Opinion Section of NYT-Volvo Weighs in on Child Car Seats

I found this article by Stephen Dubner very interesting and wanted to share it. In a nutshell Volvo has done independent crash tests and claims to have found several shortcomings with existing car seat practices. Volvo argues that:

1-Young children are much safer facing the rear of the car and should ride that way until age three or four (as they commonly do in Sweden), rather than facing forward starting at six months or one year.

2-“[C]hildren should be in booster seats until at least age 10 to ensure seatbelts are positioned correctly across their chests without riding up to their necks.”

3-“Current child seats require feeding the seatbelt and attaching a top tether, something that takes time and is often not performed properly. An RACV report in 2004 estimated that child seats were incorrectly fitted as much as 70 per cent of the time.”

After watching thres seasons of Mad Men, on AMC, a great show for those of you who have never heard of it, I got a real kick from the quote made by Henry Ford, when he was pushed to install seatbelts in Ford cars in the 1950’s. Ford feared that “selling safety” was bad for business in that it reminded people that cars were inherently unsafe.

Epicuren Baby Daily Lotion

I had been hearing a lot of great things about the Episencial-Epicuren Baby Line, and was lucky enough to get my dry Winter beaten hands on their Baby Daily Lotion. I was really impressed with the lotion. It went on smoothly and was not greasy at all.

I was going to wait to review the lotion until our baby girl is born, but our son’s skin was so dry and rashy, i decided I couldn’t hold out and slathered him up in Epicuren. He has very sensitive skin and Epicuren uses 100% natural ingredients that are 75% organic. It’s great on sensitive skin!

I am a huge Anne Geddes fan, and Epicuren is made in association with her. Her photographs are on the packaging and are just too cute.

Graco Stroller Recall

Graco Recalls Strollers Due to Fingertip Amputation and Laceration Hazards

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 products. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Graco’s Passage™, Alano™ and Spree™ Strollers and Travel Systems

Units: About 1.5 million

Manufacturer: Graco Children’s Products Inc., of Atlanta, Ga.

Hazard: The hinges on the stroller’s canopy pose a fingertip amputation and laceration hazard to the child when the consumer is opening or closing the canopy.

Incidents/Injuries: Graco has received seven reports of children placing their fingers in the stroller’s canopy hinge mechanism while the canopy was being opened or closed, resulting in five fingertip amputations and two fingertip lacerations.

Description: This recall involves Graco Passage™, Alano™ and Spree™ Strollers and Travel Systems with the following model numbers and specific hinge mechanisms:

Model Numbers
6303MYC, 6303MYC3 7240DNB, 7240DNB2
7240MKL2, 7240MKL3
7F02GLM3
6320IVY, 6320LAU 7241DDH2, 7241DHO3 7F04TAY3
6330CAP, 6330THR,
6330THR3
7255CLP, 7255CLP2,
7255CRA2, 7255CRA3,
7255CSA3, 7255GPK3,
7255GRN, 7255GRN2,
7255JJB3, 7255ORC2,
7255WLO2, 7255WLO3
7F07EMA3
6F00QIN3, 6F00RRY3 7256CLO2, 7256SPM2,
7256SPM3
7F08DSW3, 7F08LAN3
6F03GLN3 7260BAN, 7260BAN2,
7260BAN3, 7260MRA2,
7260MRA3, 7260PKR,
7260PKR2
7G00DLS3, 7G00DLS4
6G10CSE3 7270BIA, 7270BIA2 7G01CRL3
7235GGA, 7235GGA2 7E01JON2, 7E01JON3 7G04KRA3
7236CDR2 7F00LPE3, 7F00RSH3 7G05GPR3, 7G06WSR3
7237HOL2, 7237HOL3 7F01FOR3 7G07ABB3, 7G07BAT3

Graco manufactured two different styles of hinge mechanisms for these stroller models. Only strollers or travel systems with a plastic, jointed hinge mechanism that has indented canopy positioning notches (see photo below) are included in this recall. The recalled strollers were manufactured between October 2004 and February 2008. The model number and manufacture date are located on the lower inside portion of the rear frame, just above the rear wheels.

