Bicycle Safety

Riding a bike is great fun and exercise for children,but they need to be wearing a helmet. Each year, more than 600 people in New York are injured badly enough to need hospitalization from a bicycle accident. Of the 40% of people hospitalized, almost half die from a traumatic brain injury.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children are at high risk for bicycle related injuries, and account for more than half of bicycle-related injuries seen in emergency rooms.
To prevent children from suffering traumatic brain injuries, parents should follow the New York State law that requires all children under 14 to wear an approved bicycle helmet, while riding a bike, rollerblading, or riding a non-motorized scooter or skateboard.
The helmet must fit correctly to ensure the best possible protection. When worn correctly, a bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of head injuries by 85%.

Tips to ensure a helmet fits correctly
-Look for a helmet that has the Consumer Product Safety Commision’s (CPSC) sticker on it.
-Measure your child’s head circumference and buy a helmet sized for that measurement.
-For infants and toddlers, buy infant and toddler-specific helmets.
-Make sure the helmet sits on the top of a child’s head, not tilted back.
-Adjust the straps for a comfortable but snug fit.
-The helmet should not move side-to-side or front-to-back
-Teach children to always keep the straps buckled when riding
-Never use helmets designed for other purposes, such as snow mobiling, or motorcycling, as they may cause difficulty maintaing balance or may disrupt a child’s vision, leading to a fall or accident.

Baby Bodyguards Loves The Moxie Spot!!!


At Baby Bodyguards, we are always looking for fun and safe activities to do with the kiddies. Last night we enjoyed some of the most fun we have had in a long…..time.
We had read a great blog post in A Child Grows in Brooklyn about The Moxie Spot, and I knew it was a place that I had to check out with my family. On their website, they have a calender and it listed Saturday as “Free Family Disco Night” at 5:30 PM. Nowadays, 5:30PM, seems like the perfect time for a disco. I could get my dance on and be home by a reasonable time to get my family to bed. I can also easily convince our childless friends to join us for a 5:30 disco party, because The Moxie Spot serves beer and wine.
As you walk into the restaurant, there are two cute doors, one for adults and a little one for children. The fun continues inside, the first floor has a chalk board and all kinds of blocks and puzzles. There is also an area to park your stroller, which as a stroller pusher myself, made me feel at ease and welcome.
I was a bit confused about the ordering process, but figured it out after asking a few patrons a few questions. I picked up a paper menu and got on line. The items on the menu were fabulous and so… reasonably priced. Most items were healthy, organic and hormone free. I ordered the turkey burger with some sweet potato fries and was very pleased. If you order hot food, the staff behind the counter has to bring it to you. I was handed a table number and told to claim a table by putting my number on it, and the staff would find us to bring us our food.
I brought our number upstairs to claim a table on the disco floor and to my delight and surprise, I encountered a safety gate. Wow, now I really felt at ease! I loved the idea that the children could dance and run around and parents could feel comfortable knowing that there was a gate blocking the stairs.
They had hula skirts, funky masquerade glasses, noise makers, etc…. It was like a scene from the best Bar Mitzvah I had ever been to. The music was very cool. I found myself singing along to a lot of the songs, which were mostly from the 80’s and 90’s.
When it was time to use the bathroom, I couldn’t help but notice outlet plugs, covering all the outlets. I decided to take a look around the rest of the restaurant to see what other safety features I could find. I looked at all the tables, and the corners were pretty rounded. The glasses were all plastic. They have computers in the back for the children to use and all the wires were hidden. The owners of The Moxie Spot, put so much thought and care into their restaurant. I will definitely be back, and am so happy I stumbled upon such a find.

Granite Countertops and Radiation

This morning as I was getting my son ready to go to grandma’s house, I heard on the news, that granite countertops are now considered a health threat due to the amount of radiation they give off. Not hearing the full news story, I decided to do a little research into this new finding and share the good, the bad and the ugly with you.

