January 5, 2017
According to the CDC, there were nearly 4 million babies born last year. That means that roughly eight million new parents are looking for ways to care for the newest addition to their family. With technology exploding at an unprecedented rate, these are exciting times in a proud parent’s life. But the stress of taking care of an infant can be pretty overwhelming.
Luckily, technology is stepping in to make the process of raising a child a little bit easier. Here’s what you can expect from the technology world when it comes to your little ones.
Monitoring Vital Signs
I had the privilege of serving as a volunteer First Responder during my college years. While other students were out partying it up and creating 911 calls, I was busy responding to them.
When we ventured off-campus and into the surrounding suburbs, I dealt with a number of stressful emergencies involving infants. The number one thing I learned was that an infant’s vital signs can plummet very, very quickly. One minute they feel a little warm to the touch, but appear happy and smiling. The next moment they’re unresponsive.
The most exciting area where technology is affecting infant care is in equipment used to monitor vital signs. For example, the pacifier thermometer is a cool gadget that measures a baby’s temperature while they enjoy the calming effects of a traditional pacifier. This is just one of many cool gadgets designed to make monitoring a baby’s health easier and less of a struggle. Have you ever taken a baby’s temperature with a rectal thermometer? Trust me, gadgets like the pacifier thermometer are a truly incredible.
The Electronic Babysitter
I remember many times growing up when my dad plugged in my Sony PlayStation, quipping that he was “engaging the electronic babysitter.” It was a great punchline that always landed at family dinners. Little did he know there was a massive change coming in the world of child care.
According to surveys of today’s parents, more than 60 percents of parents provide their children with iPads or other electronics in order to get them to stop misbehaving. Children today are trained to stimulate their imaginations with technology, rather the suppress their imagination with timeouts.
The march towards tech-literate toddlers is only gaining momentum, and tech aimed at the burgeoning toddler market appears to be focusing on five main value propositions: durability, parental control, ease of use, battery life, and accessibility to educational and other age appropriate apps.
Children are remarkably fast at picking up on new things. Leveraging technology’s capacity to help young people learn and stay healthy is certainly a trend I expect will continue far beyond 2017.
Photo: Flickr / Lars Plougmann
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