All posts by Courtney Ilarraza

Common Poisonous Plants

PLANT TOXIC PART SYMPTOMS
 

HOUSE PLANTS

Hyacinth, Narcissus, Daffodil Bulbs Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. May be fatal.
Oleander Leaves, branches Extremely poisonous. Affects the heart, produces severe digestive upset and has caused death.
Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane), Elephant Ear All parts Intense burning and irritation of the mouth and tongue. Death can occur if base of the tongue swells enough to block the air passage of the throat.
Rosary Pea, Castor Bean Seeds Fatal. A single Rosary Pea seed has caused death. One or two Castor Bean seeds are near the lethal dose for adults.
 

FLOWER GARDEN PLANTS

Larkspur Young plant, seeds Digestive upset, nervous excitement, depression. May be fatal.
Monkshood Fleshy roots Digestive upset and nervous excitement.
Autumn Crocus, Star of Bethlehem Bulbs Vomiting and nervous excitement.
Lily-of-the-Valley Leaves, flowers Irregular heart beat and pulse, usually accompanied by digestive upset and mental confusion.
Iris Underground stems Severe-but not usually serious-digestive upset.
Foxglove Leaves Large amounts cause dangerously irregular heartbeat and pulse, usually digestive upset and mental confusion. May be fatal.
Bleeding Heart Foliage, roots May be poisonous in large amounts. Has proved fatal to cattle.
 

VEGETABLE GARDEN PLANTS

Rhubarb Leaf blade Fatal. Large amounts of raw or cooked leaves can cause convulsions, coma, followed rapidly by death.
 

ORNAMENTAL PLANTS

Daphne Berries Fatal. A few berries can kill a child.
Wisteria Seeds, pods Mild to severe digestive upset. Many children are poisoned by this plant.
Golden Chain Bean-like capsules in which the seeds are suspended Severe poisoning. Excitement, staggering, convulsions and coma. May be fatal.
Laurels, Rhododendrons, Azaleas All parts Fatal. Produces nausea and vomiting, depression, difficult breathing, prostration and coma.
Jasmine Berries Fatal. Digestive disturbance and nervous symptoms.
Lantana Camara (Red Sage) Green berries Fatal. Affects lungs, kidneys, heart and nervous system. Grows in the southern U.S. And in moderate climates.
Yew Berries, foliage Fatal. Foliage more toxic than berries. Death is usually sudden without warning symptoms.
 

TREES AND SHRUBS

Wild and cultivated cherries Twigs, foliage Fatal. Contains a compound that releases cyanide when eaten. Gasping, excitement and prostration are common symptoms.
Oaks Foliage, acorns Affects kidneys gradually. Symptoms appear only after several days or weeks. Takes a large amount for poisoning.
Elderberry All parts, especially roots Children have been poisoned by using pieces of the pithy stems for blowguns. Nausea and digestive upset.
Black Locust Bark, sprouts, foliage Children have suffered nausea, weakness and depression after chewing the bark and seeds.
 

PLANTS IN WOODED AREAS

Jack-in-the-Pulpit All parts, especially roots Like Dumb Cane, contains small needle-like crystals of calcium oxalate that cause intense irritation and burning of the mouth and tongue.
Moonseed Berries Blue, purple color, resembling wild grapes. May be fatal.
Mayapple Apple, foliage, roots Contains at least 16 active toxic principles, primarily in the roots. Children often eat the apple with no ill effects, but several apples may cause diarrhea.
Mistletoe Berries Fatal. Both children and adults have died from eating the berries.
 

PLANTS IN SWAMP OR MOIST AREAS

Water Hemlock All parts Fatal. Violent and painful convulsions. A number of people have died from hemlock.
 

PLANTS IN FIELDS

Buttercups All parts Irritant juices may severely injure the digestive system.
Nightshade All parts, especially the unripened berry Fatal. Intense digestive disturbance and nervous symptoms.
Poison Hemlock All parts Fatal. Resembles a large wild carrot.
Jimson Weed (Thorn Apple) All parts Abnormal thirst, distorted sight, delirium, incoherence and coma. Common cause of poisoning. Has proved fatal.

 

Chart taken from materials provided by the Texas State Department of Health and the National Safety Council

Pottery Barn Recalls Drop-Side Cribs, U.S. Plans Ban

Pottery Barn Kids voluntarily recalled 82,000 drop-side cribs today. This coincides with the proposed ban on drop-side cribs by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission. The recall by the Williams-Sonoma Inc unit affects cribs sold from January 1999 through March 2010, priced at $300 to $600.