The Good– The Marble Institute of America told the New York Times the recent claims were “ludicrous” because although granite is known to “contain uranium and other radioactive materials like thorium and potassium, the amounts in countertops are not enough to pose a health threat.”
David J. Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University in New York, pointed out to the Times the cancer risk from granite countertops is “on the order of one in a million.”

The Bad-But Brenner also said, “If you can choose another counter that doesn’t elevate your risk, however slightly, why wouldn’t you?” (but granite is so pretty :( )
Health physicists and radiation experts agree that most granite countertops emit radiation and radon at extremely low levels.

The Ugly-The same health physicists and radiation experts, say these emissions are insignificant compared with so-called background radiation that is constantly raining down from outer space or seeping up from the earth’s crust, not to mention emanating from manmade sources like X-rays, luminous watches and smoke detectors.

The only way to know about radon levels from your granite countertops, and in your home in general, is to test for them.

If you are concerned about the radon levels in your home, feel free to contact us at Baby Bodyguards, and we will guide you through the testing process.

Review of BabyGanics

At Baby Bodyguards, we are always looking for all natural, chemical free products to try. If the product meets our strict safety criteria, we recommend the product to our clients. Well, after experimenting with some cleaning products made by Healthy Home Products, called BabyGanics, we will be adding BabyGanics to our list of Baby Bodyguard Approved Products.
All BabyGanic products are non-toxic and organic, and “safe for people, pets , and the environment.” Their products come in unscented and scented formulas. I happen to love the scent of lavender, so the scented is more my speed.
I have been using the BabyGanics All Purpose Cleaner, every day since I got my hands on it, and it does a wonderful job getting all the grime off my son’s highchair tray and I don’t have to worry about him ingesting all kinds of toxins.
I have also been using their Glass and Surface Cleaner, and I must say, it does a fantastic job of getting greasy fingerprints off my glass doors and windows, as well as all of our appliances, without leaving any residue.
BabyGanics Gets The Baby Bodyguard Seal of Approval!

Protecting Children From Dog Bites

Dogs are popular pets in this country. With more than 60 million pet dogs in the United States, they are only slightly less popular than cats. Dogs and kids often get along just fine, but parents need to make sure their children know how to act around a dog to stay safe.

U.S. children suffer more than 2 million dog bites a year, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). “A dog that attacks is very often the family pet,” says the AVMA’s Bernadette Cruz, D.V.M. “Education is the key to solving an issue that’s reaching epidemic proportions.” Dog owners and children can both learn to prevent bites.

If you own a dog or plan to buy one:

  • Choose the breed carefully. Your vet can help you pick a pup.

  • Socialize your dog. Start when the dog is a puppy.

  • Train your dog. This helps a dog learn to trust and obey you.

  • Have your dog neutered. Males that have not been neutered account for up to three out of four bites.

  • Keep your dog’s shots current.

Many parents don’t realize how a small child’s boisterous activity or loud behavior can confuse a dog, or how a child’s invasion of a dog’s space might provoke the animal. If you have a small child or infant, never leave the youngster alone with a dog, Dr. Cruz says. Even when you are with your young child around a dog, keep a close eye on their interaction to avoid potential problems.

You and your child should also look for signs that a dog is aggressive, afraid or protecting his territory — three reasons for bites. Watch for:

  • Growling, snarling or barking

  • Crouching with the head low or the tail between the legs

  • Fur that’s standing up, erect ears, a stiff body and a high tail

  • Obvious injury or pain

You can teach your child how to act around a dog, whether yours or another’s. Tell your child to:

  • Stand still, keep his hands down and avoid eye contact if a strange dog comes near.

  • Curl into a ball and cover her head, neck and face if knocked down.

  • Avoid dogs that are cornered, chained, in a car or behind a fence.

  • Never play rough with any dog.

  • Never break up a dogfight.

  • Ask before petting a dog he doesn’t know.

  • Avoid surprising older dogs. If they’re deaf or blind, they may bite.

