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What Should I Do If I Get a Red Notification?

September 17, 2019

We have asked doctors and clinical experts to help answer one of the most common questions our consumers ask us. Here’s what they had to say–

If you get a red notification while using the Owlet Smart Sock, that indicates that your baby’s oxygen or heart rate is outside of the pre-set parameters. This could mean their oxygen saturation level is low or their heart rate is lower or higher than expected. 

First, you should go check on your baby. Have they turned over and is their face pressed into the mattress? Is there a blanket over their head? Ensure that there are no obstructions to your baby’s ability to breathe. 

Check to make sure your baby is breathing. Do you feel any air coming out of their nose? You can check this by lowering your cheek to your baby’s face to feel for air movement. You can also note if their belly is moving up and down. 

You should then pick up your baby. Is your baby responding to the movement? You should also try burping your baby. 

If your baby is not responding, not breathing or breathing rapidly, has a poor color which is different than their baseline, please seek emergency medical services by calling the appropriate number for your country (911 for the United States). If you have BLS or infant CPR training and your infant is not responding, not breathing, and/or does not have a palpable pulse, you can start your evaluation process and begin CPR if necessary. 

If your baby is breathing and responsive, here are a few steps to follow:

  1. Check the baby’s temperature. It’s possible to have an elevated heart rate with a fever or illness. Also, if the foot is cold there is less blood flow in the foot for the Owlet Smart Sock to pick up a reading. 
  2. Check for signs of illness. Red notifications can be more frequent when the baby is sick or congested. Babies are “obligate nose breathers” which means they don’t breathe through their mouths for the first few months of life. You can try using a nasal aspirator to clean out your baby’s nose.
  3. Did the red notification happen to go off while feeding the baby? If you have your baby wear the sock while feeding, you may get red notifications as oxygen naturally decreases and heart rate rises. 
  4. Check to ensure that the sock fit and placement is correct. This is the most common cause of false notifications. If the sock is too loose or the sensor isn’t sitting up by the pinky toe, the windows may not be getting a good alignment to give an accurate reading. 

While it is possible that you received a false notification, the bottom line is that you are the best eyes and ears for your baby’s well-being. If you’ve followed these steps and feel that you’re unsure if your baby is well, Owlet recommends seeking medical assistance.  If you are worried or concerned, you can also call 911. Once you have done that, you can also call your child’s doctor to let them know.

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Author Info

Avatar for Channing Merrell

Channing Merrell

Hi! I'm Channing and I'm a proud member of the Owlet team!

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The Smart Sock is the first baby monitor to track your baby’s oxygen level and heart rate—good indicators of Baby's overall well-being—while they sleep. If your baby’s readings leave preset zones, you'll receive a notification that lets you know your baby really needs you. Now you can feel more confidence, more freedom, and more peace of mind knowing that Owlet is here to help.

Our all-new Smart Sock is the third of its kind and it's smarter than ever.

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