Can a bumpy stroller ride hurt a baby?
New parents are always very worried about the safety and security of new-burns. Loving parents always try to make every little bit perfect while the issue is the child’s care. But sometimes, misconceptions or lack of proper information may cause serious injuries or health hazards to your loving child.
Most parents plan to buy strollers even before the birth of their child. But sometimes, in their excitement to fill their baby with all possible caresses, they make mistakes in choosing the correct one suitable for their child. As precautions and timely safety checks can help your baby to avoid most of the bad situations during infancy, we are happy to guide the parents to clear conceptions about myths and beliefs related to baby strollers and how to avoid severe injuries during the baby’s ride.
If you take a quick look at the statistics, many children of age up to 2 to 3 months or even up to 2 to 5 years suffer head injuries during rides, and among 79% of career-related injuries, 65% are linked to a stroller. These daring statistics may make you a little nervous, but if you follow some safety tips and clear some misconceptions about stroller rides, the risk will lessen.
Is a bumpy stroller ride really dangerous for your baby?
As young parents are always afraid of their child’s safety, often specialists get panicked calls from parents if a bumpy stroller ride or troubles arising from Shaken Baby Syndrome. However, specialists assure that a bumpy stroller ride is not related to such life-taking syndromes, while these are mostly caused due to frustrated shaking by parents or carers at home. A fall from a little distance or a bumpy stroller ride is not that much dangerous. But to assure yourself and choose the right stroller and strategies, you should know some points.
Ways to choose the perfect stroller for your baby?
As I have already said, a bumpy or jerky ride in a stroller or even a fall from a little distance is not going to harm your baby a lot, but if you are taking your baby on a stroller ride regularly on rough terrain, keep an eye so that the baby’s head does not flop forward due to the jerk. Try to use strollers that are suitable for hard terrains and prefer heavy travel strollers. That might not be very portable, or you may prefer a light one with an umbrella for short trips, but keep your baby’s security in mind.
Be careful while buckling up or fixing the harness, and never stop your stroller on a slop or without a break. Infants need a perfect reclining position with bassinet attachment to support their head and prevent any sudden jerk. So if you intend to buy a jogging stroller, it might not be appropriate for a child below the age of 6 months. Even if you are buying a double stroller, try one with a wider base and single footrest.
As a rough terrain ride on a stroller may create a considerable jerk and discomfort to the child, most of the parents fear Shaken Baby Syndrome due to a jerky stroller ride. However, in earlier days, when people used horse-carriages or other conventional transports, that too was jerky but never proved to be life-threatening for babies. So, to be sure about the health and security of your baby, you must know in detail what is Shaken Baby Syndrome and how to prevent it if necessary.
What is Shaken Baby Syndrome, and what are its symptoms?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Shaken Baby Syndrome is a serious head and spinal bone injury caused by violent shaking to pacify babies when they cry. While this can happen due to the nurse or other family members, in most cases, even the child’s biological parents make their child a victim of such serious injury. This happens mostly when parents lose their calm due to the continuous crying of their child and try to pacify them. Sometimes even toddlers up to age 5 become the victim as parents may thrust them against the wall, and it may develop serious trauma among little children.
But for new-born, it becomes more serious due to their underdeveloped neck bones and brains that may go through a serious jerk inside the skull as somebody shakes them forcefully, and the effect rises similar to a severe car accident for the baby. Often the baby’s spinal bones get hurt or break while internal bleeding in the brain or tearing of nerves of eyes may happen during too violent jerks. Sometimes babies stop crying after shaking due to brain hemorrhage; sometimes, it leads to serious diseases.
The symptoms rise mainly after an hour or two, and it may include:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Blood-shot eyes
- Increased crying
- Seizures or loss of consciousness
This symptom may, however, vary from mild to severe and need immediate hospitalization to avoid serious long-term disorders like speech disorders, learning disability, cerebral palsy, behavior disorders, or permanent hearing impairments. It is not always very easy to determine if your baby has undergone any injury, and therefore you might be very cautious and should know about the symptoms and timely precautions to avoid any severity or mishap.
How to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome?
- To prevent such syndrome and to save your baby from serious injuries and death tolls, you should be cautious about the behavior of your caregiver and keep your family members aware of such symptoms.
- New-born babies tend to cry at some fixed times, especially during late afternoons and late evenings. Try to keep yourselves prepared and if you feel frustrated, keep your baby on the cot for some time and then calm yourself down before you return to the child as often frustration causes such serious injuries.
- Try to call other relatives or family members to ease-out your stress. You can give your baby some pacifier or give a warm bath in the baby bathtub if it denies stopping crying.
- Often they cry to make you understand their discomfort or irritability, try to understand their problem and find out if it is related to some health condition.
- If you keep your baby with caregivers, make sure they don’t have any history of bad behavior or temper with little children.
- There are some hospital-based training programs to train you way-outs to avoid frustration due to the baby’s constant crying.
- Keep in mind that gentle jogging or bouncing your baby on the lap does not cause any harm. If you find something serious, call the physician immediately.
What are the treatments for Shaken Baby Syndrome?
If you suspect that your baby might be a victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome, start with some first aid treatments at home. Lie your baby on the back, or you can roll a little to stop any further spine-bone injury. Try to pacify the baby if it cries a lot. Let the baby keep its head on rest, or you can try some chest compressions and rescue breaths until the help arrives.
Generally, physicians look for some symptoms like brain swelling, subdural hemorrhage, or retinal hemorrhage. Your baby goes through an MRI, CT Scan, or ophthalmic examination to be sure about the type of injury. They might suggest some blood tests to be sure if it is due to Shaken Baby Syndrome. Then, your baby may have to go through some surgery or medication according to the nature and severity of fracture or injury.
Your child’s safety always depends on how you treat your baby, and it is not always that the baby is always safe in your arms. Speak with other moms, or you can follow some online communities. You may also ask your pediatrician if you have any questions regarding your child’s safety. Always use safe and clean accessories for your child and try to keep yourself calm during troubles. Parenting is undoubtedly an easy job, but it is enjoyable if you love it and feel for it.
Purvi Kothari founder of shishulife is a mother of one beautiful girl and growing her well giving her experience on how to tackle the kids. She holds a degree in MBA and CS and currently pursuing PhD in business communication. Apart from writing a blog in shishulife her worlds revolve around photography, family, and baking.