Halloween Safety Tips

Going trick-or-treating?

Alphabet letter S Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.
Alphabet letter A Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
Alphabet letter F Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
Alphabet letter E Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.
Alphabet letter H Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you.
Alphabet letter A Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent skin and eye irritation.
Alphabet letter L Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.
Alphabet letter L Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.
Alphabet letter O Only walk on sidewalks or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
Alphabet letter W Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
Alphabet letter E Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats unless you know the cook well.
Alphabet letter E Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Otherwise, stay outside.
Alphabet letter N Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

Expecting trick-or-treaters or party guests?

  • Provide healthier treats for trick-or-treaters, such as individual packs of raisins, trail mix, or pretzels. For party guests, offer a variety of fruits, vegetables, and cheeses.
  • Use party games and trick-or-treat time as an opportunity for kids to get their daily dose of 60 minutes of physical activity.
  • Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could result in falls.
  • Keep candle-lit jack-o’-lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.
  • Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.

Follow these tips to help make the festivities fun and safe for everyone!


Rotavirus Vaccine Cuts Down On Illness

When my son was born, the Rotavirus vaccine had just come on the market. I had never even heard of Rotavirus. For those of you who are as clueless about the virus as I was 2 years ago, here you go. Rotavirus is the most common cause of diarrhea in U.S. children and is a leading cause of death among children in developing countries. In infants and small children, the virus is serious. The symptoms of this illness include diarrhea, low grade fever, vomiting and nausea. These symptoms usually last for 3-10 days. But even if the symptoms have subsided or improved, you should consider your child contagious for 10-12 days after the onset of diarrhea.

The Associated Press, published an article yesterday about the success the vaccine has had in cutting down on emergency room visits, since it came on the market 2 years ago. The vaccine is also preventing Rotavirus in children who were not vaccinated, by cutting down on the virus in the general population.

I was concerned about my son getting the vaccine 2 years ago. I chose to get him vaccinated after extensive research and also because my doctor said she had administered the vaccine to her own infant, and I trust her judgment.

985,000 Delta Enterprise Drop Side Cribs Recalled

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Delta Enterprise Corp., of New York, New York., is announcing the voluntary recall to replace missing safety pegs involving 985,000 drop side cribs. Failure to use or install safety pegs can cause an entrapment and suffocation risk to infants and toddlers.

When the safety pegs in the base of each leg of the crib are missing from the lower track, the crib locks can disengage and detach if lowered below the peg hole, creating a hazardous gap. This gap can lead to the entrapment and suffocation of an infant or toddler.

CPSC staff is aware of a death of an 8-month-old child who became entrapped and suffocated when the drop side of the crib detached in a reassembled crib where the safety pegs were not installed. CPSC is also aware of two entrapments and nine disengagement incidents in cribs where the safety pegs were missing.

The recall involves all Delta cribs manufactured in Taiwan or Indonesia, with the “Crib Trigger Lock with Safety Peg” drop side hardware design. These model number and country of origin can be located on the mattress support board label: 4320, 4340, 4500, 4520, 4530, 4532, 4540, 4542, 4550, 4551, 4580, 4600, 4620, 4624 (production dates 01/06 thru 11/07), 4640, 4660, 4720, 4735, 4742, 4750 (production dates 01/95 thru 12/00), 4760 4770, 4780, 4790, 4820, 4840, 4850, 4860, 4880, 4890, 4892, 4900, 4910, 4920, 4925-2, 4925-6, 4930, 4940, 4943, 4944, 4947, 4948, 4949, 4950, 4958, 4963, 4968, 4969, 4980.

The recalled cribs have date codes ranging from 1995 though December 2005 and one model (4624) was made in 2007. The model numbers are located on the top of the mattress support board.

The cribs, which were made in Taiwan and Indonesia, were sold at major retailers, including Walmart, Kmart and Target.com from January 1995 through September 2007 for about $100. These cribs have also been found to be sold secondhand. Cribs currently sold at retail are not involved.

