Category Archives: Uncategorized

Testing the Vision of Little Kids

suresight vision screener
suresight vision screener

The other day I took my 2 year old to the doctor for a well visit. We waited an hour for the doctor to come in , then my poor boy was poked and prodded for what seemed like days (he was crying from the minute we pulled up to the office). After numerous blood tests, and being held down to have his ears checked, the nurse told me to bring him to the back for an eye exam. I knew this was not going to happen. My son was screaming, and would not cooperate , so we got our coats on and left without his eyes being checked.

Last night on the news, I heard about The “Healthy Eyes for Kids” program. They provide free screenings to preschoolers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and identify kids who may have a higher risk for vision problems.

The machine they use to test for a possible vision problem, takes only 30 seconds to get a reading. They screening is not diagnostic, but it is a good indicator or a vision problem.

Most  eye problems in children can be corrected if caught early, the task is trying to get a 2 or 3 year old to sit still, The “Healthy Eyes for Kids” program is making strides in providing early intervention.

For more info visit Preventblindness.org.

Manufacturers move to ban drop-side cribs

In the past few months, I have posted numerous times about recent crib recalls. Now, crib makers have proposed a ban on drop-side cribs after numerous recalls, injuies and infant deaths.

Michael Dwyer, executive director of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, an industry trade group, says the proposal put forward at a meeting Tuesday outside Philadelphia would allow for about a 6-inch (15-centimeter) top rail on one side that could fold down to let shorter people or those with back troubles more easily lift a baby.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says at least three U.S. children have died in drop-side cribs in the last 18 months and there have been five recalls involving more than 3 million cribs. The agency has received more than 200 complaints, including about 70 incidents where the drop-side came loose or off the tracks.

It is refreshing to see that the JPMA is taking steps to prevent further injuries, deaths and recalls.

Court Rules Vaccines Didn't Cause Autism

As a mother who feels very strongly that all children should be vaccinated, I have been keeping a close eye on this topic. There has been a lot of controversy about whether autism is triggered by the vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella combined with vaccines containing thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative or whether it is totally unrelated.

For more information about the court ruing, here is the CNN article .

Baby Bodyguards Question of the Week

Dear Baby Bodyguards,

My 9 month old son has taking a liking to teething on his crib rail and I am concerned about him getting hurt.

We are asked this question a lot. Teething on a crib rail is extremely common. Rails, can damage a child’s teeth, and damage furniture. Splinters and chipped paint are not things you want in your child’s mouth!

There are several products on the market designed to go over the crib rail to protect both the crib and Baby’s teeth. These products are referred to as teething rails, rail guards or rail covers. Some are plastic strips that slip over the rail, while other designs are padded involve cloth and Velcro and even allow you to hang toys from them. And don’t forget to check to see if your crib’s manufacturer has a rail cover designed especially for your model.

Prince Lionheart sells a nontoxic plastic crib rail teether that slips over Baby’s crib rail for about $10, but reviews are mixed, in part because it doesn’t fit all crib models, and/or can be removed by a baby.

Also on the market is Gummi Crib Rails, which are strips that adhere over a crib rail’s wooden edge, protecting both Baby’s mouth and the crib. Most of these products claim to be FDA approved and free of phthalates.

Mercury Found in High Fructose Corn Syrup

I found this interesting post on EcoChildsplay.com:

Mercury was found in nearly fifty percent of tested samples of commercial high fructose corn syrup according to an article published in the scientific journal, Environmental Health.

A separate study detected mercury in nearly one third of fifty-five popular brand name foods and beverages where HFCS is the first or second highest labeled ingredient.

According to David Wallinga, M.D., from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy,

“Mercury is toxic in all its forms.  Given how much high fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered.”

It seems we have one more reason to avoid HFCS, and make sure our children are not consuming this so called natural ingredient.

High fructose corn syrup is found in many processed foods, the obvious being soft drinks, candies, and other sweets.  Also, beware of it in things you wouldn’t expect such as breads, cereals, yogurts, ketchup, and even some granola bars.

Now, more than ever, it’s important for our kids to eat as much “real food” as possible.  Make sure to read labels, and look for short ingredient lists containing things you can identify.

And beware of HFCS.

Question of the Week

Dear Baby Bodyguards,

I received a safety gate as a gift at my shower. It is pressure mounted, but says it can be used at the top of a staircase. I have heard conflicting information as to whether or not it is okay to use pressure mounted gates on the top of the stairs. I put it up, and it seems to be in super tight, do you think this is safe?

