Let’s Change the World – SIDS Awareness Month

Dear Owlet Family & Friends,

My name is Kurt Workman, CEO and Founder of Owlet. During the last five years, I’ve dedicated my time and energy to creating a safer world for infants and a better quality of life for parents. The moment my wife and I decided to have kids, I was concerned about the potential of a hereditary heart condition that could impact our children. When my wife was an infant, she nearly passed away in her crib but my mother-in-law’s intuition led her to check on her. My wife was found lifeless in her crib and was rushed to the hospital for lifesaving, open-heart surgery. I knew I didn’t want to rely on my intuition alone. With the advances in today’s technology, I knew there had to be a better way to watch over our infants while they slept. It blew my mind that we had the technology to tell me practically everything, except for what was most important to me as a parent. Is my child okay?

After learning about pulse oximetry, a clinically-proven technology trusted by hospitals for decades, I was fortunate to connect with my brilliant co-founders and a team of investors who had a desire to change the world. We spent years perfecting and modifying this technology to make it appropriate for the home and comfortable for infants to wear. Fast forward to today and our Smart Sock has been used by more than 150,000 infants, we’ve tracked nearly 300 billion heartbeats that we hope to use to better understand health and wellness. We’re proud to say we’ve also been recognized by organizations around the world as a technology that is revolutionizing the way we care for infants. We’ve also collected one of the largest sets of infant sleep data in the world which will play a critical role in solving many of the concerns by parents today. While the quantity of data is impressive, the story the data has told parents in real-time is what’s most impressive.

I have a folder on my computer labeled “Owlet Stories” which contains letters that are often accompanied by medical records from hundreds of parents who received a notification from Owlet and were able to help their infants. The folder includes stories related to RSV, SVT, Heart murmurs, accidental suffocation and several more. When I started Owlet, I’ll admit my focus was fixed on the nearly 4,000 infants that pass away in their crib every year due to SUIDS, but as we’ve grown, I’ve seen Owlet’s reach expand far beyond anything I ever imagined. We’ve helped parents with big and small concerns get the information they need to help their children.

Backend data showing a red notification triggered after the heart rate hovered around 295.4 bpm.

This month is SIDS Awareness Month. While there is no proven way to prevent SIDS, as an advocate of the health and safety of infants, Owlet feels the responsibility to be involved. Join us as we help create awareness around one of the main causes of mortality in children under the age of 1.

During the month of October, Owlet is helping by:

  1. Matching donations 2 to 1 to many foundations dedicated to providing Smart Socks to those in need.
  2. Extending an open invitation to SIDS researchers and data scientists who would like to analyze sleep data in hope to find answers or patterns for high-risk infants.
  3. Publishing educational content on safe sleep, CPR and other healthy parenting practices.

We started Owlet to change the world but we know we can’t do it alone. Every day we are working to make new exciting ways to help infants and we need your help. Join us on our mission and let’s make a difference.

Sincerely,

Kurt Workman

 

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A Message From Owlet CEO and Co-Founder Kurt Workman

A small number of our users notice red marks on their baby’s foot after use of the Owlet. While this is not a common occurrence, we take this seriously, which is why we want to address these red marks head on. Just like a baby shoe that is too tight or too small, if the Smart Sock is worn improperly, it can be uncomfortable for your child and leave marks. Our research, in partnership with dermatologists and pediatricians, shows that these marks are not electrical or thermal burns, but are pressure marks or blisters caused by friction. The friction marks can result from a number of factors, including sock sizing, tightening, and placement. We have a responsibility as a company to educate parents to help them have the most comfortable fit, and this is something we can improve.

Pay close attention to sock fit. Just as we look for the proper fit in the shoes we wear, parents should check the fit of the Smart Sock each time.

When using the Smart Sock, be sure to:

  1. Use the correct sock size.
  2. Correctly position the sock and sensor.
  3. Do not over tighten the sock.

Incorrect use of the sock could result in marks, pressure marks, or blisters on your baby’s foot.

We have Owlet Sock Fitting Experts available to help you at 844-334-5330 or email us at contact@owletcare.com. We’re here to answer any further questions!  

Your baby’s wellbeing is our top priority and we know it’s yours too, so please read the following for a better understanding of what a red mark is and how you can prevent it.

How Do These Marks Occur?

Just like a baby shoe that is too tight or too small, if the Smart Sock is worn improperly,  it can be uncomfortable for your child and leave marks. Our research, including collaborating with top-rated dermatologists and pediatricians, has shown that these red marks are not burns due to heat or electrical contact with your baby’s skin, or a product malfunction, but instead are pressure or friction marks. In the small amount of red marks cases we’ve seen, pressure marks are generally associated with over tightening of the newborn size 1 sock.

The pressure mark can occur if too much pressure is applied to the skin for extended periods of time. Your newborn’s skin is sensitive and can be easily agitated if the newborn size 1 sock is too tight on your baby’s foot or worn for an extended period of time, potentially resulting in a red mark on the foot.

