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Child Passenger Safety

APW-Child-Passenger-Safety-GuidelinesI may have missed Child Passenger Safety Week, but I have not forgotten. AutoPartsWarehouse.com offers safety information and tips.

Some key facts on child passenger safety:

• Children ages two to five who use safety belts prematurely are four times more likely to suffer a serious head injury in a crash than children in safety or booster seats.
• Of children ages 12 and under who died in vehicle crashes in 2011, 33 percent were unrestrained.
• Four out of five safety seats are used incorrectly, averaging a startling three mistakes per seat.

The AutoPartsWarehouse.com Child Passenger Safety Tips and Resource Guide includes the following safety information:
• Car Seat Guidelines by Age (for example, children under two should always ride in a rear facing car seat)
• Child Passenger Safety Tips (from locking down electric window buttons to proper seat belt use)

AutoPartsWarehouse.com reminds consumers to review child safety in the car during “Child Passenger Safety Week”– and beyond; vehicle crashes number one cause of childhood deaths. Click here for the Guide.

National Heatstroke Prevention Day

6a00e551eea4f58834016303a457cc970d-500wiJuly 31 is National Heatstroke Prevention Day and if you have been going outside recently then you know it’s no joke.

  • 10 minutes is all it takes for a car to reach deadly temperatures w/ a child locked inside.
  • If you see a child alone in a hot vehicle, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. If the child is in distress due to heat, get that child out as quickly as possible. Cool the child rapidly by spraying the child with cool water or with water from a garden hose (an ice bath isn’t necessary nor desirable).

Go here: www.safercar.gov/heatstroke

Nanny Tips and Do You Tip a Nanny?

photo617The International Nanny Association offers some advice from their Nanny of the Year winner.

The INA recently named  Jo Barrow their Nanny of the Year.  A professional with 22 years of experience, Jo is an outstanding example of the nanny every family hopes to engage for the care of their children.  Some of Barrow’s tips include:

Nearly 11 million American children under the age of 5 are in outside care according to Child Care Aware in their 2012 report Families are entrusting their children to caregivers in record numbers when they go off to work each day.

How do parents ensure they are making the best possible choice when it comes to caregivers? Jo Barrow, the newly-named 2013 Nanny of the Year, has great advice and tips for any parents exploring child care needs.

How to Find a Great Caregiver

•        Start the search: by asking the experts – Personal referrals, when a great care giver is leaving her current position, may also be invaluable as they can lead to a wonderful relationship. Agencies, while expensive, can offer the best selection of qualified candidates. The INA is a great resource to tap.

•        What to ask in the interview? Scenario based questions, ‘What would you do if……a b c happened?”  What are your thoughts on discipline, what techniques do you prefer? What aspects of the job do you particularly enjoy/not enjoy?

•        Red flags? Little or no previous experience. No references or weak letters of recommendation. Can’t provide proof of legal status.

•        Check it out: Background checks are a must, even if you’re going with the nanny of a good friend who you’ve known for years.

How to Keep a Great Caregiver

•        Start with the right set-up:  Write a detailed job description.  Dedicate enough time to work with the new Nanny, side by side, to show her the ropes, your preferences and expectations.

•        The hand-off:   Some parents take a few days with the Nanny before leaving her alone with their kids; others may want to wait a week.  Barrow recommends spending 2 full days together.

•        Keep the lines of communication open.  A parent should schedule times for weekly check-in meetings to make sure your children are happy and well-cared for.

•        Make sure your caregiver knows how much you appreciate her/his efforts.

A pretty, intelligent and articulate Englishwoman, Barrow could easily stand in for Mary Poppins on Broadway, but she’s the first to tell you that she doesn’t have any magic up her sleeve. Rather, she depends on great training, her love of nurturing and her ability to establish a rapport with children and their parents.

Children come in all shapes, sizes and personalities. Some are smart and studious, others can be mischievous and fun-loving but they’re all different and pose different challenges,” says Barrow.  “As a nanny you need to understand and work with each individual taking into account his or her needs, capabilities and the overall family dynamic. It’s that ability that defines a really skilled caregiver.”