Sold at: AAFES, Burlington Coat Factory, Babies “R” Us, Toys “R” Us, Kmart, Fred Meyer, Meijers, Navy Exchange, Sears, Target, Walmart and other retailers nationwide from October 2004 and December 2009 for between $80 and $90 for the strollers and between $150 and $200 for the travel systems.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled strollers and contact Graco to receive a free protective cover repair kit.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Graco at (800) 345-4109 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.gracobaby.com

Another Big Crib Recall , Not Just Drop Side Cribs This Time

Dorel Asia Recalls To Replace Cribs; Pose Strangulation and Suffocation Hazards
One infant death reported, 10 injuries to infants

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Dorel Asia SRL, of Barbados, is announcing a voluntary recall to replace drop side and non-drop side cribs that pose suffocation and strangulation hazards to infants and toddlers. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled cribs until replacement kits are obtained and installed.

Name of Product: Dorel Asia cribs

Units: About 635,000

Distributor: Dorel Asia SRL, of Barbados

Hazard: The drop side hardware can fail causing the drop side to detach from the crib. When the drop side detaches it creates a space in which an infant or toddler can become entrapped and suffocate or strangle. In addition, the recalled cribs can pose a serious entrapment and strangulation hazard when a slat is damaged. This can occur while the crib is in use, in storage, being put together, taken apart or reassembled; or during shipping and handling.

Reports: CPSC and Dorel Asia SRL received a report of the death of 6-month old child from Cedar Rapids, Iowa who became entrapped and strangled in a crib after the drop side hardware broke. The crib continued to be used after the parents tried to repair the drop side themselves. CPSC and Dorel Asia received reports of 31 drop side incidents. In six of those incidents, children were entrapped between the drop side and crib mattress. Three children suffered from bruises as a result of the entrapment. In addition, CPSC and Dorel Asia received reports of 36 incidents of slat breakage, including seven reports of bruises and scratches to children and two reports of entrapment that resulted in no injury.

Description: The following Dorel Asia cribs are involved in the recall:

Model Number Front Rail Description
WM1633 Drop side 3-1 Sleigh Crib – Cherry
WM1633-0 Drop side 3-1 Sleigh Crib – Cherry (no castors)
WM1676BC Fixed 4-1 Bethany James Crib – Walnut
WM1676BCR-DC Fixed 2-1 Crib – Walnut
WM2163 Fixed 4-1 Crib – Manhattan Walnut
WM2163DC Fixed 4-1 Crib – Manhattan Walnut
WM1633-0-DC Fixed 3-1 Sleigh Crib (no castors)
GP004B3EGR Drop side 3-1 Convertible – Espresso
GP004B3WGR Drop side 3-1 Convertible – White
GP006BCEGR Drop side Single – Espresso
GP006BCWGR Drop side Single – White
DA1615B3 Drop side 3-1 Convertible Crib – Natural
DAKM5132 Drop side 3-1 Convertible Crib – White
DASE5005 Drop side Cottage Hill Single Crib – White
DASE5009 Drop side Vintage Estate 3-1 Sleigh Crib – Cherry
DA0504KMC-1N Drop side 3-1 Heritage Crib – Natural
DA0504KMC-1W Drop side 3-1 Heritage Crib – White
DA1614B3 Drop side 3-1 Lexington Crib – Cherry
DAKM5152 Drop side Single Jenny Lind Crib – Walnut
DASE5015 Drop side 3-1 Convertible – Toffee

Sold at: K-Mart, Sears and Wal-Mart stores nationwide from January 2005 through December 2009 for between $120 and $700.

