Category Archives: Good Parenting

New Approach to Prenatal Supplements

Fred and I have started toying with the idea to add a new addition to our family. Unfortunately, I was plagued with terrible nausea from the day after conception till about 4 months in, and taking my prenatal vitamins felt like a cruel punishment to my already sensitive stomach. So I set out on a search to find a prenatal supplement that I could tolerate and would provide the necessary folic acid, omega-3 fish oils and vitamin D that are recommended by my OBGYN.

During my bout with morning sickness, the only way that I could get out of bed in the morning was to chew a ginger candy. Ginger does wonders for nausea! I came across a chewable prenatal supplement by Bloomen Nutrition, that tastes just like the ginger candy I used to chew and has all the essential nutrients to nourish a developing baby. A months supply costs $15, and you can order it online. They can also send you a free sample first to see if you like it. Trust me you will.

Choking, How to Avoid it

Rule #1- Choking is SILENT! It is important to NEVER leave your toddler unattended while eating

Rule#2-The following foods are considered high choking risk foods for kids under 4

  • hot dogs (if you do feed this to your child anyway, cut length wise and then again in quarters)
  • nuts and seeds
  • chunks of meat or cheese
  • whole grapes
  • hard, gooey, or sticky candy
  • popcorn
  • chunks of peanut butter
  • raw vegetables
  • raisins(if you do give this to your child anyway, give small raisins, one at a time, never a whole box that can clump together)
  • chewing gum

Rule#3-The following objects are choking hazards for young children, and thy should be kept away from them or very closely supervised

  • latex balloons
  • coins
  • marbles
  • toys with small parts
  • toys that can be compressed to fit entirely into a child’s mouth
  • small balls
  • pen or marker caps
  • small button-type batteries

Rule#4-Learn how to do CPR and Heimlich Manuever on babies and children. Also, make sure that any person who watches your child knows how to do these techniques as well.

Baby Bodyguards recommends LIttle Hearts CPR in Manhattan and Baby Be Safe in Brooklyn. If you are in another area and need a good class, contact us, and we will point you in the right direction.

Calendula Works Miracles!

Calendula/Marigold Flower
Calendula/Marigold Flower

For the last 6 months, my angelic faced two year old has had an unsightly rash on his right cheek. At first I thought that maybe he was drooling at night, and his cheek was getting chapped, then we all thought it was eczema, windburn, it has been one unsolvable mystery.

I showed the rash to his Pediatrician, and she said “If it isn’t bothering him, don’t bother it.” She suggested using Neosporin , which we did to no avail. My mom suggested Calemine Lotion, which seemed like it was working for a few days, but it was just the pink tint of the cream fooling our eyes.

Last week, my aunt was over. She has been an ER for over 30 years who has recently gottn into holistic remedies. She took one look at his cheek and said to try Calendula. I immediately rushed to the local Health Food store, and bought Weleda Calendula Face Cream, for $9. In 3 days his rash is completely gone.

Calendula is also known as Marigold. How funny that those yellow and orange flowers we see planted all over the neighborhood are magic for the skin. The Calendula plant is comprised of carotenoids, flavonoids and essential oils. This gentle and nourishing botanical possesses powerful healing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Is Your Trash Can Safe for Your Toddler?

Most of our clients know that the kitchen poses many risks for children. Between the stove, the under the sink cabinet usually full of cleaning agents, and sharp knives in the drawer, it is no wonder that the kitchen tops our list of dangerous rooms in the house. What we have noticed, is that a lot of the homes we visit have garbage cans which pose a serious risk to young children.

Last week a dear friend of mine told me of his most recent Emergency Room visit. His 22 month old daughter, stuck her little hand into the recycling can and cut herself badly on the sharp edge of an aluminium can. She needed 8 stitches. He said it happened in a second, and it was the first time she had ever shown any interest in the can.

I have a child safe can in my house, but what I was surprised about, is if you do an Internet search for a child friendly garbage can, not many results come up. If you search a dog friendly can, or a can to keep raccoons out, you get pages and pages of suggestions.

One of the best cans on the market is the Superhuman Slim Plastic Can. You step on a pedal to open it, and it has a sliding lock which keeps the lid shut for safety. If this can doesn’t work with your decor , there are others on the market, just make sure it has a lid lock.

Buying and Sharing Used Breast Pumps, A Big No No

I speak to pregnant women all the time, who are unsure about breastfeeding. They have heard all the stories about women who have tried to breastfeed, but stop due to pain, low milk supply, the baby not latching properly etc.. For these reasons, a lot of women are opting to buy a used breast pump, or take an old one from a former breastfeeding friend, because they figure why shell out BIG bucks for a fancy Medela, when they might not even need it.

I was one of these women, I took an old breastpump from a friend, who had used it for three children, and it was still running strong. About a week into pumping, my nipples were cracking and bright red, and I was diagnosed with Thrush. I went out and bought a new pump, had to pay a lactation consultant, because I had no idea what was wrong with me, and why breastfeeding was so…. painful (thrush will do it), so I might as well had just bought a new Medela in the first place.

