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Archive for the ‘Safety Tips’ Category

Not sure if you are reading this blog item and you are from New York or the east coast, but there have been major blizzards there the past two days. I barely made it back to California for my friend’s birthday in Lake Tahoe. On the way to California, I was re-routed to Utah – a beautiful state with unbelievable snow. My boyfriend’s niece was geared up and ready to go skiing. This morning as I was bidding farewell, I got to watch her try on her K1 skis and get fitted for her helmet. What I found interesting is that she wanted to pick her helmet before trying on her skis! I think it is fantastic that she learning ski safety at age 3, and she even remembered from last winter ski season the importance of helmets from when she first learned to ski at age 2 (see picture). It’s all about safety!

Head injuries are one of the biggest contributing factors toward deaths in the snow, so it’s vital you teach your children early about the importance of wearing a helmet.

Purchasing a helmet for your kids when they ski is one of the first important steps before going to the snow and learning to ski.

What to consider:

  • Does the helmet come with a certified safety standard? Check for a label of certification.
  • Is it made for skiing? Don’t opt for letting your child wear their bike helmet instead just to save money.
  • Ensure that the helmet fits your child’s head correctly. If it doesn’t fit, there it completely defeats the purpose of having it in the first place.
  • It is recommended that you purchase brand new, as most helmets need to be replaced if they have been involved in an impact.
  • Check if it has a UV rating and protect your little one’s eyes.

How to know if it fits
When looking at kids ski helmets refer to a sizing chart to assist you. Most helmets are measured in centimeters.

Steps:

  1. Measure the circumference of your head (just above the eyebrows) for the most accurate measurement.
  2. When a helmet is on and secured under your child’s chin, you should only be able to fit one finger between the strap and the chin
  3. When secure you should be able to place 2 fingers above the eyebrow as a measure before you hit the front top of the helmet
  4. Check to make sure the back of the helmet doesn’t touch the nape of the neckline.
  5. Ensure ear pads are covering the ears
  6. If you tilt your child’s head backwards the helmet should not move

NOTE: If you are wearing goggles, it’s important to fit your helmet with these on as they do impact on the weight and fitting of the helmet.

ALL IN ALL? Kids ski helmets are no longer considered “not cool” or “dorky” – they are cool and a fun new accessory to purchase during the winter season or a great holiday vacation!

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Although it is already a month old article, I recently read an article in the New York Times called “With Kids and Coffee Tables, It’s Trip, Fall, Ouch.” The article was an in depth editorial on the great dangers of having a coffee table at home.

Okay, yes, when we were all little you probably shoved your sibling into the coffee table or babysat a family member’s baby where with the blink of an eye, the baby was hanging on the table and then hit his or her head…it happens on many objects! Not that it is okay to split your head open when you hit the table, but the article really makes it seem like the coffee table is the #1 reason for these types of accidents/emergency room altercations. I have a friend Nick who has a scar on his chin because he jumped off the piano as a child trying to be Superman!

On a scary note, the NY Times article states, “Last year, 143,070 children age 5 and younger visited emergency rooms after table accidents, according to estimates from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Coffee tables, in particular, turn up in more than a quarter of the accident reports, in the commission’s sample count.

The safety commission recommends that parents install bumpers on the corners and edges of their tables.

My boyfriend’s parents have a coffee table with iron around the edges – not exactly baby friendly. Lol. They used rubber and child proofed it. It looks ugly now, but hey, for the next few years while their grandchildren are young, it’s no biggy. At 15 to 18 inches tall, a coffee table makes an irresistible handhold for a baby who is learning to pull himself or herself up and try to walk.

But my argument is that kids are always bumping into things, and most parents panic, especially when they see blood….which is only natural right? Typical parental anxiety. 🙂

All in all – my advice is…if you are a new couple and planning on having kids, look for coffee tables that aren’t too high and have round edges. If you already have your to-die-for coffee table, put bumpers on it and try to keep an eye on your baby when he or she learns to walk or tell your kids to slow down if they are running around the house. Most ways that kids incur injuries is – falling, climbing and jumping. From jumping on the bed to falling out a chair…there are many things that can happen in a home.

Here are some tips on how to “baby proof” a coffee table: 

  1. All you need to do is get the pool noodles that are the length of the table (cutting may be required) and split the noodles horizontally all the way down to wear it will fit on the edge. My table was flat so it just squeezed on there but you may have to cut yours to fit. If there are any notches or cuts in your table (there are 3 on each side of mine) press firmly on the noodle on your table so it makes an indention and then cut out the indention. Do this on all sides that may need it.
  2. If you have a round table or if eventually your little one starts thinking they look fun to pull off of the table and hit you with, you’ll want to secure them in with tape (doesn’t look great but works well).
  3. Your table is baby proofed and you get to keep your furniture!