Manufactured in: China and Vietnam

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled cribs, find an alternative safe sleeping environment for your child, and contact Dorel Asia to receive a free replacement kit. Consumers should log on to www.dorel-asia.com to order the free replacement kit to prevent child entrapment in these cribs. The repair kits will be provided to owners within the next several weeks.

Consumer Contact: Call Dorel Asia toll-free at (866) 762-2304 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s Web site at www.dorel-asia.com

Important Message from CPSC: CPSC reminds 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. Disengagements can create a gap and entrap a child. In addition, do not try to repair any side of the crib, especially with duct tape, wire or rope.

Visit CPSC’s Crib Information Center for more information on Crib Safety and Recalls.

Huge Recall of OTC Products…..Again

Ways to Help Haiti

As I sat home today nursing my sick three year old back to health, I was glued to my TV watching what appeared to be Hell on Earth. The situation in Haiti is one I can not even begin to imagine. Homes lost, children lost, dead people in the street, I feel compelled to help, as I’m sure you do as well.

Chris Sacca, compiled a list of six ways to help the situation here is what he suggests in his post:

1) Text “HAITI” to “90999” to donate $10 to the Red Cross — Our friends at the US State Department, including Katie Stanton (@kateatstate), very quickly put together this number to channel relief contributions directly to first responders who will be on the ground there. I love that our government does things like this. (Update: I am told this only works in the US)

2) Text “Yele” to 501501 to donate $5 to Yele Haiti — My good friend Wyclef Jean (@wyclef) created this foundation to permanently improve the lives of the most impoverished in his home country of Haiti. Over the years, the stories I have heard from Wyclef remind me of how hard the living is there. I am humbled by Wyclef’s commitment to the region and the impact Yele Haiti has there every day. Check out more on Yele Haiti.

3) Donate to Partners in Health (click here) — PIH (@pih_org) is already on the ground in Haiti and mobilizing their relief efforts. If you have heard of Paul Farmer, this is the organization he co-founded. Working to provide health care and education to the poorest of Haiti, PIH is the real deal.

4) Donate to Architecture for Humanity (click here) — Cameron Sinclair (@casinclair) and his non-profit Architecture for Humanity (@archforhumanity) can be found at virtually every developing world disaster site on the planet. These guys are a collection of design and housing geniuses who work tirelessly to provide shelter for the most deserving.

5) Donate to charity:water (click here) — If you know me, you know how passionate I am about charity:water (@charitywater) and it’s work to bring clean water to the 1 billion people on the planet who don’t have it. Recently, the organization’s founder, my friend and inspiration Scott Harrison (@scottharrison), traveled to Haiti to commence operations in that country and already thousands of Haitians have clean water to drink. As if the situation wasn’t already bad enough, the need for clean water only intensifies in the aftermath of earthquakes. Every dollar of your support to these guys goes fully and immediately to work in the field. (Update: charity:water wrote a post encouraging you to also help their partners in Haiti.)

6) Learn more about Haiti — So often we send token amounts of charity to far-flung developing world destinations. Yet, rarely do we have a sense of what life is like there. Thus, one of the ways I believe you can also respond to a tragedy like this is to commit to learning about Haiti, it’s culture and wonder, as well as its daunting hardships. To that end, I recommend reading Paul Farmer’s book Mountains Beyond Mountains to get a taste of the hard work underway. Also, be sure to watch Ghosts of

The Child Safety Seat and the NYC Taxi

I received an email last night from a past client who was expecting some relatives coming into town with a new infant. She wanted to know our thoughts on whether a car seat is necessary in a taxicab. It is actually a question we get asked a lot, because the law in NY reads as this:

Drivers of yellow medallion taxicabs and for-hire vehicles and their passengers, are exempt from laws regarding car seats and seatbelts.  Keep in mind, the TLC encourages everyone in the vehicle to buckle their seatbelts while riding in a cab.  There are no Taxi and Limousine Commission rules regarding this, as it is a State exemption. Passengers with children are encouraged to bring their own car seats, which the drivers must allow passengers to install.
*NOTE – Children under the age of seven are permitted to sit on an adult’s lap.