The practice of re-using single user pumps may be dangerous because some disease organisms are know to be present in the breast milk of infected women. Additionally, if a woman has used the breast pump during an episode of cracked bleeding nipples, blood contamination may have also occurred. Home sterilization methods are not always reliable to ensure the safe destruction of all pathogens especially in the rubber parts such as washers and diaphragms. Some pumps have internal diaphragms that cannot be removed and cleaned or replaced. In addition, even if you get a new collection kit (the part the touches your breast and collects the milk) it may be possible for air-born pathogens or droplets of milk that are not visible to the naked eye to get into a pump motor and cause contamination to the next user. Most single user pumps are “open system” pumps and do not have any protective barrier to prevent cross contamination to multiple users.

Many of the diseases that can be found in the milk of infected women are very serious or life threatening. Pathogens like Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis, cytomegalovirus (CMV) and others can be found in the breastmilk of infected women. (Lawrence 94) These diseases frequently go undetected for long periods of time, so even if the former user of the pump is trustworthy and willing to share this personal health information with you, she may not be aware she or her partner are carriers. Though there have not been any documented cases of mothers or babies being infected through the use of a second-hand pump, I don’t believe sharing single user pumps is worth even a very small or theoretical risk.

Other very difficult to clear fungal infections like candidiasis, more commonly known as yeast or thrush, may also be transmitted. Yeast organisms are very stubborn pathogens that can live on surfaces for long periods. Some lactation consultants will go as far as recommending replacing old pump equipment when working with a mom who has an especially persistent yeast infection because of the difficulty in ensuring the complete destruction of the fungus even with careful cleaning.

The FDA states “Only FDA cleared, hospital-grade pumps should be used by more than one person.”

The following pumps are are designed to be used by multiple users:

These pumps operate on a “closed system”, meaning that it is impossible for milk reach the motor, hence these are safe to be used my multiple mothers.

Hollister Elite® Hollister Lact-e®

Hollister SMB® Breast pump®

Medela Classic® Breast pump

Medela Lactina® Breast pump

Medela Symphony® Breast pump

Bailey Nurture III®

Above list subject to change, please consult the FDA site for the most up to date information.

All other pumps are desigened to be single user pumps and shoud not be shared. Please note that even pumps that cost over $100.00 to $300.00 are still single user pumps.

So put that great pump on your baby registry, maybe you’ll get use out of it, and if not, it will just go in the closet with the Wipes Warmer you thought you needed.

Senator Schumer and Other Key Members of The House and Senate, Sponsor Bill To Ban BPA

Congressional leaders have introduced a bill to ban BPA in all food and beverage containers. The bill goes a lot further than bans being proposed by counties , cities and states, many of which are limited to getting BPA out of products intended for children under the age of 4.

But, despite overwhelming evidence presented by a wide array of experts saying that BPA is dangerous, the FDA continues to maintain that current BPA exposure levels do not pose an immediate health risk to the general population, including infants and young children. Worse, it is widely known that the agency relied solely on two industry-funded studies for its information, something for which it has long been criticized.

BPA used for baby bottles has  been banned in Canada, and Retailers like Babies “R” Us and Target no longer sell baby bottles containing BPA, six major baby bottle makers announced last week that they would no longer produce bottles with BPA and chemical manufacturer Sunoco announced last week that it would no longer sell BPA to manufacturers unless they could guarantee the chemical wasn’t going into products for babies and toddlers.

It finally looks like we are getting somewhere!

2 Crib Recalls Already This Year!

On January 13, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall of over 500,000 Stork Craft Baby Cribs. The cribs were sold at major retailers, including J.C. Penney, Kmart, and Walmart stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com, Babiesrus.com, Costco.com, and Walmart.com from May 2000 through January 2009 for between $100 and $400.

 

The metal brackets used to support the crib mattress and mattress board can crack and break creating a dangerous gap between the mattress and crib rails. A child could become entrapped in the gap and suffocate.

 

Consumers should stop using the recalled cribs immediately and find an alternative, safe sleeping environment for their baby. Consumers should contact Stork Craft for a free replacement kit. For more information, read the CPSC recall notice.

 

The recall is in addition to a Jan. 6 recall of over 56,000 Jardine brand cribs. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled approximately 320,000 Jardine cribs last year and just last week announced the recall of an additional 56,000 Jardine brand cribs.

 

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission the wooden slats on the cribs can break, creating a gap that poses entrapment and strangulation hazards. The recall includes Dark Pine Olympia Lifetime Cribs, Antique Walnut Capri Single Cribs and White Capri Lifetime Cribs sold at KidsWorld, Geoffrey Stores, Toys “R” Us, and Babies “R” Us stores nationwide and at babiesrus.com from March 2004 through January 2009 for between $220 and $330.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled cribs and contact Jardine to receive a full credit toward the purchase of a new crib. Only cribs with specific model numbers and date codes are subject to the recall. For model numbers and date codes and for information on how to obtain your credit, read the January 6 Jardine Crib Recall notice.

