Category Archives: Good Parenting

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

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.

Fantastic Urgent Care Facility in Brooklyn

docs and nursesWhat do you do when you baby gets sick on a Sunday at 8PM? This was exactly the predicament I found myself in last week. My 3 year old, all of a sudden started pulling on his ear, telling us he was in pain, and the thermometer read 102.

I searched Google looking for a walk-in urgent care center, but couldn’t find anything open so late at night. I called our pediatrician, who said to just give him Motrin and bring him in the next day. I was going to do just that until my Aunt who used to be the head ER nurse at Victory Memorial clued me in to one of Brooklyn’s greatest secrets.

The old Victory Memorial Hospital, which has been shut down, on 92nd Street and 7th Avenue in Bay Ridge, now has a 24/7 Urgent Care Center run by SUNY Downstate, in what used to be Victory’s ER, for non-life-threatening cases.

We pulled right up to the Center, got a legal spot right in front, talk about VIP :) and proceeded to follow the signs to the 3rd floor. We were so…. elated when we got there, and saw we were the only patients in the place, and there was a full medical staff waiting to help us with smiles and kindness.

A wonderful nurse evaluated our little boy. She asked him questions, took his temperature and weighed him. Then a lovely young doctor checked his ears and throat, and within  30 minutes we were back in the car going to fill his prescription.

BTW….This cost us nothing. They didn’t even take our co-pay.

Here is the address and phone number

SUNY Downstate
699 92nd Street
Brooklyn, NY 11228
(718) 567-1400

Voluntary Recall Of Evenflo Safety Gate

 The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of Evenflo children’s safety gates due to a fall hazard. About 150,000 Evenflo Top-of-Stairs Plus Wood Gates were imported from Mexico by Evenflo Co. Inc. of Miamisburg, Ohio, and sold nationwide from October 2007 through March 2010 for about $40 each.

An additional 33,000 gates were sold in Canada.

The company has received 142 reports of slats breaking or detaching from the gates, increasing the risk of a fall. Several reports described minor injuries to children.

The recall involves gates with model numbers 10502 and 10512 made October 2007 through July 2009. The model number can be found on the bottom rail.

Consumers were advised to stop using the recalled gates and contact Evenflo for replacement with a newer model.

Consumers can call 800-233-5921 for information.

Recall of Graco Harmony High Chair

color and fabric may vary
color and fabric may vary

The Harmony™ high chair was manufactured from November 2003 through December 2009 and is no longer in production. The model number can be found on the label that is located on the underside of the foot rest.

The high chairs were sold at: AAFES, Burlington Coat Factory, Babies “R” Us, Toys “R” Us, Sears, Target, Target.com, Walmart, WalMart.com, Shopko, USA Baby, and other retailers nationwide from December 2003 through March 2010 for between $70 and $120.

Consumers should immediately stop using the Harmony™ high chair and contact Graco to receive a free repair kit. To order a free repair kit, contact Graco toll-free at (877) 842-3206 or visit the firm’s Web site at www.gracobaby.com. For additional information, contact Graco at (800) 345-4109 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.

Harmony™ High Chair Model Numbers
3920BAN 3920BAN2 3920BEB 3920BEBB 3920COV 3920DOH 3920GEI
3920GEIDSP 3920GRN 3920HMP 3920IVY 3920LAU 3920PKR 3930DDH
3930DHO 3935CAL 3935OXB 3935PKR 3935PKRDSP 3935SPM 3935SPMDSP
3935THR 3935THR2 3935THR3 3940BIA 3940BIADSP 3940CAP 3940CLE 3940COT
3940DRM 3940HML 3940MCH 3940NGS 3940SAV 3940SLT 3940SPT 3940STA
3940UNN 3951CLO 3951CLT 3951COT 3951ORC 3951WLO 3955WSR 3960BGN
3960CJG 3960CNP 3960GGG 3980CNR 3E00ABB 3E00BAT 3E00DCF
3E00DCFDSP 3E00DGP 3E00DGPDSP 3E00GPK 3E01BDS 3E01BDSCA 3E01DNY
3E01DNY1 3E01ELP 3E01ELPDSP
Note: These model numbers may begin with the letter A, B, C, or D
Additional Models: 1752404 1755859 1755860 1757259 1757412 1760429

Deaths Linked to Baby Slings

slingrider(This originally was posted Wednesday March 10th, 2010 however due to our recent move to a green hosting company the database backup did not catch the last post so we’re re-posting this today, Monday March 15th 2010)

With the clock ticking and our new Baby Bodyguard family member arriving in a few weeks, I have been trying to decide whether to use a sling, a wrap or a carrier. When we had our first baby, I had registered for the Infantino “Slingrider” that was then recalled because of a defect with the ring that the fabric goes through. I had filled out the product registration card (duh) when I got he sling, was quickly informed of the recall and  was sent a new sling immediately. I think I used the sling once. Our son was a Winter baby and I didn’t walk around much, plus he got so heavy so fast!

News broke today that there are going to be new warnings on Infant Slings after more and more deaths and injuries have been linked to their usage. CPSC is mostly concerned about the so called “bag style” sling  that wraps around the adult’s neck and then “cradles the child” in what it described as a “curved or ‘C-like’ position,” which has the baby resting below the chest near the belly. Apparently, the curve is what can cause infants’ heads—and infants have minimal head and neck strength—to droop forward with their chins falling on their chests, which restricts the infants breathing

Hmmmm, I think I’ll check out the Ergo or the Bjorn, it’s not worth the worry

Is Baby Bodyguards a Luxury Service? Hmmm

luxuryYesterday I had the pleasure of meeting with an old friend and checking out the Brooklyn Flea. I highly recommend it, the best part was the grilled cheese sandwich from Milk Truck.

While perusing around, we got into a heated debate about whether Baby Bodyguards is a luxury service meant for CEO’s and celebrities. My dear friend who shall remain nameless, seems to think we are, and that our prices are too low for what we offer and the clientele we are servicing.

While it is true that we have serviced celebrities such as most recently, Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, as well as top Broadway producers, some De Niro’s, CEO’s, and many of the world’s top hedge fund managers, we also have our fair share of teachers, nurses, lawyers  and 9 to 5 employees who take advantage of our services because they understand that babyproofing is not optional, it is a necessity!

When we came up with the idea for Baby Bodyguards, we wanted child safety to be something affordable to everyone. 1 in 4 children suffers an accidental injury in the home requiring an ER visit, and this is unacceptable to us.

My friend and I then started discussing whether babyproofing is something that most can do on their own. Yes, it is, so is changing your water heater, but I wouldn’t want to do that on my own. We have babyproofed hundreds of homes in the past few years so when we walk into a home, the dangers are very obvious to us. Plus, we have all of our tools handy as well as the safety devices and in a matter of hours everything is done. Our clients can spend the weekend with their family doing fun things instead of  reading manuals, going back and forth to  hardware stores, and Buy Buy Baby trying to get done what we get done in a matter of hours.

So, after giving this  lots of thought, my conclusion is that yes, we service the rich and famous but we also service those that aren’t. The one thing our clients all have in  common is they want the best for their baby and with our prices being within everyone’s reach they can have the best in safety and convenience.

After all, this is New York……

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.

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.