CPSC and Delta urge parents and caregivers to immediately stop using cribs that are missing a safety peg on any leg of the crib and contact Delta to receive a free, easy-to-install repair kit. The kit will include safety pegs in a bold color and warning labels to be affixed to the mattress board. Consumers with cribs that have all safety pegs installed may continue to use the cribs; however, CPSC recommends that these consumers contact Delta for the repair kit for future assembly purposes. Call Delta toll-free at (1-800-816-5304) anytime after 5pm today or log on www.cribrecallcenter.com to order the free replacement kit.

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to find a safe, alternative sleep environment for their child if their recalled crib is missing safety pegs.

CPSC would like to remind parents not to use any crib with missing, broken, or loose parts. Make sure to tighten hardware from time to time to keep the crib sturdy. When using a drop side crib parents should check to make sure the drop side or any other moving part operates smoothly. Always check all sides and corners of the crib for disengagement. Any disengagement can create a gap and entrap a child. In addition, do not try to repair any side of the crib, especially with tape, wire or rope.
Delta’s Recall Hotline: (800) 816-5304
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772

Canada Officially Bans BPA

This past Saturday Canada became the first nation to place Bispenol-A on their list of toxic chemicals. You can read the article here.
A lot of our clients are exclusive breast feeders and never use a bottle,but I wanted to point out that many sippy cups contain BPA as well as plastic plates, bowls etc.
Our friends at Safemama.com have put together an amazing cheat sheet, letting us know which bottles, plates, cups etc are safe and which should be passed over.

Pediatricians Double Vitamin D Recommendations

By LINDSEY TANNER -CHICAGO (AP) — The nation’s leading pediatricians group says children from newborns to teens should get double the usually recommended amount of vitamin D because of evidence that it may help prevent serious diseases.

To meet the new recommendation of 400 units daily, millions of children will need to take daily vitamin D supplements, the American Academy of Pediatrics said. That includes breast-fed infants — even those who get some formula, too, and many teens who drink little or no milk.
Baby formula contains vitamin D, so infants on formula only generally don’t need supplements. However, the academy recommends breast-feeding for at least the first year of life and breast milk is sometimes deficient.

Most commercially available milk is fortified with vitamin D, but most children and teens don’t drink enough of it — four cups daily would be needed — to meet the new requirement, said Dr. Frank Greer, the report’s co-author.

The new advice is based on mounting research about potential benefits from vitamin D besides keeping bones strong, including suggestions that it might reduce risks for cancer, diabetes and heart disease. But the evidence isn’t conclusive and there’s no consensus on how much of the vitamin would be needed for disease prevention.

The new advice replaces a 2003 academy recommendation for 200 units daily.
That’s the amount the government recommends for children and adults up to age 50; 400 units is recommended for adults aged 51 to 70 and 600 units for those aged 71 and up. Vitamin D is sold in drops for young children, capsules and tablets.

The Institute of Medicine, a government advisory group that sets dietary standards, is discussing with federal agencies whether those recommendations should be changed based on emerging research, said spokeswoman Christine Stencel.

The recommendations were prepared for release Monday at an academy conference in Boston. They are to be published in the November issue of the academy’s journal, Pediatrics.
Besides milk and some other fortified foods like cereal, vitamin D is found in oily fish including tuna, mackerel and sardines.

But it’s hard to get enough through diet; the best source is sunlight because the body makes vitamin D when sunshine hits the skin. While it is believed that 10 to 15 minutes in the sun without sunscreen a few times weekly is sufficient for many, people with dark skin and those in northern, less sunny climates need more. Because of sunlight’s link with skin cancer, “vitamin D supplements during infancy, childhood and adolescence are necessary,” the academy’s report says.

Recent studies have shown that many children don’t get enough vitamin D, and cases of rickets, a bone disorder often associated with malnourishment in the 1800s, continue to occur.
Greer, a University of Wisconsin pediatrician, acknowledged that most studies suggesting vitamin D may play a much broader role in disease prevention have been observational, not the most rigorous kind of medical evidence. Nonetheless, many doctors consider the research compelling and many have begun to offer patients routine vitamin D testing.