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Oh, boy! My baby is growing up. He’s hit another milestone. Paulo is 21 months, not quite two years old, but my husband and I have decided to move him into a regular bed. Our daughter was probably about the same age, but I’m not an expert. I’m not quite sure when the right time is to transition your toddler from a crib to a bed. BabyCenter says “sometime between ages 1-1/2 and 3-1/2,” stating that “it’s best to wait until your child is closer to 3.” I’m within the range but I decided to use mommy instincts on this one.

Usually I can leave my son in the crib while I go brush my teeth, wash my hands, or even just a couple steps to his closet to pick out what Le Top outfit to put him in. However the past couple of months, he’s gotten so active that when I turn around he’s already got one leg hoisted over the crib and the second leg spring-loaded ready to propel himself in mid-air. So before he seriously injures himself, my husband and I decided to move him to his first bed.

For safety, we put the bed mattress directly on the floor instead of putting the mattress on a bed frame so that he is closer to the ground. To keep him from rolling out of bed while sleeping, we placed bed rails on each side. The first couple of nights were tough because he was terribly excited about his new sleeping arrangements that he would just roll himself from left to right, then back again, only because he can. (Mind you, he has a full-size bed so there’s a lot of room to play steamroller.) By mid-week, when the excitement boiled over, he became accustomed to his bed.

It’s been three weeks now since the big “move” and Paulo LOVES his bed! His crib is still in his room because my husband is too lazy to dismantle it and I am in denial that my baby is no longer a baby. Sometimes, out of habit, I’ll put him in his crib while I go to his closet. He cries and looks at me with sad puppy eyes as if he’s asking me if he’s in trouble. (We really need to dismantle it!) Although, the best part is when it’s time for bed. After we brush his teeth, he’ll run to his room and things will be quiet. When I walk in, I always find him under the covers sitting up with a book on his lap and a big smile ready for story time. So precious!

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Being a new mom or parent can be stressful enough, you finally got your child to finish eating and now it’s bath time? Some kids (like my nephews) aren’t exactly excited about bath time, but I say start the process when they are babies so they expect it. Eventually they realize it is all part of a daily routine they must do that can be both fun and painless (for them and you!). So from the beginning, here are some pointers on how often you should bathe your baby and kids…plus a few tips for beginner moms.

How often should you bathe your baby?
Although some parents bathe their babies every day, until yours is crawling and gets very messy, a daily bath isn’t really necessary. Know that many parents and babies love bath time, but there’s no evidence that suggests babies must have a daily bath. It’s all up to you! However, washing your baby’s face frequently and thoroughly, as well as their genital area after each diaper change is a must!

Bottom line – most babies find the warm water very soothing and enjoyable!

Where should I bathe my baby?
There are usually two typical options – the bathtub or a kitchen sink/plastic baby bathtub.  When you use the bathtub, it can require you to kneel or lean awkwardly over the baby and there is less control over your baby’s movements. The kitchen sink can be a little easier on the back, but both locations work well.

Important Things to Know About Bathing Kids

  • Never leave kids unattended in the bath, even for a second.
  • Stay focused on a baby or younger child during the entire bath.
  • Make sure towels and other bath supplies are within easy reach.
  • Test the water carefully to be sure it’s not too hot, especially for babies.

Don’t answer the phone or a text while a child is in the tub. This is dangerous and babies need your full attention during the entire bath.

Tip: Toddlers and kids can slip in the tub because they tend to stand up and want to play. If you’re worried about kids hitting their heads on the tap, wrap it in a washcloth so they don’t hurt themselves. To avoid falls, don’t let kids stand up in the tub until it’s time to get out.

Be Prepared for Bathing your Baby

First, gather all the things you’ll need, including:

  • a clean washcloth
  • mild, unscented baby soap and shampoo
  • towels
  • an infant tub
  • a clean diaper (and diaper rash cream or lotion)
  • clean clothes or PJs
  • ps – it doesn’t hurt to sing along too! Rubber Ducky is my favorite from Sesame Street. 🙂

Bathing Steps

  • Place the infant tub in the bathtub.
  • Fill the infant tub with 2 to 3 inches of warm — not hot! — water (to test the water temperature, feel the water with the inside of your elbow or wrist).
  • Be sure the room is warm.
  • Undress the baby and put him or her in the infant tub right away so the baby doesn’t get cold.
  • Use a washcloth to wipe the baby’s face and hair.
  • Using baby shampoo, gently massage the baby’s scalp with the pads of your fingers or a soft baby hairbrush.
  • When you rinse the soap or shampoo from the baby’s head, cup your hand across the forehead so the suds run toward the sides and soap doesn’t get in the eyes.
  • Gently wash the rest of the baby’s body with water and a small amount of soap. Throughout the bath, regularly pour water gently over the baby’s body so he or she doesn’t get cold.
  • While bathing an infant or young child in the tub, never leave him or her alone for any reason. If you need to leave the bathroom, wrap the baby in a towel and take him or her with you.
  • After the bath, wrap baby in a towel immediately and cover his or her head.

