Articles in parenting magazines can be a source of help, relief and solidarity - especially for first-time parents and parents of young children.
But the ads that run in these magazines may not be a reliable source of good information: one in six advertisements contained images or products that went against the safety recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), according to new research.
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"We had expected to see a handful of contradictions in the safe sleeping category, as previous researchers had shown most pictures of sleeping infants in these magazines depicted unsafe positions," lead study author Michael B. Pitt said in a statement. "But we were surprised at the sheer number and breadth of categories where we found offenses."
Here are some of the common advertising offenders, as identified by the experts:
Images showing toddlers eating foods that are not recommended for that age-group based on choking dangers.
Young children riding bikes without helmets.
Children swimming without life vests.
Toys that are unsafe for young kids, such as trampolines.
Perhaps, most significantly, images that show the administration of medications that have not been approved by the FDA for that age group.
Unintentional injury is one of the leading causes of death in young children in the United States - and many of the ad image "mistakes" line up with the more common accidental causes of death, including swimming without supervision or life vest, biking without a helmet, and eating age-inappropriate foods.
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Magazine editors may want to be more vigilant in screening their ads, the research team noted. Meanwhile, the key takeaway for parents is awareness.
"There are accidents and injuries that we can prevent, and those that we can't," pediatric emergency physician Elizabeth Powell told Chicago Parent.
"I may not be able to keep my 4-year-old from falling at the playground, but there are other things that I can do. And making sure those things are done can make a difference."