This is the 12th U.S. recall of drop-side cribs in the past five years, involving more than 7 million units, the CPSC said.

The CPSC’s proposal would ban the sale of all drop-side cribs from the United States, and require their removal from hotels, motels and day care centers. The ban would also require stronger mattress supports in cribs.

Babyproofing TVs, Bookcases and Bulky Furniture

bulky tvLast Summer  I remember hearing about three toddlers in NYC  who were killed when they were crushed by a television. Children love to climb and pull on things. Parents need to make sure that while they are babyproofing, that their TV’s, bookcases, dressers, appliances etc, are sturdy and that there is no chance of it tipping over.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) staff estimates that in 2006, 16,300 children 5 years old and younger were treated in emergency rooms because of injuries associated with TV, furniture, and appliance tip-overs, and between 2000 and 2006, CPSC staff received reports (pdf) of 134 tip-over related deaths. Additionally, CPSC staff is aware of at least 30 media reports of tip-over deaths since January 2007 involving this same age group.

To help prevent tip-over hazards, Baby Bodyguards offers the following safety tips:

  • Furniture should be stable on its own. For added security, anchor chests or dressers, TV stands, bookcases and entertainment units to the floor or attach them to a wall. The
  • The largest heaviest books should be placed on the bottom of a bookcase
  • Place TVs on a sturdy, low-rise base and anti-tip the TV. Avoid flimsy shelves.
  • Push the TV as far back as possible.
  • Place electrical cords out of a child’s reach, and teach kids not to play with them.
  • Keep remote controls and other attractive items off the TV stand so kids won’t be tempted to grab for them and risk knocking the TV over.
  • Make sure free-standing ranges and stoves are installed with anti-tip brackets. They are provided by the manufacturer

We at Baby Bodyguards care about your child’s safety. Please contact us if you have any questions about how to anti-tip on your own, or if you would like us to send a technician to do it for you.

Baby Bodyguards is Now Working With Day Care Centers

BABYBODYGUARDS SAFETY SEALOne of the hardest decisions a parent has to make is deciding on a Day Care facility that they feel comfortable with.

Baby Bodyguards is hoping to make this decision a bit easier by working with local Day Care Centers to ensure that the level of safety you have in place in your home, exists in the facility you choose to send your child to.

Look for the Baby Bodyguards Seal of Safety or call us for a list of “Approved” Centers. 718-332-0511

Kellogg's Cereal Recall

We have been on a Kashi kick these days, but for those of you who like you Apple Jacks and Honey Combs, listen up. Some Kelloggs cereal have been making people ill. The affected cereals include many of the well known brands that the manufacturer produces.  The recalled cereal includes Kellogg’s brand Corn Pops, Honey Smacks, Froot Loops, and Apple Jacks.

The strange smell that has been reported by consumers has been recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is said to be caused by the plastic packaging that he cereals are wrapped in. It is said that although the risk for serious illnesses caused by the problem is extremely low, there is a high chance that consumers would get a ‘stomach upset’ if they were to eat these affected cereals.

Here is the link to the Kellogg’s site to check if your box is among the recalled.

Summer Safety Tip Sheet

The American Academy Of Pediatrics was nice enough to provide us with Summer Safety Tips

FUN IN THE SUN
Source:
http://www.aap.org/advocacy/archives/tanning.htm

Babies under 6 months:

  • The two main recommendations from the AAP to prevent sunburn are to avoid sun exposure, and dress infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn. However when adequate clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply a minimal amount of suncreen with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor) to small areas, such as the infant’s face and the back of the hands. If an infant gets sunburn, apply cold compresses to the affected area.

For All Other Children:

  • The first, and best, line of defense against the sun is covering up. Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that block 99-100% of ultraviolet rays), and cotton clothing with a tight weave.
  • Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • On both sunny and cloudy days use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater that protects against UVB and UVA rays.
  • Be sure to apply enough sunscreen – about one ounce per sitting for a young adult.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
  • Use extra caution near water and sand (and even snow!) as they reflect UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.

