Category Archives: Good Parenting

Rental Car Companies With Car Seats

It’s travel season!!! I am in the middle of planning a trip to Puerto Rico with the family. We are not resort staying people. We like to explore a location and really get the local feel and experience. The car seat situation is the only thing that had me thinking that we may have to just lounge on the beach and dine at a resort during our stay because the thought of schlepping 2 car seats and 2 children had me nauseas. That’s when I remembered reading about  car rental companies that have child safety seats available.

This Is from Thrifty FAQ: Should I bring a child seat with me or will the rental location furnish one?

The decision is yours. All states and several countries require children under a certain age to be secured in child seats. You can save time at check-in by placing a request for your child seat when you make an advance reservation. A few new vehicles, like the Chrysler minivan available through Thrifty, have child seats built in. You should know that we cannot guarantee the availability of child seats, so please make your decision accordingly.


Here is what Avis says:
Child safety seats are available for infants and toddlers at most U.S. Avis locations. The usual cost is $13.00/day or $65.00/week (5-7 days) with a maximum of $65.00/rental for the use of an Avis child safety seat. Seats must be returned to the original renting location or an additional $15 fee will apply to the rental. Failure to return the seat in the same condition as received (minus normal wear and tear) may result in a $50 additional charge.Types and brands of cars seats vary by location.Our child safety seats can be reserved only when renting a car with Avis. If you’re not renting with Avis and need a safety seat, a local rent-all center that carries tables, chairs, cribs, etc., is recommended.Child safety seats can be reserved online, but the price is not included in the Estimated Total. If you need to modify the number or type of seat reserved, please contact customer service.


Dollar Rent A Car offers child safety seats, both toddler and infant, for rent at all locations. In addition, certain models of the Dodge Caravan come with built-in child safety seats, and back-door child safety locks come standard on most Chrysler vehicles. For details, call the Dollar location at which you have reserved your car.

Alamo also offers seats. They claim to have child safety seats at airport-serving locations in the United States and Canada for an additional charge.Child booster seats are featured in some locations but in limited quantities. Remember, you can inquire with your airline about bringing your personal child booster seat or child safety seat from home. They state it is the renter’s responsibility to properly install and fasten a child safety or child booster seat.

It seems the majority of car rental companies are now supplying child safety seats in limited supply. The best thing to do is reserve the seat in advance, make sure you are requesting the appropriate seat for your child (infant, convertible, booster), and are well versed in how to install the seat properly.

Puerto Rico here we come!!!!



Recall of Britax Chaperone Infant Seat

There has been a recall of the Britax Chaperone Infant Seat, models E9L69N9, E9L69P3, & EL69P5 made 4/09-5/10. The problem is with the chest clip. It is brittle and may break causing sharp edges and choking hazard. Call 888-427-4829 for instructions and a new chest clip. If chest clip is broken, remove chest clip and any fragments and discontinue use of seat until replacement clip is installed.

When we teach our clients to how to install their car seats we always urge caregivers to register the seat with the manufacturer so that they can be notified of any recalls. Recalls for small numbers of seats often don’t get a lot of media coverage. The only way you can be sure to know if there is a recall is to register with the manufacturer. Most manufacturers now allow you to register online and it only takes a minute.

New Year = New Website

Happy New Year! We are a bit late but have been busy launching our new site. 2010 was a great year for Baby Bodyguards, NYC’s premiere full service babyproofing company, and we expect 2011 to be our best year yet. We will be expanding, both geographically and also with the services we provide. We are on a mission to wipe out childhood injuries occurring in the home. and are on a safety crusade! Follow us on Facebook, for the latest updates and recalls.

Once again, thank you for your continued support, business and referrals.

Decorating Safely

christmas-tree-lights1Thanks to Safe Kids, for these wonderful tips

Top Safety Tips If you decorate a tree, avoid these top decorating mistakes:

 Decorate with children in mind. Do not put ornaments that have small parts or metal hooks, or look like food or candy, on the lower branches where small children can reach them.

 Trim protruding branches at or below a child’s eye level, and keep lights out of reach.

Natural trees always involve some risk of fire. To minimize the risk, get a fresh tree and keep it watered at all times. Do not put the tree within three feet of a fireplace, space heater, radiator or heat vent. Never leave a lit tree or other decorative lighting display unattended.