I am so glad a concerned parent asked this question. I cannot tell you how many clients call us after having experienced an accident with their child related to a pressure mounted gate at the top of the stairs. The manufacturer’s claims can be very misleading in this regard. While it is acceptable to use a pressure mounted gate at the bottom of the stairs you should not use a pressure mounted gate at the top of the stairs. Some pressure mounted gates come with hardware so that it can be wall mounted if it is going to be used at the top of the stairs. Again not all gates are able to be wall mounted but some can and certainly any gate at the top of the stairs should be wall mounted. All gates sold in the US will state “can be used for top of stairs” if they are appropriate to do so, “can be used for stairs” simply means that it can be used for the bottom and may be able to be used for the top.

If the thought of getting out your drill and level intimidates you, you can call us, and we will do it for you.

Ohio company recalls baby high chair

An Ohio Company is recalling its baby high chairs after dozens of reported injuries such as broken bones and head bruises.

The recall involves 95,000 Majestic High Chairs made by Evenflo Co. Inc. The company says they pose a hazard for small children when parts come loose and the seat backs fall off. The company, which is based in Miamisburg, Ohio, received more than 1,000 reports of parts falling out.

The high chairs are made in China and were sold nationwide at juvenile product and mass merchandise stores, including Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us, Burlington Coat Factory and Shopko, and online at walmart.com from January 2006 through May 2007.

For more information consumers can call Evenflo at 800-233-5921 or visit http://www.majestichighchair.com.

Spotting a Food Allergy

With the Holiday Season upon us, and parties galore, a lot of children are exposed to new foods. Just the other day while at a party with my family, I quickly intervened when I saw an 8 year old boy offering my 2 year oldson some peanuts. I rushed over and politely explained to the boy that my son was too young to have peanuts. Most pediatricians now reccomend waiting till a child is 4 to be exposed to nuts.

I thought I would write a post about spotting an allergic reaction caused by food, because the symptoms can easily be confused with other illnesses. Because there are many things that can be confused with food allergies, it is important for parents to know the difference.

Symptoms of a food allergy

  • Skin problems
    • Hives (red spots that look like mosquito bites)
    • Itchy skin rashes (eczema, also called atopic dermatitis)
    • Swelling
    • Breathing problems
    • Sneezing
    • Wheezing
    • Throat tightness
  • Stomach symptoms
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Circulation symptoms
    • Pale skin
    • Light-headedness
    • Loss of consciousness

If several areas of the body are affected, the reaction may be severe or even life-threatening. This type of allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis and requires immediate medical attention.

Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction. It comes on quickly and can be fatal. This type of reaction is a medical emergency and immediate medical attention is important. For anyone experiencing anaphylaxis, epinephrine should be given right away followed by a call to 911 for further treatment and transfer to a hospital.

Not a food allergy

Food can cause many illnesses that are sometimes confused with food allergies. The following are not food allergies:

  • Food poisoning—Can cause diarrhea or vomiting, but is usually caused by bacteria in spoiled food or undercooked food.
  • Drug effects—Certain ingredients, such as caffeine in soda or candy, can make your child shaky or restless.
  • Skin irritation—Can often be caused by acids found in such foods as orange juice or tomato products.
  • Diarrhea—Can occur in small children from too much sugar, such as from fruit juices.

Some food-related illnesses are called intolerance, or a food sensitivity, rather than an allergy because the immune system is not causing the problem. Lactose intolerance is an example of a food intolerance that is often confused with a food allergy. Lactose intolerance is when a person has trouble digesting milk sugar, called lactose, leading to stomachaches, bloating, and loose stools.

Sometimes reactions to the chemicals added to foods, such as dyes or preservatives, are mistaken for a food allergy. However, while some people may be sensitive to certain food additives, it is rare to be allergic to them.

Foods that can cause food allergies

Any food could cause a food allergy, but most food allergies are caused by the following:

  • Cow milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Nuts from trees (such as walnuts, pistachios, pecans, cashews)
  • Fish (such as tuna, salmon, cod)
  • Shellfish (such as shrimp, lobster)
  • Peanuts, nuts, and seafood are the most common causes of severe reactions. Allergies also occur to other foods such as meats, fruits, vegetables, grains, and seeds such as sesame.

The good news is that food allergies are often outgrown during early childhood. It is estimated that 80% to 90% of egg, milk, wheat, and soy allergies go away by age 5 years. Some allergies are more persistent. For example, 1 in 5 young children will outgrow a peanut allergy and fewer will outgrow allergies to nuts or seafood. Your pediatrician or allergist can perform tests to track your child’s food allergies and watch to see if they are going away.

 

 

Published online: 4/07
Source: Food Allergies and Your Child (Copyright © 2006 American Academy of Pediatrics)