Recall on Britax Frontier

Some car seats are being recalled after safety experts determined they could fail to secure children in the event of a crash.

Cerain Britax Frontier child restraints are involved.

Tests reveal the harness straps may detach from the metal yoke on the back of the restraint if repeatedly loosened one strap at a time.

To fix the problem, Britax will mail to all registered owners rubber caps that prevent the straps from detaching.

To get the fix, call Britax at 800-683-2045 and request a kit.

You can also order a fix on their Web site.

The affected models include E9L54E7, E9L54H6, E9L54H7, E9L54M6 manufactured on or before September 14, 2008, and model E9L5490 manufactured on or before Sept. 17, 2008.

Use Caution When Giving Kids Cold and Flu Meds

 ANN ARBOR, Mich., Jan. 5 It’s cold and flu season, which means misery for kids and the parents trying to help them. But doctors are asking parents to resist the urge to give children under the age of 6 over-the-counter cough and cold medication. Such drugs can have serious side effects on the smallest of children, the Food and Drug Administration warns. Side effects include hives, drowsiness, difficulty breathing and even death. “Some 7,000 children end up in the emergency room each year because of problems associated with these medicines,” says Esther Yoon, M.D., general pediatrician in the Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases at the University of Michigan Health System. Roughly two-thirds of incidents occurred after children drank medication while unsupervised, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most problems have occurred as a result of dosing errors. To ease pain from a harsh cough or throat pain, doctors recommend using over-the-counter acetaminophen and ibuprofen in age-appropriate doses, Yoon says.    To relieve symptoms, doctors recommend the following: For blocked noses, parents should use nasal saline drops and a bulb suction to loosen up and remove mucus or have the child blow their nose. For coughs, the child should be given a teaspoon of honey or corn syrup if over the age of 1. Have the child drink warm fluids like water, apple juice and chicken broth to help with coughing. Take the child into the bathroom and run a hot shower. The steam relaxes the airways and helps with coughing spasms. Increase the humidity in the home to help reduce nasal congestion and coughing. Parents can help prevent colds by washing hands frequently, using instant hand sanitizers, teaching children to cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze, and making sure children are well hydrated, have good nutrition and are getting enough sleep. “Other good tips include disinfecting the home, kitchen countertops, door knobs and toys,” Yoon says. “Children should get plenty of vitamin C and E to help fight germs and a multivitamin is also helpful.” Cold symptoms caused by a virus typically last between four and five days. But if they continue for more than five days, Yoon recommends taking the child to a doctor. If a child is having difficulty breathing or is wheezing, he or she should be seen right away. Infants younger than 3 months old with a fever should also be seen right away. For more information, visit these Web sites: FDA recommendation: http://www.fda.gov/Cder/drug/advisory/cough_cold_2008.htm What to do for colds and flu: http://www.fda.gov/opacom/lowlit/clds&flu.html SOURCE  University of Michigan Health System

The Nitty Gritty About Second Hand Car Seats

Having a baby is expensive, we can all agree on that. Second hand high chairs, toddler beds and clothing come in very handy. The one item that I strongly recommend buying new is a car safety seat. New car seats come with registration cards. As soon as you buy your car seat, be sure to send in the card to register it. Then the manufacturer can let you know by mail if your child’s safety seat has been recalled.

If for some reason you must use a second hand car seat, here are some guidelines to follow:

Avoid used seats if you don’t know the seat’s history. Never use a car seat that

    • Is too old. Look on the label for the date it was made. Check with the manufacturer to find out how long they recommend using the seat.
    • Have any visible cracks on it.
    • Does not have a label with the date of manufacture and model number. Without these, you cannot check to see if the seat has been recalled.
    • Does not come with instructions. You need them to know how to use the seat.
    • Is missing parts. Used car safety seats often come without important parts. Check with the manufacturer to make sure you can get the right parts.
    • Was recalled. You can find out by calling the manufacturer or by contacting the Auto Safety Hotline at 888/DASH-2-DOT (888/327-4236) or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/childseat.cfm.
    •  

       

       

Do not use seats that have been in a moderate or severe crash. Seats that were in a minor crash may still be safe to use. The NHTSA considers a crash minor if all of the following are true:
    • The vehicle could be driven away from the crash.
    • The vehicle door closest to the car safety seat was not damaged.
    • No one in the vehicle was injured.
    • The air bags did not go off.
    • You can’t see any damage to the car safety seat.
    •  

       

       

If you cannot verify all of the above, the car seat is considered unsafe for use, even if it appears to be in good condition. Unless a used car seat is coming from a close friend or family member and meets the above criteria, it is almost always safer to choose a new car seat for your baby.