Adrian Gombart, a vitamin D researcher at Oregon State University, said the new recommendations are safe and conservative but that 400 units “is probably not enough.”
Gombart’s lab work in human tissue has shown that vitamin D helps increase levels of a protein that kills bacteria. He said many experts believe that between 800 and 1,000 units daily would be more effective at helping fight disease.

Several members of an academy committee that helped write the guidelines have current or former ties to makers of infant formula or vitamin supplements.

Nitrates, Facts and Foods

Today, a client asked a very good question. She wanted to know which foods she should avoid preparing for her baby due to nitrate levels.

Nitrates are naturally occurring nitrogen/oxygen salt compounds found in almost every vegetable that we eat and the soils they are grown in. Nitrates are also laboratory formulated and used in fertilizers. Nitrates are ingested either from vegetables or drinking water. Nitrates/nitrites have been found to be responsible for “Blue Baby Syndrome.” Adults are not affected by nitrates or nitrites because their stomachs produce acids that fight the bacteria that help convert nitrates into nitrites. This conversion, and the resulting nitrite, is what allows for nitrate poisoning or “Blue Baby Syndrome.”

The name “Blue Baby Syndrome” stems from the fact that nitrites hinder proper oxygen transportation in the red blood cells. “Once in the blood, nitrite oxidizes iron in the hemoglobin of red blood cells to form methemoglobin, which lacks hemoglobin’s oxygen-carrying ability.”Without proper oxygen saturation in the blood, the body’s cells become oxygen deprived and the skin takes on a blue or purple hue. This oxygen deprivation may leadto the slow asphyxiation of the person poisoned. (source: www.wholesomebabyfood.com)

Here is how to recognize “Baby Blue Syndrome, which by the way, is extremely rare, “The most obvious symptom of nitrate poisoning is a bluish color of the skin, particularly around the eyes and mouth. This is called cyanosis. A baby with these symptoms should be taken to an emergency medical facility immediately. The doctor will take a blood sample to be sure the baby is suffering from nitrate poisoning. The blood sample of an affected baby is a chocolate brown instead of a healthy red. Nitrate poisoning can be treated, and in most cases the baby makes a full recovery. http://ohioline.osu.edu/b744/b744_2.html

Foods that tend to accumulate the highest amount of nitrate include:

    • spinach
    • beets
    • cabbage
    • broccoli
    • carrots

If you prefer to make your own homemade baby vegetables, an alternative is to choose organic produce.

Organics do not use commercial nitrate fertilizers so, the risk of nitrate contamination/concentration is lessened, but not eliminated. The AAP suggests a very cautious waiting period, 8 months or older, to make homemade leafy vegetables that may contain nitrates. The fact is that nitrate poisoning comes from contaminated drinking/ground water before it ever comes from vegetables.

Boiling the veggies will not eliminate the nitrates. Nitrates may in fact seep into the water used for cooking. It is best to not use that water as the liquid to make your puree. For some people, they may be more comfortable feeding baby jarred carrots, beets and other vegetables that may contain nitrates until baby reaches 8 months of age. Commercial baby food is screened for nitates, but since they are naturally occuring, they can not be eliminated.

First Juice Review

The other day, while browsing the aisles of Babies R Us, I came across First Juice. My son is almost 2 and has never had juice. He eats a lot of fruits and veggies and loves water, so I never saw the point in offering it to him. He spotted the cute bottle of First Juice as well, and grabbed it off the shelf. He was being particularly difficult that day, so I opened it up and let him drink it straight from the bottle, which has a sippy cup/spill-proof type top. He loved it!!!!!!!! and I felt good that he
was enjoying such a healthy juice.

First Juice brand blends organic fruits and vegetables that are lower in sugar than traditional juice offerings, resulting in a less sweet yet flavorful juice that allows children to develop more healthful taste preferences. I tasted the carrot-banana blend too, and it has a very mild sweetness, and it is delicious.