Blisters, although uncommon, are associated with the sizes 2 and 3 socks and can form on the side of the foot or near the pinky toe when the sock is too tight, incorrectly placed, or too small. Generally, these marks are seen in babies who are wearing a size 2 or 3 sock, but should be in the next size up. The friction can be amplified if the baby kicks their feet often while wearing the sock. It’s the same chaffing that adults may experience with shoes that don’t fit properly, but can occur more easily with babies due to their sensitive skin.  

What Do Parents Need to Know About Alleviating Red Marks and Blisters?

It is important to consider proper use, sizing and sock placement, to prevent or limit red marks and friction burns. Here’s what you can do:

Newborn Size 1 Sock

Red marks are most common in the newborn size 1 sock because the baby’s skin is so soft and sensitive, and is easily susceptible to irritation. We now include a right-footed newborn size 1 sock in every Owlet box so that you can switch the Smart Sock between feet every 4-24 hours, up until your baby outgrows the newborn size 1 sock. Learn more about the right- and left-footed newborn size 1 socks here.

Sizes 2 and 3 Socks

Although very rare, when we do get a report of a blister, it is because the sock, usually a size 2 or 3, was too small, overtightened or not positioned correctly.

All Sock Sizes

  • Use the correct sock size.
  • Correctly position the sock and sensor.
  • Do not overtighten the sock.

These are not electrical burns or burns due to the device overheating. Red marks or blisters, while rare, are shown to occur due to incorrect sock sizing, over tightening, and incorrect placement. Read more here on proper sock size selection, placement, and tightening.

What Do I Do or Who Do I Contact If I See a Red Mark or Blister on My Baby’s Foot?

As we’ve mentioned, we do not take these marks lightly. We’re moving mountains to make sure our Owlet parents who experience a red mark or blister get the best care and support.

Here is what we recommend doing if you notice one of these marks:

  1. Give the foot rest. Letting the foot rest by not using the monitor for a couple of days will help the red mark fade faster. If the mark is severe, please stop using the product and contact us (844-334-5330 or contact@owletcare.com). 
  2. Use the next sock size. In our research, we’ve found that most marks go away after switching to a larger size. Why? Babies’ feet grow quickly and you may need to change sock sizes sooner than you might expect. Please use our sock sizing guidelines to help you find the right Smart Sock fit for your child. If the next size is too big, use our sizing guidelines with your current sock to help you know how tight to put it on.
  3. Use a regular sock over the smart sock. Sometimes all you need to get the right tightness is just a little help from a good, old-fashioned regular sock. First, put the smart sock on, but keep it loose. Next, put a regular sock over the smart sock to help hold the electronics in place. This will help you get good readings, but the sock won’t be too tight.
  4. Switch feet (Newborn size sock only). If you are using the Newborn (Size 1) sock, you can request a right-footed sock. Once it arrives, alternate every 4-24 hours between the right- and left-footed newborn socks with the electronics to give each foot a rest.

We have an Owlet Parent Advocate dedicated to supporting parents. If you see a red mark or blister on your baby’s foot, please email contact@owletcare.com or call 844-334-5330.

Owlet’s Promise

Owlet is always innovating and updating the product to make it more useable and comfortable.

The Owlet Team has carefully designed the Smart Sock to be as safe and comfortable as possible. In addition to all required regulatory testing and standards for product safety and product use with infants, we’ve rigorously challenged every aspect of the Owlet Baby Monitor through extensive in-office testing, over 10,000 hours of in-home testing, and additional laboratory and accuracy testing.

 

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Update from CEO Kurt: Summer is here!

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Dear Owlet Family,

On February 26 at 7:04 a.m., my daughter, Summer Shea Workman, came into this world. She weighed in at 6 lbs 9 oz and is a happy, healthy, beautiful little girl. My wife and I couldn’t be happier and we are so excited to start a new journey with our family of four! She has the sweetest temperament and even though Summer and her older brother Ashton look like identical twins in their baby pictures, it’s already obvious that she is her own person.

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Moving Boulders

Amazing Backers,

This week we had our first full-system, live-on-baby over-night testing. Three of us from the office took the device home to put on our 5-, 4-, and 2 month old babies (there are a lot of babies being born at Owlet). The two other dads had a long night, full of false alarms and connectivity bugs. I, however, had an amazing experience where the product worked great on my child all night, and into the next day! We documented this historic moment and wanted to share with you our excitement around this glimmer of light, or “movement of a boulder” as I explain in the video. We have been through a lot of rough patches here at Owlet, but excitement is at an all time high as we move into this next phase of perfecting the product.

I hope you enjoy this quick little video update:

With a product like ours, it is a long journey from functioning prototype to a scalable product, especially where safety and reliability are such important factors. However, if you’ve been following our updates,  you’ll notice we are moving quickly. As we move forward, we will continue to keep you informed every step of the way.

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Introducing Smart Sock 2! CLick here to learn more.