Baby Bodyguards strongly encourages parents to always have their child in an age appropriate safety seat while riding in a vehicle.

According to Time Out New York Kids, some NYC parent favorites for portability and convenience are ,  the Graco SnugRide because; it can be secured in a taxi without the use of its snap-in car seat base. NYC parents also favor the Triple Play Sit ’n’ Stroll, which has wheels that let you convert the car seat to a stroller. If you need to travel lighter, try the foward-facing Eddie Bauer Portable Car Seat; it weighs just four pounds and can be used with children older than one year weighing more than 22 pounds.

For parents that don’t own a car, it is still important to know the correct way to install a child safety seat. Baby Bodyguards can let you use one of our cars while we give you the lesson.

7 Foods to Avoid for a Healthier You

A few weeks ago my husband forwarded me a great article from Food Consumer.  It had experts weigh in on certain foods to avoid, with some pretty provoking reasons. It has changed the way we have been eating in 2010, so I thought I would share.

Here is the list:

Canned Tomatoes –
The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Acidity — a prominent characteristic of tomatoes — causes BPA to leach into your food.

Baby Bodyguards Solution-We have switched to boxed tomatoes. Trader Joes, makes a great product

Corn-Fed Beef
The expert: Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of books on sustainable farming
Cattle were designed to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. A recent comprehensive study found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene,

Baby Bodyguards Solution-We have switched to grass-fed beef. I have to admit, it tasted very different. I don’t know if it is my pregnancy hormones that are increasing my sensitivity to the taste. Grass-fed beef goes great in this Shepherds Pie recipe.

Microwave Popcorn-

The expert: Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group

Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize — and migrate into your popcorn.

Baby Bodyguards Solution – We have switched to air popped. It is not as convenient as the microwave, but just as tasty

Non-organic Potatoes-

The expert: Jeffrey Moyer, chair of the National Organic Standards Board

Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes they’re treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they’re dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting.

Baby Bodyguards Solution-We have switched to organic potatoes sold at our local farmers market. For information about Farmers markets by you visit http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/

Farmed Salmon-
The expert: David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany

Nature didn’t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT.

Baby Bodyguards Solution-we have switched to Atlantic Wild Salmon. Fresh Direct, sells a great product.

Milk Produced with Artificial Hormones-

The expert: Rick North, project director of the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility

Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers.

Baby Bodyguards Solution- We had already been drinking hormone free milk. Most milk says in small print “our cows are not treated with rBST”

Conventional Apples-

The expert: Mark Kastel, codirector of the Cornucopia Institute

If fall fruits held a “most doused in pesticides contest,” apples would win. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides with Parkinson’s disease.

Baby Bodyguards Solution-We have switched to organic apples not treated with pesticides. It costs about $1 more a pound, but is not worth  the risk.

FDNY's CPR Training Program

I thought this may be of interest to you guys. FDNY is offering a free hour long CPR to  go course.

The Department will offer CPR training to the public at both Department Facilities and participating New York Sports Club locations throughout the five boroughs. Everyone who completes the training will receive a free, transferable week-long pass to NYSC for you or a friend.

The program is designed to teach you how to save your Family and Friends.  The course does not provide certification.

As part of the class, you will be asked to pledge to give back by sharing your knowledge with five other people. To help you do so, you’ll get to take home your CPR training kit, complete with an inflatable training doll and training DVD in English and Spanish.

Click here to sign up

Happy 2010 From The Baby Bodyguard's Family!

I hope all of you had a wonderful and safe holiday season with your families. We at Baby Bodyguards wanted to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your continued support and shared passion for protecting the little ones in our lives.

We are thankful for all the wonderful families and adorable babies we have gotten to meet in 2009. We are also thankful and anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first baby girl due the end of April.

May 2010 bring all of us joy, good health , and success…

Cheers,

Courtney Ilarraza, and the rest of our team