Parents Making Mistakes When Using Car Seats

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, NHTSA Administrator David Strickland, and Safe Kids President and CEO Kate Carr, kicked off child passenger safety week with sobering news about car seat use. According to a new NHTSA survey, the following are the five most significant and commonly observed mistakes made by parents and caregivers when using and installing car seats and booster seats:

1. Wrong harness slot used – The harness straps used to hold the child in the car seat were positioned either too low or too high;
2. Harness chest clip positioned over the abdomen rather than the chest or not used at all;
3. Loose car seat installation – The restraint system moved more than two inches side-to-side or front to back; anything more than one inch is too much.
4. Loose harness – More than two inches of total slack between the child and the harness strap; there should be no slack.
5. Seat belt placement was wrong – Lap belt resting over the stomach and/or shoulder belt on the child’s neck or face.

The survey also revealed that 20 percent of all drivers of child passengers did not read any instructions on how to properly install their car seats, yet 90 percent felt ‘confident’ or ‘very confident’ that their car seats and booster seats were installed correctly.

Help us get the word out. Safe Kids and NHTSA are encouraging everyone to take 15 minutes to conduct an at-home checkup using the following Safe Kids downloadable checklist:

• Right Seat. Check the label on your car seat to make sure it’s appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height.
• Right Place. Kids are VIPs, just ask them. We know all VIPs ride in the back seat, so keep all children in the back seat until they are 13. Doing this, along with correctly using the appropriate child restraints, greatly reduces the risk of injury.
• Right Direction. You want to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible. When he or she outgrows the seat, move your child to a forward-facing car seat. Make sure to attach the top tether after you tighten and lock the seat belt or lower anchors.
• Inch Test. Once your car seat is installed, give it a good shake at the base. Can you move it more than an inch side to side or front to back? A properly installed seat will not move more than an inch.
• Pinch Test. Make sure the harness is tightly buckled and coming from the correct slots (check manual). Now, with the chest clip placed at armpit level, pinch the strap at your child’s shoulder. If you are unable to pinch any excess webbing, you’re good to go.
Parents are encouraged to read the vehicle and car seat instruction manuals in addition to following the checklist.

Child Passenger Safety Week began September 16 and culminates September 22 with National Seat Check Saturday. Throughout the week, Safe Kids will host hundreds of child seat inspections across the country as part of its Buckle Up Program, a national initiative established 15 years ago to keep children and families safe in and around cars. Car seat inspections offer drivers the chance to receive assistance and guidance from certified car seat technicians regarding proper installation of their child safety and booster seats.

So the Stick Shows A Plus Sign

Belated Father’s Day Week continues with an article about being a new father by Robin Peavler, M.D., FACEP.

Congratulations! You’re about to become a dad. From now until the minute you snip the cord on your little bundle of joy, a lot of changes are coming your way. While moms-to-be get lots of support and tons of advice, many dads-in-training are left in the dark. Of course there’s no way to anticipate every possible scenario, but a little dad-to-dad coaching can go a long way in helping you prepare a game plan.

First Trimester

* Do your homework. It’s okay to watch the game, but during commercials, pick up your wife’s baby book and read the highlights. Learn about what’s going on in there so you can discuss it intelligently with the mom-to-be. She’ll be impressed, and you’ll earn bonus points.

* Don’t be shy about talking to other guys who have been there, done that. Seasoned dads can tell you what to do-and more importantly, what not to do-to support your wife and make her feel extra special during her pregnancy. You might have to sacrifice your man card while you are in full support of the mommy-to-be. Veteran dads won’t look down on you for this, they’ll give you their full support. They might even offer to buy you a drink.

* Be there for her. You’d rather take a kick in the groin than go to the doctor’s office. Love hurts. Offer to go to your wife’s next OB appointment with her, and pay attention to what the doctor says. There might be a test afterward.

Second Trimester

* Plan ahead. If you’re lucky, your boss will give you paternity leave with pay. If not, plan to take a few days off to help your wife and to get to know your offspring. You’ll be glad you did.

* Have those big discussions now. If you want to have a say in how things are done with your mini-me, now’s the time to talk. Discuss your options with your wife and her doctor. Learn about the value of cord blood stem cells and help your wife decide if you will bank baby’s cord blood or donate it? Will your son be circumcised or not? Breastfed or bottle fed? Now’s the time to weigh in.

* Think about money. Now’s a good time to write your will, buy a bigger life insurance policy, and start a college savings plan. The future waits for no man.

Third Trimester

* Help your wife get ready for the big day. Babies don’t always come on schedule. It’s time to put the crib together and install the car seat in the minivan. You do have a minivan, don’t you?

