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Life Hacks for Baby Safety

Why not buy a pinch guard designed for a door at around the same price?

I’m a fan of life hacks.  I’ve learned new cooking methods, seen interesting furniture made from recycled materials, and even found an interesting way to peel a banana.  These suggestions are creative and clever.

But I was surprised and shocked to discover homemade hacks aimed at baby proofing a house that are inadequate and often dangerous for a child.  One showed a stair gate made of leftover cloth and plastic tubing.  Another used recycled rubber bands from newspapers to secure kitchen cleaners in the cabinets. Yet another misguided suggestion was a homemade crib toy that is a choking hazard.

So not all life hacks are created equal.

A cloth stair barrier, for instance, may not bear the weight of a child leaning against it.  Plus it’s cumbersome for an adult to remove in order to use the stairs, increasing the chances that a busy grown-up leaves it off. Rubber bands break, giving small children access to things they shouldn’t get into.

And some suggestions don’t make economic sense.  Using a pool noodle as an anti-pinch device on a door costs about the same as an attractive foam piece designed for that purpose.

Real, tested, secure child proofing materials are what your child deserves, and a certified professional can point out and correct hazards that new parents may not have the time or experience to notice—in furniture, outlets, cords, windows, houseplants, and more.

Baby proofing an average home takes time–time to research, choose, buy, make, and install it all.  A professional visit provides thorough inspection, materials, installation, and parental education in a worry-free way—and busy parents can devote their time to their child.

Still want to add a creative touch?  Why not a cloth cover for a solid, safe, well-mounted stair gate that’s designed to protect your toddler and be convenient for parents?

Pinterest serves up great ideas—for many things.  The trend in trying crafts and unique projects is outstanding.  But baby safety is too important to be a do-it-yourself experiment.  As I said, I’m a fan of life hacks (most of the time).  Saving a little money is good.  Saving a little one from injury or worse is priceless.

Car Seat Clinic at Blue Cocoon Boutique on March 7th

More than 3 out of 4 infant and child car seats are installed incorrectly, according to the NHTSA. In an accident–or even a quick stop–an improperly fastened seat may not protect the child.

Parents in the Cincinnati area can be more sure that their children are safe in their cars thanks to a free car seat clinic at Blue Cocoon Boutique at 9361 Montgomery Road on Saturday, March 7.

The clinic begins at noon and will feature individual car seat checks throughout the day by a technician from Baby Bodyguards. Space is limited, and registration is required. Schedule an appointment by visiting bluecocoonbaby.com and choosing “Class Registration” or calling Blue Cocoon at 513.791.1089.

The clinic is sponsored by Blue Cocoon and Baby Bodyguards of SW Ohio. For more information, visit bluecocoonbaby.com or babybodyguards.com.

A Little Giddy

Over the Summer I got a call from Josh. We were scheduling an appointment and when I asked his availability he said he was very flexible at the moment because he had just wrapped up a project.  The name Josh Lucas was very familiar, but I couldn’t place the name with the face. I tried google and OMG, Josh Lucas, the man that we swooned over in Sweet Home Alabama, The Lincoln Lawyer and the numerous other projects he has worked on!

When Fred and the team went there, they said that he was such a pleasure to work with and has the most adorable son. Everyone said he was just the most normal, cool, down to Earth guy. Celebrities aren’t always known for those attributes.  Without any prompting, Josh offered us a hand written testimonial. We are very touched because it’s never something we ask for. Our clients time is very important and we never want to impose. Josh is a great guy and Josh, thank you for the kind words. It was our pleasureJoshLucas Testimonial!

 

Car Seat Installation Every Evening and Weekend Mornings

Due to high demand, Baby Bodyguards is now offering car seat installation every evening from 5:30PM-8:30PM and Saturdays and Sundays from 8AM to 10AM in Marine Park, Brooklyn. A Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician will demonstrate the proper way to use your seat and make sure you are comfortable installing the seat on your own before you leave. Call or email to make an appointment.

Goodbye 2012…..The Ups and Downs Reflected Upon

Happy New Year!!!

Last year was a particularly busy one for us at Baby Bodyguards. It was our most successful year to date, but also the most tumultuous. The year for the most part was full of clients (some of the biggest celebrities on the planet), consultations, car seat installations, business meetings, franchise documents and then came October and ENTER SANDY…..

Being of a neurotic nature I had water, non-perishables, flashlights, D batteries (enough for us and our friends). The day the storm was to begin, we spent at a birthday party for a friend’s daughter. As our children painted pottery, the adults discussed whether we would evacuate and other precautions. We were all split, half of us were taking it very seriously , the other half thought of Irene in 2011 and scoffed. We always feel better safe then sorry.

The Baby Bodyguards headquarters was in Manhattan Beach Brooklyn. This is where I grew up and where most of our friends live. This is where my parents still live.  For those who are not familiar, it is known as the Russian Riviera, consisting of beautiful waterfront homes, and a feeling of a private oasis in the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn. This is where our son goes to school, and until the end of October 2012, what I thought to be the safest part of NYC.

