As part of Baby Hip Health Week 2012 (10th - 17th March), the national charity STEPS is calling for parents and professionals to learn how to position their babies correctly to help prevent hip dysplasia.
Teaming up with the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI) STEPS is releasing two parent friendly leaflets on hip healthy swaddling and using baby equipment in a hip friendly way. Diagrams show correct and incorrect positioning for car seats and baby harnesses and slings and show correct swaddling methods.
STEPS Director and member of the IHDI Advisory Board, Sue Banton, said, "We don't want to scare parents, but by putting their babies in inappropriate car seats or baby slings or by swaddling their babies in the wrong way there is a real risk of their child developing hip dysplasia".
The IHDI states:"Some types of baby carriers and other equipment may interfere with healthy hip positioning. Such devices include but are not limited to baby carriers, slings, wraps, pouches, car seats, exercisers, rockers, jumpers, swings, bouncers and walkers, and moulded seating items. These devices could inadvertently place hips in an unhealthy position, especially when used for extended periods of time. Any device that restrains a baby's legs in an unhealthy position should be considered a potential risk for abnormal hip development".
Sue Banton adds, "These leaflets are part of our annual Baby Hip Health Week which is intended to help 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."
To help put STEPS and DDH on the public agenda, the charity is also asking people to hold a 'Put the Kettle On' event during Baby Hip Health Week to help raise funds for their fantastic work.
For more information and guidelines please visit www.steps-charity.org.uk/Get-Involved/baby-hip-health-awareness.html or http://www.hipdysplasia.org/Developmental-Dysplasia-Of-The-Hip/Prevention/Default.aspx