Enjoy this time bathing your baby since before you know it this will all be a memory!

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As all your mommy and daddies know, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted this past Wednesday, December 15th in favor of banning the use and manufacturing of drop-side cribs, while also announcing the enforcement of new safety regulations regarding the making of all cribs.

According to MSNBC.com, drop-side cribs have been blamed in the deaths of at least 32 infants and toddlers since 2000 and are suspected in another 14 infant fatalities. In the past five years, more than 9 million drop-side cribs have been recalled, including cribs from big-name companies such as Evenflo, Delta Enterprise Corp., and Pottery Barn Kids.

In other words, this just about deems every existing make and model unsafe for your baby. The rules, which ban the manufacture, sale or resale of drop-side cribs and require safer crib designs, take effect this June. So what do you need to know until then? Read below for these facts.

What to know:

1.  In addition to at least 32 deaths in drop-side cribs, there were 14 deaths because of entrapment that could have been caused by a drop-side, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which issued the new crib standards.

2.  Parents know that drop-side cribs can make it easier for parents to reach in and out of the crib, or even to get babies in and out. However, how many parents think about how drop-side cribs can also trap children, especially when the cribs have broken pieces or missing hardware?

3.  More than 9 million drop-side cribs have been recalled since 2007, according to the CPSC.

4. Get the right info…

SAFETY TIPS: Routine checks of drop-side crib can ensure safety
MORE INFORMATION: CPSC’s crib information center

FROM OUR ARCHIVE: Ban on drop-side cribs coming soon

5.  Hotels, motels and child care centers have 18 months more to replace what CPSC says is about 935,000 drop-side cribs.

6.  CPSC urges consumers to check at cpsc.gov to see if their drop-side crib has been recalled. If it hasn’t, CPSC says to stop using the drop side and check for broken or missing parts.

What Are The Safety Issues With Drop-Side Cribs? 

  1. Plastic drop-side hardware can break or warp.
  2. Some types of soft wood could allow the hardware to come loose faster.
  3. Many parents install the drop side upside-down, which can increase wear on hardware.
  4. Drop-side pieces go missing over time and the cribs aren’t re-assembled properly.

All of these issues can allow a gap to form between the crib mattress and part of the drop side. Babies can become trapped and suffocate in that gap.

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We all know the importance of sunscreen for both kids and adults — But, did you know that a recent study found that many Americans aren’t properly putting sunscreen on — either on themselves or their children?
 
“It only takes one severe sunburn to potentially double your child’s chances of getting melanoma later in life,” according to Andrea Cambio, MD, FAAD, a board-certified pediatric dermatologist in Cape Coral, Fla. 

The sun can be intimidating, but don’t keep your kids away and/or out of it – just follow these safe and fun tips!   

This post has been moved to our website. To view the post post go to: http://blog.letop-usa.com/?p=11652

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It came up in conversation with a few parents this past weekend when it would be best to make the big switch from a crib to a “big kid bed.”  Many parents feel that a crib is great because their child has slept in one for months (sometimes years) and they are safe and contained at night (so why move right?), but at some point, it’s time to have your little one move into a “big kid bed.”

Commonly, kids make the move anywhere from 18 to 30 months, but as many parents know, every child develops differently and the adjustment can take more than one night or week. Even if your child still seems content in his crib, he or she may have outgrown it.  Generally, if your child is 35 inches tall or the railing reaches mid-chest level, he or she could scale the crib railing at any time, and probably needs more room to sleep comfortably too.  On another note – some parents make the switch to a bed impending the arrival of another baby. If this is your situation, make the switch at least six to eight weeks before you’re due. You want your toddler well settled in his new bed before he sees the baby taking over “his” crib.

I looked into some tips to make the change a little easier on you (and catching your “Zzz’s” at night!). By planning ahead and anticipating the trouble spots, you can make the transition trauma-free!

Talk about a bed while your child is still in the crib.
Start the conversation casually. Say something along the lines of, “You’re getting so big. Pretty soon, we’re going to have to get you a big-boy bed, like the one Mommy and Daddy sleep in.” By making the bed a symbol of growing up, you can turn the move into a celebration, and not a loss.