  • Keep her face away from a dog’s head.

  • Never hold the dog around the neck or try to hug the dog.

  • Avoid disturbing a dog that’s sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.

If a dog bites your child, wash the wound with warm, soapy water, cover it with a clean bandage and call your doctor. If the bite is bleeding heavily, apply direct pressure and raise it above heart level until the bleeding stops. Contact the dog’s vet to check its vaccination records.

Publication Source: Starting Out Healthy magazine
Author: Bramnick, Jeffrey
Online Source: American Veterinary Medical Association http://www.avma.org
Online Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/duip/biteprevention.htm

Peru Embraces Vertical Births to Save Lives

Last week I read an article “Peru Embraces Vertical Births to Save Lives“, I was amazed at how different the whole birthing experience is in Peru than in the United States, and almost felt a bit cheated that my own birth experience was so clinical.
After about 6 hours of intense labor and already being strapped to the bed with Pitocin, I caved and got an epidural. I have friends who have had home births and I get the whole “childbirth is natural” thing, but I also like the idea of being in a setting that if an emergency happens, I don’t have to be transported to a hospital.
Ancient pottery from the Andes depicts women sitting or standing while giving birth. Peru’s health ministry has said vertical birthing positions can be healthier for women by reducing pressure on the uterus and large blood vessels that can affect the amount of oxygen going to the baby.
“Western science is unaware of the priorities and needs of women, particularly rural women, who consider childbirth a natural event and do not think changes to the traditional vertical delivery are needed,” the ministry said in a small book extolling the benefits of standing during childbirth. The practice of women giving birth on their backs is done for the convenience of doctors, not women, say supporters of Andean birthing methods.
I think it is such a shame that so many birthing centers in New York are being shut down or are not covered by insurance. After reading this article, my mind is more open to different birthing methods. If I ever find myself pregnant again, I may protest being strapped to the bed and the stirrups too.

Making Healthy Food for Your Baby

If a lot of you are anything like me, I know you are saying to yourself”I barely have time to shower, Why on Earth would I make my own baby food?”
I made all of my own baby food because once I gave it a try, I realized how much fun it was, how healthy it is and how much money I saved.
I used a Magic Bullet, which was a gift from my grandparents. I laughed at first because they are known for buying the “As Seen On TV” products, but this is a real winner. Unlike a blender or food processor, it isn’t a pain in the butt to clean, because the cup that you blend the food in, detaches from the base and it is the only part you have to wash. Check out their site to see what I mean.
The only other 2 items needed were plastic bags and ice cube trays.
The first food I made for my son was applesauce. I was intimidated at first because the only applesauce I have ever experienced came out of a Mott’s jar, but I peeled an apple, cut it into pieces and put it in a pot with just enough water to cover it, and let it boil. After about 20 minutes, I shut the stove and waited for the apple to cool a bit. I then put it in the Magic Bullet and blended it for 15 seconds. I poured the applesauce into ice cube trays, waited for the sauce to get to room temperature and put the trays in the freezer.
It was a great feeling to watch my son delight in the food I had prepared for him.
Some other combinations I made regularly were:

Bananas (you just blend with a little bit of water, no cooking necessary)
Pears (same recipe as apples, just use pears)
Potato and peas (boil both and blend together)
Chicken Soup (I would make a delicious soup with sweet potato, carrots, and chicken, and then blend it together. I didn’t use salt)
Sweet Potato and Apples (boil together and blend)
Lentil Soup (I would boil red lentils and blend into a smooth consistency)
Pumpkin (I would boil and blend pumpkin with some cinnamon)
One of my favorite baby sites is Wholesomebabyfood.com , they have great recipe ideas and sample menus for babies and toddlers.

