Can high tech baby monitors keep your baby safe?

COLUMBIA (WACH) - Jerry Reardon and his wife Eizabeth welcomed their first child, an adorable baby girl named Harper, almost a year ago.

"She's been great. She's real active, funny. Laughs a bunch. Just a great, great kid. It's been a real blessing." says Jerry.

Being new parents, Jerry and Elizabeth decided to buy the high tech Angelcare monitor to put in Harper's crib after she was born.

"We wanted to have some equipment to help us get through the night because really, you don't sleep. So eventually we moved her into her own room, put her in a crib, and this Angel monitor that we purchased basically detects movement, detects breathing. If the baby's not breathing or not moving, an alarm goes off which will shake your entire house. It's very, very loud. But anyways, it makes you feel better. A little peace of mind." Jerry explains.

Though Jerry says he and his wife also checked on Harper frequently in addition to using the monitor, some pediatricians say some parents may not be quite so careful, and the monitor could become a crutch.

"The more fancy the monitor is, when you move out of a basic monitor, may be leading the parents into what I would consider to be a false sense of security. You've still got to be sure to check on the baby and make sure the baby's okay. If you rely totally on the monitor to go off that the baby has a problem, then you may sleep through a tragedy." says Dr. Guy Castles, a pediatrician for Pediatric Associates at Palmetto Health Richland.

A tragedy that SafeKids Midlands says can help be avoided by simply knowing the basics before you put your baby to bed.

"Our best practice would be for parents to use our safety guidelines for putting their child to sleep. Which means that child is sleeping alone, in their crib, and there should be nothing else in their crib besides the child. And that child should be sleeping on their back." says Kevin Poore from SafeKids Midlands.

Dr. Castles says if parents follow those guidelines in addition to checking on their baby in person, the monitor can be a good ally.

"I wouldn't say that they're bad. If parents are looking for a sense of security that this brings to them, and it makes them feel more secure to have this type of monitor, that would be fine. I would never say that this is a bad thing. I would just say it's unnecessary." states Dr. Castles.

Jerry says he and his wife did eventually feel comfortable enough to remove the monitor once Harper got a little older.

"We took it out probably after six or seven months. So the last four months has just been using the video monitor, which now that she's standing up she's grabbing at that, so that makes it another task in itself." laughs Jerry.

But Jerry says if he and Elizabeth do have another little one, the Angelcare monitor will certainly be making another appearance.