FDA is Allowing Trace Amounts of Melamine in Infant Formula

Friday, the FDA said it’s “concluded that levels of melamine alone or cyanuric acid alone, at or below 1 part per million in infant formula do not raise public health concerns.” Melamine is a chemical approved for use in plastics and the liners of some food containers in the U.S. The chemical itself is not approved for use in food.
Yes, this is the same chemical that sickened more than 50,000 children in China since September.
Here is the full article.
Companies coming forward claiming their own testing shows no melamine content:

* Hain Celestial Group Inc – Earth’s Best Organic Formula
* Privately held PBM Nutritionals (store brand formulas)

Baby Bodyguards Gives Back Holiday Contest

With the Holiday Season in full swing, Baby Bodyguards wants to give back to the community. We would like to give a New York City area family the gift of safety and peace of mind. If you know a family who is in need of our services, nominate them. We will be picking our winner on December 26th, 2008.
To Nominate a family, all you need to do is click on our CONTEST page, fill out the nomination form and click send

GOOD LUCK!!!!!

Ikea Blinds Recalled Due To Strangulation

Karen, our friend at A Child Grows in Brooklyn posted this recall yesterday on her blog. With Ikea in Brooklyn now, I know a lot of us are trying to save money these days buy furnishing our homes there.

FYI

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: IRIS and ALVINE Roman Blinds

Units: About 670,000 (an additional 4.8 million were sold outside of the United States)

Distributor: IKEA Home Furnishings, of Conshohocken, Pa.

Hazard: Strangulations can occur when a child places his/her neck in an exposed inner cord on the backside of the roman blinds.

Incidents/Injuries: On April 4, 2008, a 1-year-old girl in Greenwich, Conn. became entangled in the inner cord of an IKEA Roman Blind and strangled. The child was in a portable playpen that was located underneath a fully lowered roman blind. She was found partially suspended with the inner cord of the blind wrapped twice around her neck.

Description: This recall involves all sizes of IRIS and ALVINE Roman Blinds in white. The blinds have a sewn-in label at the top edge of the blind with the IKEA logotype, article name (IRIS or ALVINE), 5-digit supplier number 19799 or 21369, four digit date stamp (YYWW) and the words “Made in India”. On the bottom edge of the blind there is a sewn-in orange/white safety warning label. The blinds are made from 100% cotton.

Sold at: IKEA stores nationwide from July 2005 through June 2008 for between $7 and $30.

Manufactured in: India

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Roman Blinds and return them to any IKEA store to obtain a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact IKEA toll-free at (888) 966-4532 anytime, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.ikea-usa.com

Note: CPSC reminds consumers to examine all Roman Blinds and shades in their homes. If looped pull cords are present or exposed inner cords are found on the back of blinds or shades and children are in the home or occasionally visit your home, please consider replacing them with blinds or shades that do not have exposed pull cords or inner cords.

Flu Vaccine May Have Extra Benefit for Pregnant Women


As I lay in bed with the flu, I came across this interesting article on the web. I received a flu shot when I was pregnant, but I know a lot of women are not comfortable getting any type of immunization during pregnancy.

Flu shot season has arrived, and immunization is a good idea for anyone older than 6 months. According to a study published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine, unborn babies could also benefit from the flu vaccine. When moms-to-be opt for the flu shot they may get a “two-for-one benefit” — they could very well be passing the immunization’s protection on to their babies.

Researchers found that women who were given the flu shot during their pregnancy reduced their infants’ risk of getting the flu by more than 60 percent in the babies’ first six months of life, when infants are at the greatest risk of flu complications. Plus, the shot fended off more than a third of fever-inducing respiratory illnesses in both the mothers and their babies.

Although the flu shot is recommended for pregnant women, only about 15 percent get the vaccine each year, says the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, whose researchers led the study. It involved 350 women during pregnancy and their infants 6 months after delivery.

Many moms-to-be are hesitant to get any immunization when they’re expecting — and with good reason. Doctors recommend skipping most vaccines during pregnancy. But that’s not the case when it comes to the flu. In fact, the flu vaccine is recommended during any stage of pregnancy. And doctors even go so far as to say that any woman who might be pregnant during flu season should get the vaccine — that’s even those who are trying to conceive but aren’t pregnant yet.

