Category Archives: Good Parenting

Protecting Children From Dog Bites

Dogs are popular pets in this country. With more than 60 million pet dogs in the United States, they are only slightly less popular than cats. Dogs and kids often get along just fine, but parents need to make sure their children know how to act around a dog to stay safe.

U.S. children suffer more than 2 million dog bites a year, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). “A dog that attacks is very often the family pet,” says the AVMA’s Bernadette Cruz, D.V.M. “Education is the key to solving an issue that’s reaching epidemic proportions.” Dog owners and children can both learn to prevent bites.

If you own a dog or plan to buy one:

  • Choose the breed carefully. Your vet can help you pick a pup.

  • Socialize your dog. Start when the dog is a puppy.

  • Train your dog. This helps a dog learn to trust and obey you.

  • Have your dog neutered. Males that have not been neutered account for up to three out of four bites.

  • Keep your dog’s shots current.

Many parents don’t realize how a small child’s boisterous activity or loud behavior can confuse a dog, or how a child’s invasion of a dog’s space might provoke the animal. If you have a small child or infant, never leave the youngster alone with a dog, Dr. Cruz says. Even when you are with your young child around a dog, keep a close eye on their interaction to avoid potential problems.

You and your child should also look for signs that a dog is aggressive, afraid or protecting his territory — three reasons for bites. Watch for:

  • Growling, snarling or barking

  • Crouching with the head low or the tail between the legs

  • Fur that’s standing up, erect ears, a stiff body and a high tail

  • Obvious injury or pain

You can teach your child how to act around a dog, whether yours or another’s. Tell your child to:

  • Stand still, keep his hands down and avoid eye contact if a strange dog comes near.

  • Curl into a ball and cover her head, neck and face if knocked down.

  • Avoid dogs that are cornered, chained, in a car or behind a fence.

  • Never play rough with any dog.

  • Never break up a dogfight.

  • Ask before petting a dog he doesn’t know.

  • Avoid surprising older dogs. If they’re deaf or blind, they may bite.

  • Keep her face away from a dog’s head.

  • Never hold the dog around the neck or try to hug the dog.

  • Avoid disturbing a dog that’s sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.

If a dog bites your child, wash the wound with warm, soapy water, cover it with a clean bandage and call your doctor. If the bite is bleeding heavily, apply direct pressure and raise it above heart level until the bleeding stops. Contact the dog’s vet to check its vaccination records.

Publication Source: Starting Out Healthy magazine
Author: Bramnick, Jeffrey
Online Source: American Veterinary Medical Association http://www.avma.org
Online Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/duip/biteprevention.htm

Peru Embraces Vertical Births to Save Lives

Last week I read an article “Peru Embraces Vertical Births to Save Lives“, I was amazed at how different the whole birthing experience is in Peru than in the United States, and almost felt a bit cheated that my own birth experience was so clinical.
After about 6 hours of intense labor and already being strapped to the bed with Pitocin, I caved and got an epidural. I have friends who have had home births and I get the whole “childbirth is natural” thing, but I also like the idea of being in a setting that if an emergency happens, I don’t have to be transported to a hospital.
Ancient pottery from the Andes depicts women sitting or standing while giving birth. Peru’s health ministry has said vertical birthing positions can be healthier for women by reducing pressure on the uterus and large blood vessels that can affect the amount of oxygen going to the baby.
“Western science is unaware of the priorities and needs of women, particularly rural women, who consider childbirth a natural event and do not think changes to the traditional vertical delivery are needed,” the ministry said in a small book extolling the benefits of standing during childbirth. The practice of women giving birth on their backs is done for the convenience of doctors, not women, say supporters of Andean birthing methods.
I think it is such a shame that so many birthing centers in New York are being shut down or are not covered by insurance. After reading this article, my mind is more open to different birthing methods. If I ever find myself pregnant again, I may protest being strapped to the bed and the stirrups too.

