Category Archives: Good Parenting

Best New Invention For New Parents

As the Co-Founder of Baby Bodyguards,  National Safety Expert, American Heart Association CPR Instructor and Mother of 3 small children, I am always on the look out for products that will help save the lives of babies and give parents peace of mind and comfort at the same time. A lot of  products that I come across are unnecessary , create a false sense of security or just seem to prey on the fears of new sleep deprived parents. Recently, I have come across a product that is incredible and worth every penny. It is called the Owlet owletand is already saving lives.

The Owlet is a sock that goes on babies foot and monitors their heart rate and oxygen levels while they sleep using pulse oximetry. The Owlet is designed to alert you if your baby stops breathing. If the baby stops breathing you will get an alert on your phone as well as an independent base station. It is reasonably priced at $250 and available on their website.

 

Dangers of Button Batteries

An Oklahoma family suffered an awful tragedy last week when their 2 year old toddler swallowed a button battery and passed away a few days later. Button batteries are found in hearing aides, remote cButton Batteryontrols, greeting cards that play music, calculators, pen lights etc.

The child’s grandfather, says she hadn’t been feeling well for a couple days and was throwing up and had a fever. She was taken to a hospital after she began throwing up blood.

The best way to prevent any accident, is proper adult supervision and organization. Parents and caregivers need to be mindful of objects that can pose a threat to young children and make sure they are out of a childs reach.

A swallowed battery may cause no symptoms at all, but if it becomes stuck in the esophagus or stomach, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Stomach pain
  • Bloody stools
  • Cardiovascular collapse (shock)
  • Chest pain
  • Gastrointestinal inflammation
  • Hole in the esophagus
  • Nausea
  • Metallic taste
  • Vomiting (possibly bloody)

If you suspect your child swallowed a battery or another poisonous substance, it is best to call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222. They will give you further instructions.

Traveling With a Toddler

Traveling with a toddler this summer? Staying in a hotel? A few simple preparations will help make it a safe and worry-free trip.

First of all, call ahead. Some hotels and resorts will provide childproofing supplies.

If not, as soon as you arrive, babyproof the room as much as possible.

• Remove small objects (like the complimentary pen). Check around and under the bed for anything the cleaning crew might have missed.

• Check to make sure cords are out of reach—especially for things like table lamps and irons—just to eliminate the possibility of your toddler pulling them down on him.

• Bring some large outlet plugs to cover exposed outlets. A doorknob cover for the bathroom door is good (although it may not fit some hotel doorknobs). Or, a pressure gate would keep small ones out of the bathroom.

• Masking tape is a good all-purpose option in a pinch. You can tape a washcloth over sharp furniture corners, tape electrical cords or curtain cords out of reach, or even (carefully) tape drawers closed.

Be careful about what you leave in a suitcase or low drawers. Toiletries, medications, etc. should be put out of reach in the bathroom or on the closet shelf.

Don’t leave full suitcases on low benches or the folding stand that hotels sometimes provide—your toddler may be able to pull it down on herself.

If you have a hard-sided suitcase, it’s best to leave it latched—just to prevent little fingers from getting pinched.

Use the deadbolt on the door when you’re in the room. Hotel doors are made for easy and quick opening in an emergency, which means that a toddler who can reach the door handle will be able to open it.

A nightlight is a comfort item—to help your toddler feel more safe and secure if she wakes in the middle of the night.

For tips on packing for, and air travel with, young children check out havebabywilltravel.com.

Safe travels! And for more information about coming home to a safe and childproofed house, go to www.babybodyguards.com or email us at swohio@babybodyguards.com.

Baby Bodyguards Comes to SW Ohio

Three out of four child car seats are not installed properly according to the NHTSA, making them less safe or even completely unsafe for children. In family homes cabinet latches, furniture straps, stair gates and other basic protective devices that are missing, misused, or improperly installed leave hazards for small children.It’s enough to keep new parents awake at night, and it’s the kind of problem that a new service in the Cincinnati area called Baby Bodyguards is designed to solve.

Baby Bodyguards began in New York after several accidents involving friends’ children led founders Fred and Courtney Ilarraza to study home safety. With the help of emergency room physicians, first responders, child psychologists, and other professionals, they started offering a comprehensive service to local families.

And now that service is available to families in southwest Ohio. “What appealed to us about Baby Bodyguards,” said co-owner Dylan Weidlich, “is that the professional installation of safety measures is almost secondary. What’s most important is to work with new parents and educate them about child safety.” Weidlich, a former EMT with a degree in neuroscience, stressed that the aim is for children to have normal experiences in a safe environment. “Kids need to explore, learn and grow. Parents don’t need to be overprotective as long as they understand how to deal with potential hazards around them.”