My parents evacuated to our home in Zone C and we made the final preparations at Baby Bodyguards. We stacked all our computers on desks, removed our hard drives and put them on a 7 ft shelf. Stacked all our inventory up high. We figured worse case scenario, we get a foot of water, which would be annoying, but not life changing. The last thing we did was set up a video baby monitor, so we could keep track of the flooding from our home a few miles away.

We spent the first 24 hours of the storm at our home pigging out on comfort food, watching TV, watching our monitor and hoping for the best. Then everything went dark. We played Crazy 8’s with our 5 year old, and read by lantern to our 2 year old. We bundled up to keep warm, and expected normalcy within a few hours. I watched my parents pace around understandably nervous that their home was now damaged. We spent the next day waiting for the clear to go outside, and when we got it, we ventured to Manhattan Beach.

Manhattan Beach on October 31st, was a scene from a nightmare. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Cars were piled on top of each other, glass was shattered everywhere. My favorite restaurants had tables and chairs floating in the street and their doors blown off. As I drove to the office, I saw children’s toys in the street, along with old pictures and memorabilia that can never be recovered. I passed so many friends and our Rabbi, everyone is a state of shock and despair. As I pulled up to the office, I could see our door had come off and our desks had floated to the street. We had sustained 8 feet of water. Our hard drive was gone off that 7 ft shelf. Interestingly enough the one thing that did make it was the Nutrigrain bars I snack on. For now on if there is an emergency coming that is what I will buy :). All our inventory gone, covered in sewage.

I then assessed my parents house. Same thing, 8 feet of water. I cried for about 3 minutes and then we had to take action. I called on some friends, we went to Home Depot, and gutted out the house and removed the debris. This was bad enough without my parents having to come home and throw away their possessions and deal with mold and the stench. For those not familiar with New Yorkers, we may not be the friendliest, but if a crisis goes down, New Yorkers can handle it with the best of them.

The really crazy thing is that while we were dealing with our losses and the gas shortage, the Baby Bodyguard’s phone kept ringing. Clients unaffected on the UES and UWS, couldn’t get their home’s baby proofed fast enough, and let us know that as soon as we were ready to get to them, they were ready for us. This calmed me down. I realized that in these conditions that I thought were hopeless, our business was still going to go on. It’s not a desk and a computer that make the business but the people , reputation and relationships that were developed.

It’s a new year and over 2 months have passed. Business is almost back to normal (from a temporary office), my parents are back in their home (the basement is still gutted and not fixed), but most importantly we are forever changed. If we weren’t faced by adversity every now and then, we would never know what we are really made of, and how blessed we truly are. It’s easy to be great during the good times, but it takes a certain kind a person to keep it together through the rough patches.

Over the last couple of months I would refer back to my favorite poem by Rudyard Kipling. It is also my dad’s favorite peom and when I was a little girl, he would tell me that it is “a poem to live by.”

 

IF

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

IMG_0263
Keeping normalcy we go trick or treating.
Thanks for the bags Dunkin Donuts!
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BBG Office, who needs a desk anyway….
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My parents house and their belongings
Stuff is just that…Stuff!

60,000 Britax Seats Recalled

Britax is recalling certain convertible child restraints, models Boulevard 70 G3, Advocate 70 G3, and Pavilion 70 G3, Model Numbers: E9LJ91A, E9LJ91M, E9LJ91S, E9LJ92E, E9LJ93P, E9LJ93S, E9LK91A, E9LK31A, E9LK31Q, E9LK32D, E9LK32Z, E9LK33Q, E9LL11A, E9LL11Q, E9LL12D, E9LL12Z, E9LG81A, E9LG83N, E9LG83P, E9LG83X, E9LG83Y, E9LL21A, E9LL23P, E9LL23Y, manufactured from June 2012 through August 2012. These seats were manufactured with a softer chest pad material that may be bitten or chewed into pieces by a child using the seat. If the child bites off a piece of the softer pad, it could be a choking hazard, resulting in injury or death. Britax will provide owners with replacement HUGS pads that are made from a firmer material and instructions on how to replace the pads free of charge. To view a video on how to remove and replace the HUGS chest pads visit www.BritaxUSA.com/support/safety-notices and select the product from the menu on the right side. Owners may remove the HUGS pads and continue using the seat until replacement pads are received. The safety recall is expected to begin shortly. Owners may contact Britax Customer Service Department at 1-888-427-4829 with questions or to request replacement pads in the event their restraint is not already registered with Britax.

Crib Tent Recall

A death and a catastrophic brain injury have prompted the recall of these crib tents, made by Tots In Mind, Inc.  According to the C.P.S.C., infants and toddlers are at risk of serious injury or death due to strangulation and entrapment hazards. These tents were sold at five major stores: Burlington Coat Factory, Walmart, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Toys R Us and Amazon.com.

Click here for all recall information from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.