The sippy-top bottles the juice comes in are free of BPA and are reusable. After stocking up on the juice, my son is suddenly not into juice anymore, which is fine. I am now using the bottles to put water in for him.

Cough Syrup, Not For Children Under Age Four

The cold and flu season is approaching rapidly and the consumption of cough medicine will increase rapidly.

Yesterday, a decision was made to change the label on cough syrup to read “not for children under the age of four“. Up until yesterday the standard was that cough syrup was not for children under the age of two.

But the change does not go as far as a panel for the Food and Drug Administration, which recommended last year that children up to age 6 should not use such medicines because their has not been enough research done on their effectiveness.

A Fan May Lower the Risk of SIDS

When I brought my son home from the hospital, my biggest fear was SIDS. My husband and I would check on him every hour or so if we didn’t hear him peep. I knew that placing a baby on his back to sleep reduced the risk of SIDS, but a new study now shows that having a fan in a baby’s room can lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome by more than 70%.

For the more information on the study, check out WEBMD.

Many Booster Seats are Not Cutting It

Parents, The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, released a report this week stating that 13 booster seats are not recommended because they don’t give the full benefit of improved lap belt fit. They may make children more comfortable, but they don’t offer protection.

“Our data show it’s possible to design a booster with good lap and shoulder belt fit,” says Matt Reed, the study’s lead author and research associate professor at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. “Boosters that can’t do that should be redesigned.”

Not-recommended boosters: Boosters the Institute doesn’t recommend are the highback Compass B505, Compass B510, Cosco/Dorel Traveler, and Evenflo Big Kid Confidence; backless Safety Angel Ride Ryte; combination Cosco/Dorel Alpha Omega, Cosco/Dorel (Eddie Bauer) Summit, Cosco Highback Booster, Dorel/Safety 1st (Eddie Bauer) Prospect, Evenflo Chase Comfort Touch, Evenflo Generations, Graco CarGo Zephyr, and Safety 1st/Dorel Intera. At least 2 of these models have been discontinued, hopefully replaced by better designs. Booster makers sometimes reuse names and even model numbers for new seats, so manufacture dates and model numbers are important.

Best bets and good bets: The 10 best-bet boosters are the most likely to position not only lap belts but also shoulder portions correctly on many children in many vehicles. Best bets include 3 backless seats: Combi Kobuk, Fisher-Price Safe Voyage, and Graco TurboBooster. These may require plastic clips to correctly position shoulder belts. Six highbacks are best bets: Britax Monarch, Britax Parkway, Fisher-Price Safe Voyage, LaRoche Bros. Teddy Bear, Recaro Young Style, and Volvo booster cushion. Another best bet is the combination seat Safeguard Go when it’s used as a backless booster. Combination seats convert to boosters by removing their built-in harnesses. At least 5 of the best-bet boosters have been discontinued but still are sold.

Booster seat evaluations

Not Recommended
Safety Angel Ride Ryte backless
Cosco/Dorel (Eddie Bauer) Summit
Graco CarGo Zephyr
Evenflo Big Kid Confidence
Cosco/Dorel Traveler
Compass B505
Compass B510
Evenflo Generations
Dorel/Safety 1st (Eddie Bauer) Prospect
Cosco Highback Booster
Cosco/Dorel Alpha Omega
Evenflo Chase Comfort Touch
Safety 1st/Dorel Intera

Best Bets
Graco TurboBooster backless with clip
Fisher-Price Safe Voyage backless with clip
Combi Kobuk backless with clip
Fisher-Price Safe Voyage
Britax Parkway
LaRoche Bros. Teddy Bear
Safeguard Go backless with clip
Volvo booster cushion
Recaro Young Style
Britax Monarch

Good Bets
Graco TurboBooster
Safety Angel Ride Ryte
Recaro Young Sport
Combi Kobuk
Safety 1st/Dorel Apex 65