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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area.  His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM.   His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

More recently, Dr. Smith has adopted the 21st century technology of audio and video podcasting as conduits for the short health and wellness reports, HEALTH NEWS YOU SHOULD USE.  Many of these have video versions, and they may be found on his YouTube page:

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.

If you have questions or suggestions about this content, please email the doctor at or leave him a message at 516-778-8864.  His website is:

Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only.  Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Apr 11, 2019


Babies are dying in these infant rocker-sleepers when they roll over or twist their airways and suffocate.  The death count is a reported 32 infants, but that count likely under estimates the number.  

The device all over the news is the Fisher-Price Rock ’n Play Sleeper but alone lists more than 40 similar products made by Fisher-Price, a division of Mattel Toys, but also Graco, 4Moms, Ingenuity, Disney, Tiny Love, Bright Start, Born Free, and more.  Any of these devices that cuddle a baby in an inclined or even a level position can be deadly for an infant capable of twisting and turning.

Infants should sleep flat in a crib devoid of any blankets, bumpers, pillows, or loose sheets.  If you are a parent, grandparent, nanny, sitter, or daycare staff member, do not put an infant into one of these sleeper-rocker devices.  

Efforts by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Consumer Reports are now underway to have them recalled.  That all takes time, and you need to act immediately.

If your baby does have a tendency to spit up or reflux, don’t elevate the infant hoping that it will safely prevent upflow of stomach contents.  Instead, you should be feeding your baby thickened liquids, burbing the baby often to prevent the stomach from filling with air, and holding your baby upright for up to 60 minutes to permit the stomach to empty. 

If you do place your infant in a carseat either in the vehicle or in an attached platform at home or on wheels, watch your baby like a hawk for any breathing issues or adverse skin color changes indicating a respiratory obstruction.  You cannot leave an infant unattended in a carseat!

Sudden unexpected infant death is a tragedy from which no parent can ever recover.  Don’t let it happy to you or to your family.

#parenting #pediatrics #infantrocker #infantsleeper #suddeninfantdeath #gerd #carseat #suffocation