Dysplasia and Baby Carriers

There has recently been some rumours over the online sphere that some baby carriers may cause hip dysplasia in young children. Since we carry a range of pouch slings and baby carriers on our website, we thought it would be helpful to put together some useful information on this topic to help clarify any doubts and fears that some parent might be feeling.

1. What is hip dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia is a condition where the bones of the hip joints do not align correctly. This is something pediatricians examine regularly from birth. If the hip joints are found to be dislocated, the pediatrician will order treatment in the form of a special harness to use 24 hours a day for several weeks. Although linked to genetics and/or birthing conditions, the exact cause of hip dysplasia is not known (more information here). Medical experts agree hip dysplasia is not caused by the use of baby carriers.

2. What causes hip dysplasia?
The exact causes of hip dysplasia are not known. The percentage is higher among babies born in breach position, and girls are more often diagnosed with this condition than boys. There are some scientific studies that shows that the rate of hip dysplasia is higher among children that have been swaddled. Therefore, swaddling your baby’s legs tightly together for a longer period of time is not recommended by pediatricians.

3. I’ve read on the International Hip Dysplasia Institute site that some types of baby carriers are not safe for my baby’s hips. Is that true? Why do they claim that?
There is actually no medical evidence to support that claim, and the Hip Dysplasia Institute actually does not provide any references to back up that statement.

4. Why do I hear rumors that certain brands of baby carriers like the Baby Bjorn are bad for my baby? What facts are they based on? 
As you often hear, don’t believe everything you read on the web. There is a lot of misleading and erroneous information circulating about baby carriers, and not one of these “rumors” is based on facts and medical advice. Unfortunately personal opinions travel easily online and the stories become even more distorted as time goes by.

It can be difficult to sort out what is medically fact-based versus solely someone’s opinion with different sources of information. If you would like to learn more about hip dysplasia, you can find some useful information from this site.

I hope that the information above can be helpful to you in making an informed choice when considering your baby carrying options based on your own preference and needs.