Make the decision.
Whether it be moving your child from a crib or your bedroom to a bed depends on a few variables, including determining if your child is ready to sleep alone. In many instances, the crib or co-sleeping is a nurturing, comfortable place, and you may need to sell your child on the idea.

Safety first!
Children who can pull themselves over a guardrail or shake the railings is a sure sign that the crib is no longer a secure place. Another signs of a toddler outgrowing the crib is when they wake up and wiggle around and hit the crib railings.

Choosing a bed.
During the changeover, take your child’s age into consideration when it comes to selecting a bed and determining its placement. To ease the transition, put your toddler’s new bed in the same place his crib used to be. Get your toddler excited about having a “big-kid bed” by taking your child with you to pick it out, if you’re buying it new, or by emphasizing its previous owner if that person is someone your child knows. For example: “This was Cousin Josh’s bed and now it’s yours! You’re almost as big as him now!” Let your toddler shop with you for new sheets featuring his favorite characters, and encourage him to show his “big-kid bed” to visiting friends and family. 



Moving rooms.
If your child will be sleeping in his own room, a low-to-the-ground toddler bed, which uses the child’s crib mattress and similar bedding is a good option. Adding railings to a toddler bed can also allow an extra element of safety between the bed and the floor.

Be firm about staying in bed.
When it’s bedtime, keep your nightly routine the same, but get your child accustomed to sleeping alone by sitting down or snuggling in the new bed with him or her and perhaps reading a few books as he or she drifts to sleep. If he seems anxious the first night, promise that you’ll check on him in a few minutes — and return when you said you would. If he gets out of bed to come find you, Dr. Shaw recommends saying calmly, “It’s time to go back to bed” and walking him back to his room. If you give your child lots of extra attention or cave in to his demands for a story or glass of water, you’re setting yourself up for weeks of bedtime chaos.

Reflect and celebrate.
Finally, remember that the switch from a crib to a bed is a milestone in your and your child’s life. It’s one more sign that your baby is growing up. It is nice to reflect on when you first set up the crib for your little one, and then go have a private celebration of your own (maybe a glass of vino!). However, stay patient throughout the transition process, and recognize that independent sleep might at first seem scary to your child. Be compassionate to your child’s needs and go with whatever works best for him or her.

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Every parent is concerned about their child’s safety whether they are in a car seat, swimming in a pool, crossing the street or when they get separated from us. My daughter is now 3-years-old and I’m determined to teach her some basics about safety. We’ve all had the scare in a store when our child steps just out of our site. They may be only 1-2 feet away hiding in a clothing rack, but they might as well be half way across the store! As a parent, if we can’t see them, we don’t know if they’re safe. I may not show it to my daughter when this happens, but I’m panicked. I don’t want to instill fear in her, but my goal is to teach her some fundamental concepts and practices to keep her as safe as possible.  

Lilah playing Hide and Seek

  • All children should know their Name, Parents Names, Phone Number, and Address as soon as they are able to (though they should also be taught not to share this with everyone).
  • Teach your child to dial 911 at home or on a cell phone and explain the problem (mommy is sick or hurt or someone I don’t know is in the house).
  • If your child gets separated it’s best to teach them to go to a woman (no offense guys) since statistics show that more children (beyond infancy) are taken or prayed upon by men.  Generally, telling them to go to a cashier is better than a security guard because an employees is always there (since children can not spot a fake badge or may mistake someone dressed all in blue as someone official) and they are likely to make an announcement for you or get security to find you.
  • Teach them not to take anything from a stranger unless it is approved by you. There are sites that have safety games or that show you how to make flash cards with photos to help your child recognize the difference between a friend and a stranger.
  • Abductors often ask for directions or for help finding a pet. Teach children to stay away from any adult asking for help because that adult should be asking an adult for help, not a child.
  • Teach children what to do in case of an earthquake or other natural disaster that can strike your area. In case of a fire they should also know what the smoke detector sounds like and how to get to safety.
  • Teach children to NEVER answer the door alone.
  • Teach them to NEVER get in anyone’s car without your DIRECT permission.
  • If you are out in public make sure your kids know where to go if you get separated. Make a plan. Statistics show that parents temporarily lose their children at theme parks 27% of the time. That’s almost 1 in 3.
  • It’s important for them to know that if someone tries to grab them and take them away to yell for HELP!
  • Promote an environment in which your child feels free to talk to you about anything. Tell them not to trust ANYONE who tells them to keep a secret from you.

As your child gets older, spends more time at friend’s houses or is unsupervised by you there are additional guidelines to put in place, but this should get you started. Here are a few websites ( www.kidpower.org, www.safechild.org,  www.dltk-kids.com, www.surfnetkids.com and www.powerofparentsonline.com) where you can find more information.

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