Expectant and new parents are under a great deal of pressure; every action is scrutinized by those around them, and food marketers and activist groups exploit their fear by telling them one food process will lead to higher grades in school while another food process will lead to obesity, cancer, endocrine disruption and anything else environmental fundraisers can dream up.
It takes no time to make such claims and exploit people for money but far longer to do studies to show if the claims are real.
Baby monitors, an electronic sensor attached to a baby's sock that monitors vital signs and alerts parents on their smart phones if, for instance, an infant's oxygen saturation level drops, cause undue alarm to parents, with no evidence of medical benefits, according to a new analysis in Journal of the American Medical Association.
The researchers focused on five models of infant physiological monitors introduced over the past two years, with names such as MonBaby, Baby Vida and Owlet, at costs ranging from $150 to $300. The manufacturers do not directly claim their products treat, diagnose or prevent disease, and the monitors have not been regulated as medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, an advertising video for Owlet mentions sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and suggests that the device may notify parents that something is wrong.
Even if these consumer monitors prove to be accurate, says Christopher P. Bonafide, MD, MSCE, of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, "there is a serious question whether these are appropriate in monitoring healthy infants. A single abnormal reading may cause overdiagnosis--an accurate detection that does not benefit a patient." For example, he says, one reading of low oxygen saturation that would resolve on its own may trigger a visit to an emergency department, followed by unnecessary blood tests, X-rays and even hospital admission.
For Healthy Babies, Baby Monitors Have No Benefit