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Creating an Environment for Safe and Healthy Sleep in Child Care Programs

by Bobbie Rose
March/April 2012
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/creating-an-environment-for-safe-and-healthy-sleep/5020470/

Along with nutrition, physical activity, and secure attachments, sleep is a basic requirement for a child's growth and brain development. Sleep is important for health and wellness, especially for growing infants and young children. Unfortunately, the amount of time children spend sleeping seems to be declining.

If only sleep-deprived children just got drowsy and went to sleep, but generally this is not the case. Sleep-deprived children are often impulsive, hyper-active, aggressive, overly-emotional, inattentive, and are more likely to hurt themselves. In other words, they fall apart. A recent study found that children who don't get enough sleep can mistakenly be thought to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and children who don't have a regular bedtime are more likely to have ADHD-like behaviors (Pressman & Imber, 2011). Poor sleep is also linked to obesity and impaired immune function.

Healthy practices for sleep, including those that reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SUID), support child health and family well-being. By becoming knowledgeable about sleep, you can help busy families lay the foundation for lifelong healthy sleep habits.

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