You may think you’re protecting your kids from dangerous germs and bad smells.
But according to a new study, it’s not as simple as that.
A new study conducted by researchers at Cornell University and The Ohio State University suggests the risk of death or serious injury to a newborn is higher in people who own older cameras.
“The risk of a serious accident, death, or serious disability is higher for older cameras compared to younger cameras, regardless of whether or not they were used,” study author Michael Fennell said in a statement.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing, examined data from more than 1,000 infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and children under age five who were aged between 0 and 4 months.
Researchers found that the risk for serious injury and death for children aged between 4 and 7 months was 1.5 times higher for those who owned older cameras than for those with younger cameras.
The study, titled “Parents’ use of cameras during pregnancy and breastfeeding is associated with a higher risk of maternal death or maternal disability in the newborn,” found that those who were not pregnant, breastfeeding, or had previously been exposed to germs or a substance that could affect a newborn were three times more likely to have died or been seriously disabled.
“This may be because they were exposed to a germs that could have caused harm to their newborn, and they did not have time to protect themselves against these germs,” Fennells said in the statement.
“If you’ve been in a situation where you have a young baby, it might be easier for you to protect them than to be proactive and ask your doctor to make sure you’re taking precautions.
If you’ve got a baby that’s younger than 8 months, it may be more difficult for you, as well.”
Fennell’s team compared data from 3,744 people who had used cameras between ages 0 and 5 and 2,977 people who were younger than 6 months, and found the risk was significantly higher for the younger the baby.
In fact, the study found that infants who were 6 months or younger were almost three times as likely to be killed or seriously disabled as babies who were older than 2 months.
Fennells added that this may not be surprising, as older cameras have been linked to increased risks for respiratory infections, respiratory distress syndrome, and even brain trauma in infants and toddlers.
“The older the baby is, the higher the risk,” he said.
“I would expect that this study is an indication that older babies may be vulnerable to respiratory problems, such as bronchitis, which are more likely in younger babies.”
The findings could also affect the way people think about and purchase new baby products.
“If we’re looking at how much of the risk is attributable to germy things, I would expect older babies to be more expensive, and the baby would be more likely than younger babies to suffer, which is also not what the consumer wants,” Fannell said.
“So we’re going to see a lot of companies that are going to try to offer newer models that are more accessible to people who are younger than their own babies.”