Inspect lights for exposed or frayed wires, loose connections and broken sockets. Do not overload extension cords or outlets and do not run an electrical cord under a rug. Do not burn tree branches, treated wood or wrapping paper in a home fireplace. ?

 Top tips to prevent poisoning this holiday season:

Keep alcohol, including baking extracts, out of reach and do not leave alcoholic drinks unattended.

Color additives used in fireplace fires are a toxic product and should be stored out of reach.

 Artificial snow can be harmful if inhaled, so use it in a well-vented space.

Mistletoe berries, Holly Berry and Jerusalem Cherry can be poisonous. If they are used in decorating, make sure children and pets cannot reach it. In a poison emergency, call the national Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222.

OMG!!! I Dropped the Baby

I was home with 2 sick kids Wednesday morning. The day was going smoothly. I was on the couch nursing the baby, my son was watching TV, but then he started trying to get my attention by trying to put his foot on the baby’s head. Boob was still in mouth, and the phone was ringing. I tried not to break the latch, got up to get the phone, and then it happened…OMG, I dropped the baby!!!!!

There she was on the hardwood floor screaming. I was in shock. I picked her up, started crying, calmed my son down, and called the pediatrician. I got the secretary, and through my sobs I explained that I dropped my baby. She was calm as could be and said “come in at 2pm if you want” huh… did she not hear me? I dropped my baby! She asked me if the baby cried, I said yes, she asked if the baby was vomiting, I said no. My daughter was alert, I couldn’t even make out a bump on her head.

I took her in at 2pm, and got her checked out, and she was fine, I on the other hand took 24 hours and 2 glasses of wine that night to recover.

btw…my Pediatrician confessed to getting at least 2 calls a week from frantic moms who accidentally dropped the baby too.

What to look for if your baby falls: look for swelling and bumps on the head, body and limbs, and then look for signs of head injury. Dr. Sears has great info on this here

Recent Study Regarding Booster Seats

The International Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) did a recent research study on booster seats and found that 8 out of 72 tested aren’t recommended. Below are their findings.

Boosters are better than they used to be at fitting lap and shoulder belts on 4 to 8-year-old kids to restrain them in a crash. So parents don’t have to search as hard for a good fit for their child and vehicle. Most belt-positioning boosters, though, don’t offer consistently good fit in all vehicles. This is the bottom line in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s third round of booster evaluations.

Researchers assessed the safety belt fit of 72 boosters, assigning the best ones the top ratings of BEST BET or GOOD BET because they correctly position belts on average booster-age kids in most vehicles. The worst performers are ones the Institute doesn’t recommend because they do a poor job of fitting belts. A good booster routes the lap belt across a child’s upper thighs and positions the shoulder belt at midshoulder.


Best Bets
Britax Frontier 85 (combination highback)
Chicco Keyfit Strada (dual highback)
Clek Oobr (dual highback)
Cosco Juvenile Pronto (dual highback)
Cybex Solution X-Fix (highback)
Eddie Bauer Auto Booster (dual highback)
Evenflo Big Kid Amp (backless)
Evenflo Maestro (combination highback)
Graco TurboBooster Crawford (dual highback)
Harmony Baby Armor (dual highback)
Harmony Dreamtime (dual backless)
Harmony Dreamtime (dual highback)
Harmony Secure Comfort Deluxe (backless)
Harmony Youth Booster Seat (backless)
Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR (dual highback)
Recaro ProBOOSTER (highback)
Recaro ProSPORT (combination highback)
Recaro Vivo (highback)
Recaro Young Sport (combination highback)
Safety 1st Boost Air Protect (dual highback)
The First Years Pathway B570 (highback)

Good Bets
Britax Parkway SG (dual highback)
Combi Kobuk Air Thru (dual backless)
Combi Kobuk Air Thru (dual highback)
Evenflo Symphony 65 (3-in-1 highback)
Graco TurboBooster Sachi (dual highback)
Graco TurboBooster Wander (dual highback)
Maxi-Cosi Rodi (dual highback)

Eddie Bauer Deluxe (combination highback)
Eddie Bauer Deluxe 3-in-1 (highback)
Evenflo Express (combination highback)
Evenflo Generations 65 (combination highback)
Evenflo Sightseer (highback)
Harmony Baby Armor (dual backless)
Safety 1st All-in-One (3-in-1 highback)
Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite (3-in-1 highback)
Note: Thirty-six boosters are in the middle range. They may provide adequate belt fit for some kids in some vehicles.

Common Poisonous 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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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