In 2013, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) released its long-awaited update of the Australian Dietary Guidelines. The Australian Dietary Guidelines draw on the latest evidence in order to provide health professionals, policymakers, educators, food manufacturers, food retailers and researchers with information about the types and amounts of foods to eat and to recommend to the families they work with.
Questions about ‘what is the right food to eat’ attract a lot of media attention. For parents trying to feed children who can vary from voracious to extremely picky—sometimes in the course of a single day—it is an area that can be regarded as a minefield. All parents want to feed their child the best possible foods to help their growth and development. To this end, the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines focus more on whole foods than nutrients than previous editions (Sweet, 2011). This can make them more meaningful for average Australians and help to cut through the noise about what’s best to eat, helping practitioners to offer evidence-based advice with confidence.
While rates of developmental hip dysplasia had been dropping, the Department of Orthopaedics at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne has recently observed an increase in the number of families presenting with a child with significant dysplasia at a later age.
Developmental hip dysplasia is an abnormal development of the hip joint. Genetics contribute to its occurrence and it also affects girls more commonly than boys (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2000).
There are a number of risk factors for developmental hip dysplasia that can be present from birth, but the condition has also been linked to inappropriate swaddling or wrapping in infancy (Royal Children’s Hospital, 2006). Wrapping babies to help them to settle has become an increasingly common practice in Australia and is generally well received by parents and supported by health practitioners. However, when wrapping or swaddling is done in such a way that the baby’s legs are held in extension or the swaddling otherwise imposes a restriction on the hip joint, it can have a severe effect on the growing hip joint and lead to developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH).
This paper reviews the literature and the links between swaddling and DDH.