Category Archives: Good Parenting

A Fan May Lower the Risk of SIDS


When I brought my son home from the hospital, my biggest fear was SIDS. My husband and I would check on him every hour or so if we didn’t hear him peep. I knew that placing a baby on his back to sleep reduced the risk of SIDS, but a new study now shows that having a fan in a baby’s room can lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome by more than 70%.

For the more information on the study, check out WEBMD.

Many Booster Seats are Not Cutting It

Parents, The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, released a report this week stating that 13 booster seats are not recommended because they don’t give the full benefit of improved lap belt fit. They may make children more comfortable, but they don’t offer protection.

“Our data show it’s possible to design a booster with good lap and shoulder belt fit,” says Matt Reed, the study’s lead author and research associate professor at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. “Boosters that can’t do that should be redesigned.”

Not-recommended boosters: Boosters the Institute doesn’t recommend are the highback Compass B505, Compass B510, Cosco/Dorel Traveler, and Evenflo Big Kid Confidence; backless Safety Angel Ride Ryte; combination Cosco/Dorel Alpha Omega, Cosco/Dorel (Eddie Bauer) Summit, Cosco Highback Booster, Dorel/Safety 1st (Eddie Bauer) Prospect, Evenflo Chase Comfort Touch, Evenflo Generations, Graco CarGo Zephyr, and Safety 1st/Dorel Intera. At least 2 of these models have been discontinued, hopefully replaced by better designs. Booster makers sometimes reuse names and even model numbers for new seats, so manufacture dates and model numbers are important.

Best bets and good bets: The 10 best-bet boosters are the most likely to position not only lap belts but also shoulder portions correctly on many children in many vehicles. Best bets include 3 backless seats: Combi Kobuk, Fisher-Price Safe Voyage, and Graco TurboBooster. These may require plastic clips to correctly position shoulder belts. Six highbacks are best bets: Britax Monarch, Britax Parkway, Fisher-Price Safe Voyage, LaRoche Bros. Teddy Bear, Recaro Young Style, and Volvo booster cushion. Another best bet is the combination seat Safeguard Go when it’s used as a backless booster. Combination seats convert to boosters by removing their built-in harnesses. At least 5 of the best-bet boosters have been discontinued but still are sold.

Booster seat evaluations

Not Recommended
Safety Angel Ride Ryte backless
Cosco/Dorel (Eddie Bauer) Summit
Graco CarGo Zephyr
Evenflo Big Kid Confidence
Cosco/Dorel Traveler
Compass B505
Compass B510
Evenflo Generations
Dorel/Safety 1st (Eddie Bauer) Prospect
Cosco Highback Booster
Cosco/Dorel Alpha Omega
Evenflo Chase Comfort Touch
Safety 1st/Dorel Intera

Best Bets
Graco TurboBooster backless with clip
Fisher-Price Safe Voyage backless with clip
Combi Kobuk backless with clip
Fisher-Price Safe Voyage
Britax Parkway
LaRoche Bros. Teddy Bear
Safeguard Go backless with clip
Volvo booster cushion
Recaro Young Style
Britax Monarch

Good Bets
Graco TurboBooster
Safety Angel Ride Ryte
Recaro Young Sport
Combi Kobuk
Safety 1st/Dorel Apex 65

2 Incidents in the Last 2 weeks of Televisions Falling Down on Babies

I read an article 2 days ago in The New York Daily News about a 2-year-old Brooklyn girl, who was playing in the living room, when the TV toppled off the stand clipping her in the head. A week before last, I had read another article in the same paper about a 1 year old baby boy pulling on the TV wire and the TV toppling down on his head. Apparently the boy’s grandfather left the boy alone for a minute to fix him a bottle.

The fact that these accidents happened is very upsetting. It could happen to any parent. We have all been in the situation where we are watching our little ones, and the phone rings, or the door bell rings and we turn our back for a second. It just takes a second!

Parents, it is very important to make sure your TV cannot be pulled down. Ways to ensure this are to mount the TV high enough so it is out of the baby’s reach, if the TV is in reach, make sure it is secured to the wall with an anti-tip device. Wires pose another danger. A child can pull on the TV wire causing the TV to come toppling down. It is important to secure wires so that they are out of your child’s reach.

If you need help securing your TV or wires, please feel free to call us and we can help you.

Trader Joes To Open It's Doors In The BK on Friday

Hurray!!!!!

I have been checking out the Trader Joe’s site for weeks now, and finally there is the date of September 26th listed next to the Brooklyn location. It will be on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Court Street, where the bank used to be.
My first Trader Joe’s experience was a few years ago, and ever since I have dreamed of the day I would be able to do my weekly shopping there.
If you haven’t had the Trader Joe experience yet, you need to go, and go soon!!!! It is just the happiest supermarket I have ever been to. All the employees are in Hawaiian shirts and have smiles on their faces. One day while at the Trader Joe’s in Queens, I asked one of the employees, why it is that every time I am in a Trader Joe’s, all the employees seem so happy. He told me how wonderful the employees are treated and how even part-time employees get health benefits.
The prices are amazing and there are a lot of organic and all natural options. My new favorite Trader Joe’s product is the Pure Castile Soap, which only costs a little over $2. I used to use Dr Bronner’s, but for about $15 less, my family switched to Trader Joe’s!

FDA is Still Saying BPA is Safe as New Study Links BPA to Diabetes and Heart Disease

On Tuesday the FDA held a hearing on BPA, the FDA defended a draft assessment it issued last month declaring that FDA-regulated products on the market that contain BPA are safe.”Right now, our tentative conclusion is that it’s safe, so we’re not recommending any change in habits,” said Laura Tarantino, head of the FDA’s office of food additive safety. The agency said more research was needed.

Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, England, divided a representative sample of 1,455 U.S. residents ages 18 to 74 into quartiles based on BPA concentrations in their urine. The BPA data came from a 2003-04 survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The researchers found that people in the group with the highest concentration of BPA had almost three times the odds of cardiovascular disease as did those in the lowest quartile, even when factors such as race, income and education levels were accounted for. That group had a 2.4 times higher risk of diabetes.

Now, I’m no scientist, but one could make the argument that obese people have higher rates of diabetes and heart disease, and would also be exposed to more BPA through more food intake (BPA lines canned goods), but either way, Baby Bodyguards is still recommending that parents start using BPA-free alternatives for their children.

FDA: Don't Use Chinese Infant Formula

Agency Warns of Possible Melamine Contamination in Infant Formula Made in China
By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Sept. 12, 2008 — The FDA is warning parents and caregivers not to feed infant formula made in China to infants because of possible contamination with melamine, a chemical linked to tainted animal feed last year. Infant formulas made in the U.S. are safe to use.

In China, one baby has died and others have developed kidney problems linked to melamine in Chinese infant formula, according to news reports. Melamine artificially makes milk appear to have more protein; it can cause kidney diseases such as those seen in the Chinese infants, the FDA notes.

Infant formulas made in China shouldn’t be on store shelves, regardless of melamine. The FDA requires all infant formula makers to register with the FDA and to meet certain standards; no Chinese companies have met those requirements.

The FDA issued the warning just in case any specialty markets serving the Asian community sell any Chinese infant formulas; the FDA is looking into that.

The following manufacturers have met the FDA’s requirements for marketing infant formulas in the U.S.: Abbott Nutritionals, Mead Johnson Nutritionals, Nestle USA, PBM Nutritionals, Solus Products LLC, and SHS/Nutricia of Liverpool, England. Their products are safe and are not imported from China or made from materials from China, according to the FDA.

The Latest News on The BPA Controversy

Here’s the latest on the BPA controversy. Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine have linked the chemical to mood and brain disorders in humans. Click here, for the Washington Post article.

I’ve thrown my old bottles out and haven’t looked back since, and I hope you have too. BPA is in so many products out there, but anything we can do to lessen the exposure to our children is well worth it.


Sharing and Buying Breast Milk


Breast is best, we hear it everywhere these days. The formula companies try to convince us that their concoction is just as good, but any doctor will tell you otherwise. As a breastfeeding mother who struggled with milk supply, latching issues, thrush, clogged ducts, etc, it killed me to throw away the supply of frozen milk I had saved up in the freezer.

The other day, while on an online parenting forum, which shall remain nameless, I read a very disturbing post. It was from a new mother, that was not able to breastfeed her own baby. She was posting on the forum asking for other neighborhood moms to donate their extra milk to her. Now, I remember how hormonal I was the first few weeks after my son was born, so I was not about to lecture her on the dangers of sharing breast milk. My heart really went out to her. Here was a mother that wanted the best for her child, and could not provide the best due to an illness.

I started doing a bit of research, to see what alternatives are out there for this new mom, that wouldn’t put her baby at risk for a disease such as AIDS or hepatitis. I came across the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. All their donors are pre-screened, and the milk is pasteurized. The down side to buying breast milk is the price. The average cost is $3 per ounce. Another safe option would be to have the person you want to give you breast milk screened by your doctor to make sure they are a safe donor.

Using unscreened milk from friends or from people over the internet is just too risky. Disease is not the only rick. Alcohol, illegal drugs and legal drugs can be passed through breast milk.

Recall on Simplicity Bassinet


The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging retailers across the country to stop the sale of dangerous bassinets made by Simplicity Inc.

If you are the owner of a Simplicity Bassinet, click here, to see if the model you own is listed in the recall.

A 6 month baby was strangled to death this month in Kansas, after being entrapped between the metal bars of the bassinet. This is the second strangulation death the CPSC has been made aware of dealing with the co-sleeper bassinet.

Organic Produce, Is it Worth the Extra Money?


These days, it seems that every where we turn, we come across food that is organic. Sales of organic produce has risen 30% since 1990. Organic advocates contend that the extra cost buys them produce that has less synthetic pesticide residue and is more nutritious, better tasting and more environmentally friendly.

The difference between organic produce and conventional produce is the way it is grown, handled and processed. Organic fruits and vegetables are grown without the use of ionizing radiation, genetic engineering, sewage sludge fertilizers, and most conventional pesticides.

Be careful when choosing an item marked “natural”. Being marked “natural” has nothing to do with the way the item was grown, processed or handled and just means that there are no artificial ingredients or added colors.

When I became pregnant, I started buying organic produce because I was worried about exposure to pesticides, even though it remains unclear whether the small amounts of pesticide residue found in produce will cause health problems in people over time. I am a worrywart and I only wanted the best for my baby.

With money being an issue for most parents today and most organic produce being more expensive then conventional produce, I decided to do a bit of research to see whether it was necessary to be shelling out the extra bucks for organic.

The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit environmental organization, analyzed more than 100,000 tests that the USDA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration conducted on pesticide residue in 46 fruits and vegetables between 1992 and 2001. From that analysis, the group came up with the “dirty dozen,” a list of the produce most contaminated with pesticides:

apples

bell peppers

celery

cherries

imported grapes

nectarines

peaches

pears

potatoes

red raspberries

spinach

strawberries

If you eat this produce frequently and are looking to avoid pesticides, you may want to switch to the organic versions of these 12 items.

I will now be saving money by buying conventional bananas.