HEAT STRESS IN EXERCISING CHILDREN
Source:
http://www.aap.org/policy/re9845.html

  • The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat and humidity reach critical levels.
  • At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, the intensity and duration of exercise should be limited initially and then gradually increased during a period of 10 to 14 days to accomplish acclimatization to the heat.
  • Before prolonged physical activity, the child should be well-hydrated. During the activity, periodic drinking should be enforced, for example, each 20 minutes, 5 oz of cold tap water or a flavored sports drink for a child weighing 90 lbs, and 9 oz for an adolescent weighing 130 lbs, even if the child does not feel thirsty.
  • Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material to facilitate evaporation of sweat. Sweat-saturated shirts should be replaced by dry clothing.
  • Practices and games played in the heat should be shortened and more frequent water/hydration breaks should be instituted.

POOL SAFETY
Source:
http://www.aap.org/family/tipppool.htm

  • Install a fence at least four-feet high around all four sides of the pool.  The fence should not have openings or protrusions that a young child could use to get over, under, or through.
  • Make sure pool gates open out from the pool, and self-close and self-latch at a height children can’t reach.
  • If the house serves as the fourth side of a fence surrounding a pool, install an alarm on the exit door to the yard and the pool.
  • Never leave children alone in or near the pool or spa, even for a moment.
  • Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd’s hook – a long pole with a hook on the end – and life preserver) and a portable telephone near the pool. Choose a shepherd’s hook and other rescue equipment made of fiberglass or other materials that do not conduct electricity.
  • Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties.” They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children a false sense of security.
  • Children age 4 and older should be taught to swim. Parents may choose to start swimming lessons before age 4 if their children are developmentally ready, but swim programs should never be seen as “drown proofing” a child of any age.
  • Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”
  • Avoid Entrapment: Suction from pool and spa drains can trap an adult underwater.  Do not use a pool or spa if there are broken or missing drain covers.  Ask your pool operator if your pool or spa’s drains are compliant with the Pool and Spa Safety Act.
  • Large inflatable above-ground pools have become increasingly popular for backyard use. Children may fall in if they lean against the soft side of an inflatable pool. Although such pools are often exempt from local pool fencing requirements, it is essential that they be surrounded by an appropriate fence just as a permanent pool would be so that children cannot gain unsupervised access.

BUG SAFETY

  • Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays on your child.
  • Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and gardens where flowers are in bloom.
  • Avoid dressing your child in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints.
  • To remove a visible stinger from skin, gently back it out by scraping it off horizontally with a credit card or your fingernail.
  • Combination sunscreen/insect repellent products should be avoided because sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours, but the insect repellent should not be reapplied.
  • Use insect repellents containing DEET when need to prevent insect related diseases such as ticks which can transmit Lyme Disease, and mosquitoes which can transmit West Nile Virus and other viruses.
  • The current CDC and AAP recommendation for children over 2 months of age is to use 10- 30 percent DEET.  DEET should not be used on children under 2 months of age.
  • The effectiveness is similar for 10-30% DEET but the duration of effect varies. Ten percent DEET provides protection for about 2 hours – 30% for about 5 hours – choose the lowest concentration that will provide required length of coverage.
  • The concentration of DEET varies significantly from product to product, so read the label of any product you purchase. Children should wash off repellents when back indoors.
  • As an alternative to DEET, Picaridin has become available in the U.S. in concentrations of 5-10%.

For more information on DEET: http://www.aapnews.org/cgi/content/full/e200399v1

Traveling Safely, New Resource

Plane

With Joran van der Sloot all over the news today, one can’t help but be reminded of  Natalee Holloway, the teenager who vanished on a trip to Aruba in 2005. Natalee’s mother Beth Holloway is collaborating with Mayday 360,  a global safety company, to enhance travel safety. Mayday 360 will donate $10 to the NHRC (Natalee Holloway Resource Center) for every member who signs up as a result of registering on their site.

Mayday 360 has a great travel security handbook that can downloaded for free. It is very informative and a must for all who are traveling abroad this summer.

Congress Looking to Ban Drop-Side Cribs

drop-side 32 infants and toddlers have suffocated or been strangled in their drop-side crib since 2000. Drop-sides, around for decades and probably slept in by many of today’s parents, are suspected in an additional 14 infant fatalities during that time.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, which regulates cribs, has warned about the problem. Its chairman, Inez Tenenbaum, has pledged to ban the manufacture and sale of cribs by the end of the year with a new performance standard that would make fixed-side cribs mandatory. It could be several months into 2011 before becoming effective.

The industry has already started phasing out drop-sides and big retailers such as Babies R Us and Wal-Mart have taken them off sale floors. Yet there are still plenty for sale on the Internet, and that’s part of the reason Congress is getting involved.