* Think about money. Again. It’s what dads do. Take a look at your financial situation, and try to set aside an emergency reserve account that will see you through three to six months of living expenses. Don’t forget to review your employee healthcare benefits and add your pride and joy to the plan.

* Help your wife pack her birth bag. That way, you’ll be sure you have what you need to survive your stay at the hospital. After she’s packed her new-mom essentials, see if there’s room for snacks, a camera, a spare phone charger, the cord blood collection kit, some reading material, and a comfortable pillow. No room in your wife’s hospital bag? Pack a suitcase. You could be there a while.

Fatherhood is a trip. Once you’re prepared, you can relax and enjoy the ride.

About the author: Robin Peavler, M.D., FACEP, is a dad of three sons, a board-certified emergency physician, and a contributor to DaddyMDGuides.com.

Car Seat Safety

Please read this very important article. Click here.

September is National Baby Safety Month

Pediatrician, Dr. Alan Greene’s tips on Chemicals and Household Toxins

There are about 80,000 chemicals in the marketplace today – more than enough to make parents who are concerned about chemicals pull out their hair. Simplify and pay attention to just 3 ways your child might be exposed.

1) What goes in the mouth. Choose clean food and drinks, and pay special attention to the plastics that go in the mouth, especially those used to store, heat, or serve food and drinks. Chemicals in the plastics can leach out and enter your child. Notice the recycling symbols on the bottoms of many plastics. Opt for symbols 1, 2, 4, or 5. Or choose brands like BornFree, where the entire line of toddler sippy cups, pacifiers, baby bottles and plastic water bottles are free from BPA, phthalates and PVC. Or skip plastic, and go with something like glass or stainless steel.

2) What goes on the skin. Chemicals in lotions and creams can be absorbed through the skin. We read the ingredients on food; it’s time to learn to read ingredient lists on skin products as well, and choose those you trust. Sunscreen is a great place to start. I prefer sunscreens that rely on minerals, like zinc or titanium, rather than relying on chemicals that might act as hormones in the body.

3) What goes in the nose. Clean air may seem overwhelming. After all, you don’t have much control over other people’s exhaust pipes and smokestacks. But the air that matters most is the air in your own home, where your child sleeps at night. Indoor air is usually more polluted than outdoor air, so you can often make a big difference just by opening the windows. Replace cleaning products that have harsh fumes or artificial fragrances (anything that says, “Use in a Well-Ventilated Space” probably isn’t good for your child). And you might consider houseplants or an air filter to help clean your air.

Dr. Greene is the author of Raising Baby Green, Feeding Baby Green, and is a consulting pediatrician for BornFree.

Don’t You Make My Brown Eyes Blue

What Color Will My Baby’s Eyes Be?
By Eirian Hallinan

You would think that if two parents have brown eyes that their children would also have brown eyes but this does not always occur! Genes determine eye color. It is more likely that the children will have brown eyes if the parents are brown eyed but they could also have hazel, green or blue eyes!
Genes are subunits of DNA (or deoxyribonucleic acid) and all physical traits of a person are controlled by genes. When a baby is conceived the mother and father pass down their genes to the child. Originally, the genes came from the newly conceived baby’s grandparents, great-grandparents and on it goes. Therefore it is possible, although unlikely that the baby could be born with one of his great grandparent’s green eyes which can seem strange if no one in the immediate family has them.

The science behind eye color is very technical. Simply put, an individual person has two eye color genes which their parents provided them with. In males this is represented as BG, the potential for brown and green eyes. In females this would be BBI the potential for brown and blue. A set of parents could randomly send one of these genes with the sperm or the egg used to create the fetus so the child could have blue, green, brown, hazel or some combination.

There are eye colors that are more dominant than others. If a child has brown and blue eye color genes passed to them it is more likely they will have brown eyes and this is because brown eye genes are dominant over blue eye genes. Recessive and dominant genes also determine vision, hair color, finger/toe length and health conditions amongst other characteristics. Visible characteristics are usually from dominant genes being passed down.

To expand on this, there are several genes that are responsible for eye color. This makes it even trickier to know what eye color your child could have. Each of the eye color genes also controls other aspects of the eye color, for example, how light or dark the eyes are. A child born with brown eyes might have very dark brown eyes, very light brown eyes or any shade of brown in between.