According to the 2008 recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the flu vaccine during pregnancy:

— Is safe. Studies show “no adverse fetal effects and no adverse effects during infancy or early childhood.”

— Can curb flu-related problems for expectant moms, who are at higher risk of complications from the illness

WHAT SHOT TO GET

Pregnant women should get the flu shot made only with the inactivated virus. That means the flu nasal spray, FluMist, is out of the question since it’s made with live flu virus. That’s because live-virus vaccines (those containing a live organism) carry the risk that the weakened virus in the vaccine may be passed along to an unborn baby and cause illness.

The influenza vaccine is now recommended for all children 6 months and older. FluMist vaccination is approved for children as young as 2 years old.

Dr. Shahida Naseer, a pediatrician in the primary care University Pediatrics office at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, says her office has been giving about the same number of FluMist doses as injections this year. She expects nasal spray immunizations to far outweigh the traditional injections, once parents become more aware of FluMist.

“Kids are getting so many shots these days, I think having FluMist as an option is very welcome news for children and their parents,” says Naseer, who also is an associate professor of pediatrics at St. Louis University School of Medicine. “Nasal spray is a very good option for vaccination, provided there is no chronic respiratory issue, such as asthma.”

Be sure to ask your child’s pediatrician about getting immunized now, to help prevent illness when flu season kicks into high gear.

Breastfeeding Support 24/7

La Leche League has a 24 hour breastfeeding helpline 1-877-4-LALECHE (1-877-452-5324).
This helpline provides information, education, and support for women who want to breastfeed, and to healthcare providers and others. Callers have access to the most current breastfeeding information, receive support from a helpline volunteer who is an accredited La Leche League Leader, and receive contact information for local LLL Leaders and Groups. They have live operators or callers can choose to leave a voicemail.

I have heard so many stories about how difficult and painful the breastfeeding relationship can be in the beginning, and experienced it myself, when I was told my new born had what is called a “barracuda” style of nursing OUCH!

I remember scouring the web trying to find answers to my breastfeeding questions at 2 AM and being constantly being disappointed by the lack of information out there.

Hope this helps some of you in your time of need.

Mylicon Gas Relief Drops Recalled

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Fort Washington, PA (November 7, 2008) – Johnson & Johnson • Merck Consumer Pharmaceuticals Company (JJMCP) is voluntarily recalling approximately 12,000 units of Infants’ MYLICON® GAS RELIEF DYE FREE drops (simethicone-antigas) non-staining sold in 1 oz. plastic bottles that were distributed after October 5, 2008 nationwide. The company is taking this action in consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Although the potential for serious medical events is low, the company is implementing this recall to the consumer level as a precaution after determining that some bottles could include metal fragments that were generated during the manufacturing process. If any medical events were to occur, most are expected to be temporary and resolve without medical treatment. Parents who have given the product to their infant and are concerned should contact their health care provider immediately.

The two lots of Infants’ MYLICON® GAS RELIEF DYE FREE drops non-staining 1 oz. bottles included in the recall are:

Product
Code #

Lot #

Exp

Product

71683791111-1

SMF007

09/10

Infants’ Mylicon® Gas Relief Dye Free Non-Staining Drops 1 oz.

71683791111-1

SMF008

09/10

Infants’ Mylicon® Gas Relief Dye Free Non-Staining Drops 1 oz.

Consumers can find the lot numbers on the bottom of the box containing the product and also on the lower left side of the sticker on the product bottle.

Consumers who purchased Infants’ MYLICON® GAS RELIEF DYE FREE drops non-staining included in this recall should immediately stop using the product and contact the company at 1-800-222-9435 (Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. EST) or via the internet at www.mylicon.com for instructions regarding how to dispose of the product and request a replacement or refund.

Infants’ MYLICON® drops are sold over-the counter, in retail stores and pharmacies, as an anti-gas medicine to relieve the discomfort of infant gas frequently caused by air swallowing or by certain formulas or foods.