Making Healthy Food for Your Baby

If a lot of you are anything like me, I know you are saying to yourself”I barely have time to shower, Why on Earth would I make my own baby food?”
I made all of my own baby food because once I gave it a try, I realized how much fun it was, how healthy it is and how much money I saved.
I used a Magic Bullet, which was a gift from my grandparents. I laughed at first because they are known for buying the “As Seen On TV” products, but this is a real winner. Unlike a blender or food processor, it isn’t a pain in the butt to clean, because the cup that you blend the food in, detaches from the base and it is the only part you have to wash. Check out their site to see what I mean.
The only other 2 items needed were plastic bags and ice cube trays.
The first food I made for my son was applesauce. I was intimidated at first because the only applesauce I have ever experienced came out of a Mott’s jar, but I peeled an apple, cut it into pieces and put it in a pot with just enough water to cover it, and let it boil. After about 20 minutes, I shut the stove and waited for the apple to cool a bit. I then put it in the Magic Bullet and blended it for 15 seconds. I poured the applesauce into ice cube trays, waited for the sauce to get to room temperature and put the trays in the freezer.
It was a great feeling to watch my son delight in the food I had prepared for him.
Some other combinations I made regularly were:

Bananas (you just blend with a little bit of water, no cooking necessary)
Pears (same recipe as apples, just use pears)
Potato and peas (boil both and blend together)
Chicken Soup (I would make a delicious soup with sweet potato, carrots, and chicken, and then blend it together. I didn’t use salt)
Sweet Potato and Apples (boil together and blend)
Lentil Soup (I would boil red lentils and blend into a smooth consistency)
Pumpkin (I would boil and blend pumpkin with some cinnamon)
One of my favorite baby sites is Wholesomebabyfood.com , they have great recipe ideas and sample menus for babies and toddlers.

Happy Blending

Summer Shouldn't Equal Drowning


Summer and pool time go hand in hand. The other night as I was getting ready for bed, I had the news on. Once again, a little child had drowned in a pool out on LI, and was clinging to life in the intensive care unit. As I shed a few tears, I grew furious. It’s not fair and just unacceptable! The cost of maintaining a safe pool is nothing compared to the devastation of losing a child.
I am not claiming to be a Supermom but I accept that I’m not, and know that it only takes a minute or two for a child to get into trouble and possibly drown if a pool is nearby. My parents have a pool and before I would let me son play there, I made sure they got a 4 foot pool fence.
All pools on Long Island and throughout the state are supposed to be inspected when they are built to ensure they meet regulations, including a new state requirement for an alarm for any pool built or substantially modified after Dec. 14, 2006. The problem is, it cost too much to actually have inspectors go door to door regulating residential pools. It is up to the pool owner to follow regulations.
Baby Bodyguards also urges parents to teach their children how to swim as early as possible. Check out your local YMCA for classes.
If you are a pool owner and would like to install a pool fence but don’t know where to begin, feel free to contact us at Baby Bodyguards.

Erbaorganics Has Great Products snd Supports a Great Cause



I recently got a hold of some Erbaorganics Baby Body Wash and Shampoo. I put my son in the tub, lathered him up and tested out my new products. The fragrance of lavender and chamomile filled the room and the products washed off nicely, leaving my son’s hair smelling lovely and his skin squeaky clean. I am now a huge fan!
Erbaorganics is eco-friendly and all their products are organic. They have a product line for babies and the mommy-to-be. Their products are completely free of parabens, pesticides, SLS’s, artificial colorings and fragrances.
Part of the proceeds from their products goes to the World Wide Orphans Foundation. The WWO works with local communities in underdeveloped areas around the world to enrich the lives of orphans through diverse programs focusing on health, society and education.
Erbaorganics takes pride in being completely green, safe, and natural.