Most babies are born with blue eyes but after a few months and in some cases two years, the baby’s eyes will change to the color they will have in adulthood. Parents therefore may not know what color eyes their child will end up with until they are two years old!
If both parents have brown eyes it is most likely their child will too. If the parents have the same eye color then it is most likely the child will have the same eye color. If the parents have different eye colors then it is most likely the child will inherit the dominant eye color. It is possible that the child will have an eye color given by a recessive gene so could have different color eyes to his parents.

Eirian Hallinan has written numerous articles in the baby care field. She believes in healing naturally, first, especially when it comes to infant colic.

Sad Dads

Check out this interesting article by New York Times writer Tara Parker-Pope. HERE

Childproofing Tips

Childproofing Tips

By Julie Vallese, Consumer Safety Expert, Dorel Juvenile Group

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, more than four million children end up in the emergency room each year as a result of accidents. The good news is 90% of these accidents could have been avoided. Childproofing your home can be daunting, and it doesn’t have to be! Education is the best method of injury prevention! Here are some room to room tips to keep your baby safe.


The bathroom can be fun during bath time, but there are many areas that are also hazardous.

· Drowning can occur in less than 2″ of water. NEVER leave a child unattended in a bathtub, not even for a moment; nor should a child be left in the bathtub in the care of an older sibling. Also, keep all toilets locked.

· To prevent burns set your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Always check water temperature before placing your child in the tub. Swirl water around with your hand to eliminate any hot spots.

· Keep cabinets and drawers locked to prevent children from accessing toothpaste, perfumes, soaps, lotions, deodorant, mouthwash, etc – all of which can be dangerous if ingested. In the tub, keep soaps and shampoos out of your child’s reach.


Your kitchen poses many dangers to your child, including poisonous materials, choking hazards and hot surfaces. It is best to avoid making the kitchen a play space and, in general, minimize the amount of time your child spends in the kitchen. Make the area as uninteresting as possible to curious children and follow these guidelines:

· Cabinets and drawers contain many hazards, such as cleaning supplies that are toxic, plastic bags which pose a suffocation and choking hazard, breakable and sharp objects, and food that can be a choking hazard. Be sure to lock all cabinets and drawers to keep your child away from the contents. Also move all cleaning supplies, including dishwasher detergent to a locked closet or a cabinet that is up high and out of your child’s reach.

· Knives can be dangerous, even when they are on a countertop and seemingly out of your child’s reach. Your child can reach for the knives while you are carrying him so it is best to keep them in a locked drawer.

· Ovens and stoves are hot and can burn your child. It is a good idea to use the back burners of your stove whenever possible and remember to turn pot and pan handles in, and away from the edge of the stove. Reinforce with your toddler that the oven is hot and he or she should not touch it. To prevent burns and accidental fires, keep your countertop appliances unplugged when not in use and keep your oven and stove knobs locked.

Living room:

· Getting down on your hands and knees to view your home from your child’s perspective is the best way to begin childproofing because seeing the world from their view opens your eyes to potential dangers that may otherwise be hidden.

· Flat screen TV’s can come toppling down on top of the child, make sure to anchor with a TV lock.

· Anchor all items that are tipping hazards, such as a large book case or entertainment center. children like to pull drawers out and use them as a ladder.

· Remove items that might topple (tall lamps, freestanding coat racks, statues, etc.) from home until child is older.

· Cover the corners and edges of end tables, coffee tables, countertops, and dressers with cushioning created for this purpose.

Stairs & Hallways:

Even though we’re just passing through these areas, they should be childproofed too! Falls from stairs are especially dangerous, so be sure to install gates before or as soon as your child starts crawling.

· Be sure to install a gate at the top of each stairway to prevent falls. Never use a pressure-fit gate
at the top of the stairs, but rather a gate that can be mounted with hardware.

· A child only needs to fall from a few stairs to be seriously injured, so be sure to use a gate at the
bottom of the stairs as well. It’s OK to teach your child how to climb the stairs but she should only do so when you’re right behind her, every step of the way. Use a hardware-mounted or pressure-fit gate at the bottom of the stairs.

· Little hands can get caught in the hallway door; a finger pinch preventer can help keep hands safe

Getting down on your hands and knees to view your home from your child’s perspective is the best way to begin childproofing because seeing the world from their view opens your eyes to potential dangers that may otherwise be hidden.

For more information visit http://www.safety1st.com/usa/eng/Childproof-Welcome