Weidlich said that his experiences as a safety consultant Prentice Women’s Hospital and Chicago’s Children’s Hospital and as a certified installer in Chicago and New York convinced him of the need for such a service in his home town. He also said he appreciates that the original Baby Bodyguards is a family business, and will continue to be as it expands to Ohio. “Families look out for each other,” he said.

Baby Bodyguards of SW Ohio offers professional car seat installation, infant and child CPR classes, and home safety evaluations and installations. In a typical home safety consultation, a member of the Baby Bodyguards team meets with parents to discuss a wide range of topics, from stove safety to identifying poisonous house plants. That’s followed by a home walk-through and installation of any needed safety devices.

On-the-spot car seat installations and in-home CPR classes are also available. In New York, said Weidlich, the CPR classes have become a chance for friends to gather. “Expectant mothers or families with infants will get together in a friend’s home and share the experience.”

Weidlich and the other members of the Baby Bodyguards team can be reached at 513-573-9390 or by emailing swohio@babybodyguards.com.

For more information visit www.babybodyguards.com.

My Big Boy is Growing Up

Last week New York City Schools were closed for Mid-Winter Recess.  I had my children home with me while I attempted to keep working from our home office and keep my sanity.

I was thrilled when a mother in my 7 year old’s class offered to take my son to a movie. I spontaneously agreed and then my anxiety kicked in. You see, I have never allowed my son to be driven in a car that wasn’t operated by a member of my family and we have child safety seats for every stage.

I was shocked that when I voiced my concern to my friends with kids similarly aged, they thought  I was being nuts. Every one of them said that their kids ride in cars without booster seats.  They all have a seat in their vehicle, but they don’t think twice about their child being in other people’c cars without one. One friend even told me that she isn’t required to have a Booster Seat anymore because her daughter is 6.

The law in New York is that children need to be riding with a booster seat until they are 8. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a booster seat until a child is 4 feet 9 inches tall. The point of the booster is to raise a child up so the seat belt falls properly on their body so it can protect the if there is a crash.

I called the mother up and voiced my concern. She said that her kids don’t use a booster seat anymore, but she has room in her SUV if I want to put one in for my son.

My son went on his first real outing without me, and he had a great time. I on the other hand was counting the minutes till he got home. I couldn’t wait to hear all about his adventure.

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Car Seat Inspection Sites in New York

Here is the link fo car seat inspection sites in New York.

Baby Bodyguards doesn’t just inspect your seat, we teach you the correct way to install it as well, so you will be comfortable putting the seat back in if it needs to come out, or upgrading to the next stage seat.

We are often asked if we can just “inspect” a seat. The reason we don’t do this is because 9 out of 10 are installed incorrectly, and if we just make the necessary adjustments, chances are the parent will be calling us in a month or two when the car needs to go to the shop or they are traveling, and they will be stuck on the proper way to put the seat back in.

When the parent leaves us, they will be confident in their ability to install their own seat.

The 10 Most Common Car Seat Installation Errors We See

Baby Bodyguards staffs CPST’s who help  approximately 5 parents a day install their baby’s safety seat. We can’t help but take notice of the same errors we are seeing time and time again.

Here are the most common mistakes we see:

1-Using LATCH in a center seating position when it is not allowed by the manufacturer – most vehicles do not permit you to install a car seat in the center, using the two inner LATCH anchors from the side seating positions. Check your vehicle and child restraint manuals. If nothing is specifically mentioned to allow it, don’t do it.

2-Using LATCH and a seat belt together – you must use one system or the other, not both. Either method is safe when used correctly, so go with the method that gets you the best install

3- Using LATCH beyond the weight limit. LATCH is only good up to 40lbs unless otherwise stated in your vehicle or in the car seat manual. If the vehicle and car seat manuals defer to one another, err on the side of caution and assume a 40 lb limit.

4-Incorrect seat belt routing on a booster – make sure to read and follow the instructions for how to route the seat belt correctly over your child. Many boosters have arm rests that need the lap belt routed under them instead of over.

5- Loose car seat install – a car seat must be installed tightly enough that there is an inch or less of movement in all directions at the belt path when pushed or pulled on.

6-Incorrect belt path used on convertible seat install – you must use the belt path designated for the type of install you are doing. Usually the rear facing belt path runs under the child’s bottom/legs and the forward facing belt path runs behind their back.

7-Chest clip out of position (usually too low) – the chest clip should be at armpit level at all times.