NBC's "Baby Borrowers" Is Controversial

Today is Wednesday and tonight millions of Americans will be flipping to NBC to watch The Baby Borrowers, a new reality show, where teenagers test their parenting skills by getting babies, toddlers, kids, and teenagers for three day blocks at a time.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, issued a statement last week, calling for NBC to “pull” The Baby Borrowers due to health and safety concerns it has with the reality show.
“Separating babies and toddlers from their parents for extended periods of time can lead children to feel distress and anxiety,” the organization wrote in the statement. “After prolonged separation, a child can feel distrust for his or her primary caregiver. Separation can damage a healthy attachment and a child’s sense of safety.” The AACAP added “it’s concerned The Baby Borrowers promotes “baby borrowing” as an “acceptable parenting practice” that “will prompt imitation.”
“Should this practice be emulated without the benefit of the observing camera, it is important to note that teenagers may be more likely than adult strangers to abuse or neglect infants and toddlers,” said Anne Glowinski, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and member of AACAP’s Infancy and Preschool Committee.
AACAP president Robert Hendren also claims The Baby Borrowers’ “It’s not TV, it’s birth control” message could be better communicated than via a reality show.
The AACAP is not the only organization speaking out against The Baby Borrowers, Zero to Three — a national advocacy group for young children — also released a statement claiming the show “exploits very young children in the pursuit of entertainment.”
Despite the criticism, NBC is apparently sticking by its show and the safety its youngest participants received during filming.
“The producers of The Baby Borrowers took all the necessary precautions to ensure the safety and welfare of the children participating in the series,” NBC said in a statement obtained by The Los Angeles Times. “The environment was carefully controlled, and the children were properly care for at all times.”
Personally, I have a problem with parents exploiting children for the almighty buck or TV exposure. I feel that The Baby Borrowers, as entertaining as it may be, is just as bad as parents bringing their child on The Maury Show or Jerry Springer, to discuss how morbidly obese their child is, or how promiscuous he/she is.
Young children don’t have a voice, and it is up to the parent, to speak for them,to protect them, and to act in their best interest.
Baby Bodyguards would like to hear your feedback on this issue. Feel free to email me personally at Courtney@babybodyguards.com, I will post your feedback in a later post.

Bathing Your Newborn


Bathing a slippery newborn can be a nerve-racking experience. Your baby may not like it much, either. But stay calm. With a little practice, you’ll both start to feel more comfortable at bath time. Start by learning the basics.

How often does a baby need a bath?

There’s no need to give your newborn a bath every day. In fact, bathing your baby more than several times a week may dry out his or her skin. If you’re quick with clean diapers and fresh burp cloths, you’re already cleaning the parts that really need attention — the face, neck and diaper area.

Is a sponge bath good enough?

Yes. Sponge baths are usually the best option at first, at least until the area around the umbilical cord heals. Sponge baths are more convenient than tub baths, and they’re much easier on your newborn.

Here’s what you need:

  • A warm place with a flat surface. A bathroom or kitchen counter, changing table or firm bed will work. Even the floor is OK if it isn’t cold.
  • A soft blanket, towel or changing pad. Spread it out for your baby to lie on.
  • A free hand. Always keep one hand on your baby. On a changing table, use the safety strap as well.
  • A sink or shallow plastic basin to hold the water. Run several inches of warm water into the basin or sink.
  • A washcloth, an extra towel, cotton balls, mild baby shampoo, wipes, a clean diaper and a change of clothes. When everything is assembled, undress your baby and wrap him or her in a separate towel.

How do you give a sponge bath?

Lay your baby on his or her back on the towel or pad you’ve prepared. Wet the washcloth, wring out excess water and wipe your baby’s face. There’s no need to use soap. Use a damp cotton ball or clean cotton cloth to wipe each eyelid, from the inside to the outside corner.

When you’re ready to move on, stick with plain water unless your baby is smelly or dirty. Pay special attention to creases under the arms, behind the ears, around the neck and in the diaper area. Also wash between your baby’s fingers and toes. To keep your baby warm, expose only the parts you’re washing.

Should you wash a newborn’s hair?

Yes, if it seems dirty or your baby develops cradle cap, a common condition characterized by scaly patches on the scalp.

Supporting your baby’s head and shoulders with your free hand, gently massage a drop of mild baby shampoo into his or her scalp. Rinse the shampoo with a damp washcloth. If your baby has cradle cap, loosen the scales with a small, soft-bristled brush before rinsing off the shampoo.

What type of baby tub is best?

When your baby graduates to a tub, you’ll have plenty of choices. Many parents choose plastic tubs specifically designed for newborns. Others opt for plain plastic basins or inflatable tubs that fit inside the bathtub. Lined with a towel or rubber mat, the kitchen or bathroom sink may be another option.

Safety is the most important consideration — not necessarily the type of tub. Gather your supplies ahead of time so you can keep one hand on the baby at all times. If you’re interrupted, take your baby with you. Never leave your baby alone in the water.

How much water should I put in the tub?

You’ll need only a few inches of warm water. At first, you may want to lather your baby on a towel and use the tub only for rinsing.

What about water temperature?

Warm water is best. To prevent scalding, set the thermostat on your water heater to below 120 F. Always check the temperature with your hand before bathing your baby.