“There’s a great urgency here. We have to make sure that no parent is unaware that drop-side cribs could kill their children,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said in an Associated Press interview.

She plans to introduce legislation this week to outlaw the manufacture, sale and resale of all drop-side cribs and ban them from day-care centers and hotels. Gillibrand wants to accelerate efforts for a ban, from Congress or the CPSC, and highlight concerns about the cribs to parents who are using them.

“There still are thousands and thousands of children who are sleeping every night in drop-side cribs and we need to protect them,” said Gillibrand.

She outlined her bill at a news conference in New York on Sunday, accompanied by parents of victims.

More than 7 million of these cribs have been recalled in the past five years, often because screws, safety pegs or plastic tracking for the rail can come loose or break. The industry insists that babies are safe in drop-sides that haven’t been recalled.

“We believe firmly that when these products are assembled and used properly, they are the safest place to put your child,” said Mike Dwyer, executive director of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, which represents over 90 percent of the crib industry.

But when the hardware malfunctions, the drop-side rail can detach partially from the crib. That creates a dangerous “V”-like gap between the mattress and side rail where a baby can get caught and suffocate or strangle.

Dwyer says manufacturers have seen cases where parents installed the drop-side improperly, sometimes upside down, or they have reassembled a crib for a second or third child with some of the screws or other hardware missing.

In addition to the CPSC’s pledge to vote on a ban by year’s end, two New York counties — Nassau and Suffolk, on Long Island — have banned the sale of drop-sides.

Late last year, crib manufacturers were already moving in that direction when they voted to eliminate the drop-side design and instead opt for four fixed sides, but the standard is a voluntary one.

Despite the industry’s move to end production, there are plenty of new and used drop-side cribs for sale online. The Associated Press found drop-sides for purchase on websites for Sears, Kmart and Amazon.com. Craigslist also had scores of used drop-side cribs for sale.

The industry doesn’t have figures on how many drop-sides might still be on the market, but Dwyer says it’s a small percentage.

The Coolest Baby Product of 2010…The mamaRoo!!!

IMG_0682I just received our mamaRoo, made by 4moms. I have been anxiously awaiting it’s arrival for weeks, and it was worth it. Last night when my 3 week old was up from 4am to 6am, I kept thinking, when is my mamaRoo going to arrive. HOORAY!!IMG_0681

This is the COOLEST most AMAZING product I have ever seen for babies. It’s not a swing or a bouncer, it is a futuristic “baby spacecraft” that moves like mom. It has 5 unique motions: car ride, kangaroo, tree swing, rock-a bye, and ocean wave. Our daughter loves the car ride, and I love not actually having to be out in the middle of the night driving around a colicky baby. Each motion can be adjusted to the right speed for your baby. The mamaRoo also comes with 5 sounds of nature, but what I love most is that you can connect your MP3 player to it .

If exposing baby to wonderful music isn’t enough, the mamaRoo also comes with Plush toy balls decorated in the style of Van Gogh, Monet, and Seurat. Black and white on one side for infants. Color on the other side for older babies. They easily pop in and out of the mobile so babies can chew and or study them.

This is a must have for every new parent. It’s worth the splurge at $200. It is a reasonable price considering you can take that swing and bouncer off your registry.

Great Breastfeeding Resource

breastfeedingIt’s amazing how every baby is so.. different. My first baby wanted to nurse all the time. A lactation consultant described him as a “Barracuda Nurser”. It was awful! My nipples were cracked and bleeding. I had to take tylenol before latching him on because the pain was so bad. I had to deal with thrush, plugged ducts and yucky mastitis. I would have definitely given up on nursing, if I hadn’t discovered Kellymom.com. A friend told me about the site when my son was 2 weeks old, and I called her hysterical at 1am because I just didn’t  know what to do anymore, and it gave me the answers to all my questions. Luckily, our new baby girl, is a snacker with a great latch. She like to nurse for 5 minutes at a time and so far so good.

A lot of my friends find themselves in the same boat as me. In the 1970’s and 80’s most moms in America didn’t breastfeed. When I had my son and was sitting in the hospital bed looking to my mother for advice, she had none to give me, and to make matters worse, with the recession, a lot of hospitals have cut their lactation support, leaving new moms who want to give their baby the very best, clueless as to what to do and expect.

Breastfeeding.com has a great directory of lactation consultants in the NYC area.