American Mothers Believe Everything Advertisers Tell Them


baby_sleeping2Attention parents: the American Association of Pediatrics wants you to stop reading magazines and watching TV. You’re getting bad messages about how to put your baby to sleep . . . and you’re believing them.

A study in the newest edition of Pediatrics says advertisers are unfailingly stupid about how babies are supposed to sleep. But as far as the media is concerned, we’re even stupider.

The study completed by The Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. found two thirds of ads show a baby sleeping in a position other than that recommended in the AAP’s Back to Sleep anti-SIDS program. A fair share had young babies sleeping in cribs with gorgeous, fluffy suffocation hazards (AKA bumpers) in their cribs.

And according to most media reports, they’re “putting babies at risk.” What a vote of confidence that is.

The truth is, the researchers were able to make no correlation between bad photos and bad parents. They’re terribly worried about what we as parents are looking at, but there’s no proof that anyone is reading an ad and saying “hey, I’ll do that now.” Because we might be relatively stupid, but we’re also relatively used to advertisers telling us everything but the truth.

On second thought, I am planning to play the falling game with an imaginary gecko this week. Because I believe everything an advertiser tells me to do . . .

Image: Wikimedia