Keep room temperature in mind as well. A wet baby may be easily chilled. Be sure the room is comfortably warm — about 75 F.

What’s the best way to hold a baby in the tub?

A secure hold will help your baby feel comfortable — and stay safe — in the tub.

Support your baby’s head and torso with your arm and hand. Wrap your arm under your baby’s back, grasping your baby firmly under the armpit.

When you clean your baby’s back and buttocks, lean him or her forward on your arm. Continue to grasp your baby under the armpit.

To rinse your baby’s hair, try a football hold under the faucet. Support your baby’s back with your arm, keeping a firm hold on the head while you rinse.

What should you wash first?

Most parents start with the baby’s face and move on to dirtier parts of the body. Wash inside skin folds, and rinse the genitals carefully. You may want to save the hair for last to help your baby preserve body heat.

Do you need a special type of soap?

No. In fact, plain water is fine for newborns. When needed, use a mild, unscented soap with a moisturizer. Avoid bubble bath.

Will lotion after a bath help prevent rashes?

No. Most newborns don’t need lotion after a bath. In fact, greasy lotions or ointments may make a rash more likely by blocking your baby’s tiny sweat glands. The best way to prevent rashes is to dry inside your baby’s folds of skin after each bath.

Is it better to bathe a baby in the morning or at night?

That’s up to you. Choose a time when you’re not rushed or likely to be interrupted. Some parents opt for morning baths, when their babies are alert and ready to enjoy the experience. Others prefer evening baths as part of a calming bedtime ritual.

From Mayoclinic.com

"Don't Take a Vacation from Your Car Seat"

It’s summer time, which for a lot of folks means it’s vacation time. If the gas prices are not holding you back, neither should the fact that you have children. Be brave, take them along. Traveling with your kids in tow just gotten a little easier and safer
AAA, America’s leading advocate for child passenger safety, and Hertz, the world’s largest car rental company, have joined forces to help keep America’s youngest passengers safe and secure while traveling.
The “Don’t Take a Vacation from Your Car Seat,” campaign, is a first-ever, combined effort to build awareness that parents must put their children in child safety seats and booster seats when they rent a vehicle.
“Family travelers want and need to protect their children when they ride in a rented automobile,” said Mark H. Brown, Executive Vice President of AAA.
He noted a recent AAA-Hertz survey found that 95 percent of parents who travel with a child six years of age or younger reported that their child needed to be in a child safety or booster seat. “Hertz and AAA want to make it easier for parents who may worry about the inconvenience of bringing a child safety seat while travelling.”
You can reserve a seat online at www.AAA.com/hertz and www.hertz.com.
Source :www.aaanewsroom.net

Baby Trend Car Seats Recalled

Baby Trend is recalling 3,582 Latch-Loc Car Seats, Models 6400, 6439, 6448, 6481, and 6484. The dates of production will be provided at a later date. Incorrect steel was used on the latch connector locking pawl.
The latch connector locking pawl can crack allowing the seat base to detach from the vehicle’s latch anchors during a severe crash . This can result in the seat failing to provide the proper protection for its occupant.
Baby Trend will notify owners and replace the base for free. Only rigid Latch-Loc model child restraints are involved in this recall. The recall is expected to begin during June 2008. Owners can contact Baby Trend Toll-Free at 1-800-328-7363.
Notes: CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION’S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO http://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.

Baby Bodyguards Dabbles in Dapple


About a month ago I was watching NY 1 News and a story came on about two mothers, Tamar Rosenthal and Dana Rubenstein, creators of Dapple baby-friendly dishwashing products. I was taken aback. What a brilliant idea! I use natural, chemical free laundry detergent, baby wash and shampoo, why not dish soap?
At the moment Dapple has two products, a hand dish liquid and an automatic dish detergent. Both products are natural-based, free of parabens, phthalates, SLES, dyes, and artificial fragrances. Their products are biodegradable, environmentally safe and not tested on animals.
I came across Dapple in my travels this week and gave the product a whirl this evening. I couldn’t remember the last time I was so excited to do the dishes. I was very pleasantly surprised with the results. My dishes and bottles came out spotless, and the bottles were odor free. I will definitely be dabbling in Dapple again soon.
You can find out more about Dapple and where to purchase it by checking out their website www.dapplebaby.com