The recall does not affect any Original Infants’ MYLICON® GAS RELIEF products (1/2 oz. or 1 oz. size) or Infants’ MYLICON® GAS RELIEF DYE FREE drops non-staining (1/2 oz. size).

The manufacturer has instructed retailers and wholesalers to return their inventories.

Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.

Online: www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm

When is it time to move my Toddler to a bed?


Yesterday, a client asked a great question and it is one that comes up a lot,
When is it time to move my toddler to a bed?

If you are anything like me, I cringed at the thought. Moving my son from the crib to a bed changed life the way knew it, FOREVER!!!

I now spend my nights ushering my son back and forth to his new bed, taking my position on his floor, till he drifts off….Just to have him wake up 5 minutes later when the heat turns on or I snap our gate closed :( Granted, it has only been a week, but life as I know it will never be the same.

The usual age to move your toddler to a bed is between 18 month to 2 years of age. There are certain signs you want to look for to see when the time is right and to make the move before your child accidentally falls out of the crib while trying to climb out.

The 3 signs to look for are :

  • Trying to lift a leg up to the crib rail. This is the first sign you will notice if your child is trying to climb out of the crib.
  • Once your child reached 3 feet in height, it is time for the transition to a toddler bed.
  • Leaning over the side of the crib.

Moving to a toddler bed can be stressful for many children and it is a significant milestone in their development.

Some tips to ease the transition to a toddler bed include:

  • let him be involved in picking out the new bed and if possible, let her pick out some new bedding with her favorite characters on it and then put these on her new bed.
  • put the new bed in her room for a few months to help him get used to it(if this is possible, once your child can get out of his crib, it’s too late)
  • start his bedtime routine in his new toddler bed and then, if he wants, move him to his crib when he is finally ready to go to sleep.
  • let him take his daytime naps in the toddler bed
  • take as many things from his crib and continue to use them in his bed and as part of his bedtime routine
  • let him sleep on the crib mattress on the floor for a few nights
  • move the new bed into the position in the room that her crib was in, but you would likely have to take her crib down first

If you are expecting another child, it is a good idea to begin transitioning your toddler to a bed a few months before the new baby’s arrival.

It is also important to make sure your stair gate and all doors are shut and secured at night, once your child is in a bed and can get up and around by himself.

Thoughts on Candy and Halloween

This year was the first year my 22 month old son went Trick or Treating. He dressed up like a skunk, which he picked out himself thinking it was a “moo-cow” and went door to door going MOO…It was pretty cute.

The morning of Halloween, it dawned on me that he was going to be getting lots of candy and I didn’t have anything for him to carry it in. I ran to CVS and got him one of those plastic pumpkin totes. I think he was more excited about the pumpkin then about anything else. He was banging on it like a drum all day.

I was also worried about what to do with all the candy. My toddler has never had any candy because he is as happy with some strawberries as he is with ice cream (strange I know). At the same time I want him to grow up with healthy eating habits and candy is out there and it isn’t evil in moderation, right?

I consulted two friends of mine, a dentist and a nutritionist, about what to do with all the candy. There answer was the same , but for different reasons. My friend the dentist, said to let my son have a few pieces the night of Halloween, and throw the rest away, or give it away. His rational is, it is better for kids to eat a lot of candy in the day or so, instead of eating one piece every day for several weeks. This is because all the sticky food accumulates and remains between the teeth for days on end–especially because kids don’t typically floss–and this is a set up for bacterial build up and eventual cavities.

My friend the nutritionist, had the same advice. Her reasoning is that it is better to let my son enjoy some candy on Halloween, and associate Halloween with candy and not as an everyday treat because that could be setting up bad habits and with childhood obesity on the rise, that is the last thing I want to do.

One last thought. I know I am safety obsessed, so when buying candy to give out to the kids in my neighborhood, I thought of which candy is safest, which is easy to choke on and which could cause allergic reactions. I was shocked at the number of people who gave out candy containing peanuts! Just an observation. Nowadays with pediatricians having parents wait till a child is 4 to expose them to peanuts, I think it is a poor choice for Halloween candy.