Every year thousands of babies are affected by hip dysplasia, a condition that happens, when children are born with the hip out of the socket, or when the bones of the hip joint are not aligned properly. This condition prevents the hip joint from functioning correctly, which in return makes the joint wear out much faster. If hip dysplasia is left undetected, it can lead to hip arthritis, and may lead to a necessary hip replacement.
Pediatric Orthopedist Dr. Charles Price at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and head of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute offers the following information about hip dysplasia, and he draws a connection between incorrect swaddling and hip dysplasia.
Q: Can Hip Dysplasia be prevented? What can be done?
A: The earlier hip dysplasia is detected, the easier it is to correct without surgery. Orthopedists have recently discovered a connection between hip dysplasia and tight swaddling. Swaddling an infant has many positive effects, but unfortunately many parents are taught to swaddle the baby’s entire body to create a tight cocoon. The restriction of movement in the lower half of the body can lead to post-natal hip dysplasia.
Q: How does undetected hip dysplasia manifest itself later in life?
A: Hip Dysplasia can be a “silent” condition meaning that pain is not normally felt until much later in life. Undetected or “hidden” hip dysplasia is the most common cause of hip arthritis in young women under the age of 50. It also accounts for about 10% of all total hip replacements in the U.S. each year, or approximately 35,000 from hip dysplasia.
Q: Where can I learn more?
A: For additional information on hip dysplasia, including safe swaddle tips and how to recognize the condition in your child, visit www.hipdysplasia.org.
Check out this video with Pediatric Orthopedist Dr. Charles Price, where he teaches how to swaddle properly and provides important information about hip dysplasia.
Risk factors for hip dysplasia:
- Family history of hip dysplasia
- Breech position in the womb
- Prolonged or frequent tight swaddling with the legs straight
- Twisted neck or foot
- Birth weight more than 8 lbs 13 oz
- Mother more than 35 years old
- Hip click
Signs To Look For When Checking For Hip Dysplasia:
- Uneven buttocks creases where one crease is higher than the other
- When changing diapers, one or both legs don’t spread out as fully as they
- A consistent clicking or bumping sensation when changing diapers
- One leg appears shorter than the other
- An extra crease is noticed on the inside of the thigh suggesting that the thigh is thicker and shorter than it should be. This is more noticeable, if only one side is involved.
You can help your baby have healthy hips by recognizing risk factors, keeping your doctor appointments, and protecting your baby’s hips without swaddling the legs too tightly in the first few months of life.
Your pediatrician is trained in methods to examine a baby’s hips to detect hip dysplasia. When in doubt, ask him/her to check the hips carefully. Hip dysplasia does not cause pain or keep your baby from sitting, crawling, and walking at a normal age.
After walking age you may notice:
- Your child stands and walks with one foot on tiptoes with the heel off the
- floor (because of difference in leg lengths)
- Visible limping on one side
- If both sides are involved, there will be a waddling gait that is more
- exaggerated than a normal baby and excessive sway back posture in addition to the waddling gait.
Despite having three children already, I still find myself a bit confused when it comes to swaddling, and when I return home from the hospital with my little one, I am always afraid that I am swaddling my newborn the wrong way. After three children, and three different hospitals, I have learned how to swaddle my newborn on many occasions, but I still don’t feel confident in my swaddling technique.
There are many ways to swaddle babies by using regular blankets, but HALO now offers an alternative with the HALO SleepSack Swaddle. To make Swaddling hip healthy, the legs need ample room for bending and movement from the hip, and the HALO SleepSack Swaddle provides a perfect hip healthy environment. There is no longer any confusion, because swaddling your newborn with the HALO SleepSack Swaddle is easy, simple and hip healthy.
I am a huge fan of the HALO SleepSacks, because not only do these comfortable sleepsacks help prevent SIDS by keeping comforters and blankets out of the crib, they also help protect against hip dysplasia. The HALO SleepSacks Swaddler is made of 100 percent cotton, they are machine washable, and they are perfectly soft.
The HALO SleepSack Swaddler is extremely easy to use, just see the video above for clear instructions. However, just in case you are still confused HALO has you covered, and let’s face it you might just be at 4:12 AM, when your baby wakes up fuzzy. Inside of the HALO SleepSack Swaddler is a picture that shows you the two ways of swaddling with the HALO SleepSack Swaddler, it simply does not get any easier than that.
For More Information
For more information on hip dysplasia, including safe swaddle tips and how to recognize the condition in your child, visit www.hipdysplasia.org. You can also learn more about the HALO Sleepsack at the HALO website, and you can purchase the HALO SleepSack Swaddle at Amazon.com, or at your local baby store.
To help everyone swaddle safely, HALO Innovations is offering a Halo Sleepsack Swaddle, which is considered “hip healthy” to one of Frugality Is Free’s readers.
This giveaway will end Wednesday July 11th at Midnight. EST.
Disclaimer: The information, prize and sample was provided by HALO. I received a complimentary HALO SleepSack Swaddle for the purpose of writing a review and hosting a giveaway, no monetary compensation was received. Any opinions expressed above are based solely on my experience with the HALO SleepSack Swaddle.