8-Aftermarket accessories (head positioners, body padding/positioners, strap covers, hanging toys, under car seat mats/upholstery protectors, mirrors, suction cup window shades, seat belt tighteners/ratchets, bunting bags/liners, custom car seat covers, etc.) – if it did not come with your seat or is not specifically allowed by your car seat manual, don’t use it. The less “stuff” involved in your car seat install, the better. Nothing extra should go between the car seat and vehicle seat, the baby and the car seat, or the baby and the harness. Toys, mirrors, and window shades can come loose in a crash and injure passengers. Mats can interfere with an install. Many manufacturers will void the seat’s warranty if aftermarket products are used. There are no safety standards for these items, so even those that claim to be “crash tested” or “meet all federal safety standards” (there are none!) cannot be trusted as safe.

9- Not using the top tether anchor when the lower LATCH anchors are used for a forward facing seat – the top tether MUST be used when a seat is installed forward facing with LATCH.

10- Unfortunately the most common mistake we see, not by our clients, but just general observation, are parents riding around with babies/children with no car seat at all. I cringe every time I see this and just pray that child makes it through the early years without being subjected to a crash.

Baby Safe Holiday Decorations

With the holidays right around the corner, you may be wondering if you have to give up on decorating now that you have a baby. I wanted to share some products we found that will keep your home looking as festive as ever, and your baby safe at the same time.

Check out these vintage ornaments on Etsy. They are unbreakable and you don’t have to worry about your little one choking on any small pieces.

Love the glow of candlelight? Now you don’t have to worry about blowing out the flame, or baby getting burned. Baby Bodyguards loves these Flamesless LED Candles from Pier 1. Just pop in batteries and you have the look and effect of flickering candles.

Once you have the pitter patter of little feet running around, you need to take down the tablecloth. We can’t tell you how many devastating stories we have heard about toddlers getting scalded by soup, coffee, etc. Instead of a festive tablecoth, try a table runner. We like this one from Pottery Barn

We will be updating this with more holiday safety tips after Thanksgiving

Happy Turkey Day!!!!

 

 

A Leap of Faith

For years I have lived a double life, NYC prosecutor (Deputy Bureau Chief) by day, wife, mom and Baby Bodyguards Founder by night, weekends and every spare moment in between. It became very difficult for me to balance everything and nurture both lives to the full extent they both deserved, so I did what needed to be done. After 6 years working for the city I quit. When I share this information with people they look horrified. They can’t understand how in the worst economy in decades, I left a stable, comfortable job with amazing benefits for the wacky, topsy turvy, roller coaster of being an entrepreneur (full time).

I took a leap of faith and am happier than I have been in years. I am so proud of what Baby Bodyguards has been able to accomplish over the past 4 years. We have baby proofed over 1000 homes in the NYC area, and met some of the most fascinating people whom we are now lucky enough to call friends.I now spend my days visiting doctors offices, holding lectures, installing car seats, testing products, consulting with architects, it’s bliss. Best of all, I can cook breakfast and dinner for my family and work from home when I need to.

I guess I’m sharing this because it was a very scary decision to make. So many of you have let me into your homes, and your lives and so many of the moms I meet on a daily basis are faced with the dilemma of trading in their corporate identity and 80 hour work weeks for the unknown. I still have over $100,000 of law school loans to pay back, but at the end of the day I call my own shots. I put all my eggs in MY basket, and I think it is the safest bet. In these crazy times the only thing I can bank on is my determination, and passion for what I’m doing, keeping babies safe and being around for my own kids.

I’d love to hear about other moms that threw caution to the wind and the outcome. Email me at Courtney@babybodyguards.com

Our Hearts go out to Kletzky Family of Brooklyn

I woke up this morning to read the tragic news. 8 year old Leibby Kletzky was found dead in Brooklyn after being abducted on his way home from Summer camp. I couldn’t finish my breakfast and I hugged my children tight. What a nightmare! I can’t even imagine what the Kletzky family is going through or how it is possible to go on after something so horrible happening to your child.

I started thinking about my 4 year old son and what he knows about strangers. I asked him a few weeks ago, what he would do if a someone he didn’t know asked him for help finding a dog, or offered him some candy. He got very upset with my question, probably because they covered this in his preschool. He said he wouldn’t talk to someone he doesn’t know. I felt relieved that he answered that way.

Today I thought of another scenario. I’m not sure what my son would do if he was approached by someone who told him that his parents asked him to pick him up. I think this is what might have happened to Leibby Kleztky. I am going to be sure to have this discussion with my son tonight, not that I ever let him walk around by himself at 4. Here are some great tips to talk to children about.

When I was a child we had the McGruff Crime Dog commercials. I was petrified of them and didn’t watch channel 4 for a whole year after seeing one of the commercials, but I still remember it. It was effective!

It’s a crazy time, and as parents we want to do everything in our power to protect our children. Please sit down tonight with your kids and make sure they know how to handle strangers.

Kletzky family, our hearts and prayers go out to you