Is my infant safer with a nanny or in day care? Which car seat is the safest choice for our family? New parents are confronted with a barrage of decisions that require them to balance risks and benefits. In the era of coronavirus disease 2019, decision-making regarding risk reduction and safety has been in the limelight more than ever. Some families tolerate risk for potential benefit, whereas others prioritize risk reduction; this is often informed by their personal situation, family history, and cultural and socioeconomic background. Physician recommendations on risk reduction are guided by physiology, training, and practice standards. However, they are also influenced by a myriad other factors, including our own biases, risk tolerance, experience with clinical sentinel events, and social power imbalances.

Risk analysis in the newborn period is especially challenging. It requires new parents to face previously unknown situations during a stressful time, as they discover how...

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