Happy Blending

Summer Shouldn't Equal Drowning


Summer and pool time go hand in hand. The other night as I was getting ready for bed, I had the news on. Once again, a little child had drowned in a pool out on LI, and was clinging to life in the intensive care unit. As I shed a few tears, I grew furious. It’s not fair and just unacceptable! The cost of maintaining a safe pool is nothing compared to the devastation of losing a child.
I am not claiming to be a Supermom but I accept that I’m not, and know that it only takes a minute or two for a child to get into trouble and possibly drown if a pool is nearby. My parents have a pool and before I would let me son play there, I made sure they got a 4 foot pool fence.
All pools on Long Island and throughout the state are supposed to be inspected when they are built to ensure they meet regulations, including a new state requirement for an alarm for any pool built or substantially modified after Dec. 14, 2006. The problem is, it cost too much to actually have inspectors go door to door regulating residential pools. It is up to the pool owner to follow regulations.
Baby Bodyguards also urges parents to teach their children how to swim as early as possible. Check out your local YMCA for classes.
If you are a pool owner and would like to install a pool fence but don’t know where to begin, feel free to contact us at Baby Bodyguards.

Erbaorganics Has Great Products snd Supports a Great Cause



I recently got a hold of some Erbaorganics Baby Body Wash and Shampoo. I put my son in the tub, lathered him up and tested out my new products. The fragrance of lavender and chamomile filled the room and the products washed off nicely, leaving my son’s hair smelling lovely and his skin squeaky clean. I am now a huge fan!
Erbaorganics is eco-friendly and all their products are organic. They have a product line for babies and the mommy-to-be. Their products are completely free of parabens, pesticides, SLS’s, artificial colorings and fragrances.
Part of the proceeds from their products goes to the World Wide Orphans Foundation. The WWO works with local communities in underdeveloped areas around the world to enrich the lives of orphans through diverse programs focusing on health, society and education.
Erbaorganics takes pride in being completely green, safe, and natural.

NBC's "Baby Borrowers" Is Controversial

Today is Wednesday and tonight millions of Americans will be flipping to NBC to watch The Baby Borrowers, a new reality show, where teenagers test their parenting skills by getting babies, toddlers, kids, and teenagers for three day blocks at a time.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, issued a statement last week, calling for NBC to “pull” The Baby Borrowers due to health and safety concerns it has with the reality show.
“Separating babies and toddlers from their parents for extended periods of time can lead children to feel distress and anxiety,” the organization wrote in the statement. “After prolonged separation, a child can feel distrust for his or her primary caregiver. Separation can damage a healthy attachment and a child’s sense of safety.” The AACAP added “it’s concerned The Baby Borrowers promotes “baby borrowing” as an “acceptable parenting practice” that “will prompt imitation.”
“Should this practice be emulated without the benefit of the observing camera, it is important to note that teenagers may be more likely than adult strangers to abuse or neglect infants and toddlers,” said Anne Glowinski, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and member of AACAP’s Infancy and Preschool Committee.
AACAP president Robert Hendren also claims The Baby Borrowers’ “It’s not TV, it’s birth control” message could be better communicated than via a reality show.
The AACAP is not the only organization speaking out against The Baby Borrowers, Zero to Three — a national advocacy group for young children — also released a statement claiming the show “exploits very young children in the pursuit of entertainment.”
Despite the criticism, NBC is apparently sticking by its show and the safety its youngest participants received during filming.
“The producers of The Baby Borrowers took all the necessary precautions to ensure the safety and welfare of the children participating in the series,” NBC said in a statement obtained by The Los Angeles Times. “The environment was carefully controlled, and the children were properly care for at all times.”
Personally, I have a problem with parents exploiting children for the almighty buck or TV exposure. I feel that The Baby Borrowers, as entertaining as it may be, is just as bad as parents bringing their child on The Maury Show or Jerry Springer, to discuss how morbidly obese their child is, or how promiscuous he/she is.
Young children don’t have a voice, and it is up to the parent, to speak for them,to protect them, and to act in their best interest.
Baby Bodyguards would like to hear your feedback on this issue. Feel free to email me personally at Courtney@babybodyguards.com, I will post your feedback in a later post.