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Archive for the ‘Safety Tips’ Category

We recently had a scare in my house. My daughter was screaming in pain for 15 minutes because her skin was hurting. It turned out to be some orange oil got onto some raw skin, but at the time we weren’t sure what it was because nothing was showing on her skin. She is just too young (4-years-old) to really be able to explain her pain and the problem. It was scary and we were lucky that once we washed it off and put hydrocortisone cream on her skin, the pain subsided fairly quickly. It made me think about my first aid supplies and what we had around the house that could be used for just these occasions.

Below is a list of good first-aid supplies to keep on hand and their uses.

  • Adhesive bandages/dressings: These allow you to cover wounds and protect them from infection or further damage. Besides it  always make your child feel better to have their favorite character to fix their booboo.
  • Gauze pads: Gauze pads absorb blood and pus from wounds. They also wick moisture away from wounded skin to prevent infection and damage to the skin surrounding the wound.
  • Antibiotic ointment: Ointments that contain antibiotic ingredients reduce the risk of infection by eliminating bacteria. They also form a protect cover over a wounded area.
  • Tweezers: Tweezers come in handy for removing dirt and debris from wounds. You can also use tweezers for first aid for tick bites and to get those pesky slivers out.
  • Scissors: To cut bandages.
  • Pain Relievers: Child’s acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin in your first aid kit in case of injuries that cause pain and inflammation.
  • Instruction Book: Include an instruction book that outlines first aid procedures for wounds, bites and stings, sprains, strains, sports injuries and burns.
  • Antiseptic Wipes: These pre-packaged wipes contain antiseptic substances that kill bacteria.
  • Cloth Tape: Cloth tape allows you to immobilize minor injuries or secure bandages in place.
  • Hydrocortisone Cream: This cream reduces irritation and itching for bites, stings and other skin irritations. My personal favorite and the one I use most often.
  • Thermometer: Keep a thermometer handy in case you need to check for a fever.

Here are some things you may have around the house that can be used for first aid:

Aloe for burns after it’s been under running cool (not cold) water for at least 10 minutes. The aloe vera plant can be used to soothe minor burns, scalds and sunburn. Split a leaf open and apply the gel to the affected area to cool, moisturize and promote healing.

Ginger is useful for nausea and to prevent travel sickness. Chew a piece of crystallized ginger or drink fresh infused ginger herbal tea. This can also be useful during pregnancy.

Use an infusion of chamomile flowers taken as herbal tea for nervous upsets, to reduce cramping, and help indigestion. It is also use in a bath to minimize the pain and swelling from a sunburn.

Use an infusion of peppermint leaves in an herbal tea for indigestion.

Frozen veggies can be used as an ice pack.

Baking soda is a safe and effective antacid to relieve heartburn, sour stomach, and/or acid indigestion. Refer to baking soda package for instructions.

Finely ground oatmeal in the bath is just the ticket for a sun burn. If you make it into a paste it can soothe a sun burn, mosquito bites, heat rash and poison ivy.

Witch hazel – A natural astringent which helps heal blisters, bug bites and bruises.

Here is a good phone number to keep on the refrigerator along with your child’s doctor and other emergency numbers:

Poison Control Center 1.800.222.1222
Call the 24-hour toll-free emergency hotline

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What is co-sleeping? When parents share their bed with their infant. It is pretty controversial in the United States. Is it loving your child or is it not safe?

I know plenty of parents who do it because it is so hard to get their kids to go to sleep…but honestly, the parents I do know that don’t do it have a better quality of life and their children seem to be more independent.

Why do some people choose to co-sleep?

  • Encourages breastfeeding by making nighttime breastfeeding more convenient
  • Makes it easier for a nursing mother to get her sleep cycle in sync with her baby’s
  • Helps babies fall asleep more easily, especially during their first few months and when they wake up in the middle of the night
  • Helps babies get more nighttime sleep (because they awaken more frequently with shorter duration of feeds, which can add up to a greater amount of sleep throughout the night)
  • Helps parents who are separated from their babies during the day regain the closeness with their infant that they feel they missed

Safety Hazard to Co-sleep?
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns parents not to place their infants to sleep in adult beds, stating that the practice puts babies at risk of suffocation and strangulation. And the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) agrees.

Other Risks of Co-Sleeping?

  • Other children — particularly toddlers — because they might not be aware of the baby’s presence
  • Parents who are under the influence of alcohol or any drug because that could diminish their awareness of the baby
  • Parents who smoke because the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is greater

Tips to helping your child sleep alone:

  1. Eliminate distractions: remove TVs, computers, and other electronic devices from your kiddo’s room to create an environment meant for sleep.
  2. Routine, Routine, Routine: establish a bedtime routine where your child takes a warm bath, puts on their PJs, brushes their teeth and then read a few nice bedtime stories together. In this way your child feels more secure about going to bed and helps them out psychologically by reducing nighttime anxiety.
  3. Leave the room: leave the room before your child falls asleep so that he or she is not depending on you being in the room to actually fall asleep.
  4. No Monsters: add security by giving your child stuffed animals, fav blankies to reassure your children of “happy” things in their room and not scary monsters under the bed.
  5. Be consistent: if your child crawls into bed with you in the middle of night, take your wandering kiddo back to his or her room and assure them they must stay in their room and then go back to your bed. Don’t try to explain too much or you will be giving into what they want, for you to stay with them in their room at their bed.
  6. Reward: once your child starts to try and sleep alone – reward your kiddos with a favorite breakfast, extra bedtime book, anything to make them realize that if they stay in bed, they can be rewarded (just don’t go overboard!)

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It is scary enough baby proofing your house for your children to be protected for your upcoming baby, but what about burns? As much as you try to prevent them, they can happen and do you know the common causes and what you can do to prevent those risks? Silly enough I have a burn under my forearm from trying to make the early-90s snack “Tater-Tots” where the pan seared the underneath of my arm. My cousin Shawn severely burned his hand as a child (when fireworks were legal in California in the early 90s) with a sparkler. I can still remember how upset and scary it was. Even in college, I actually grabbed a hot burner on the stove and gave myself 3rd degree burns. Terrible and more terrible. Heck, as moms we burn ourselves on the curling iron and complain! From kids washing up under a too-hot faucet to an accidental tipping of a coffee cup, burns are a potential hazard in every home. In fact, burns, especially scalds from hot water and liquids, are some of the most common childhood accidents. Kids and toddlers are curious and unknowing with sensitive skin that needs extra protection and caution.

Taking some simple precautions to make your home safer will (hopefully) prevent many burns.

Here are some shocking statistics from the latest National SAFE KIDS Campaign and the United States Fire Administration (part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency):

Injury and death rates:

  • Burns are the fourth leading cause of accidental deaths and injuries to infants under age 1.
  • The majority of fire-related deaths (75 percent) are caused by smoke inhalation of the toxic gases produced by fires. Actual flames and burns only account for about one-fourth of fire-related deaths and injuries.
  • The majority of fires that kill or injure children are residential fires (85 percent).
  • The majority of children ages 4 and under who are hospitalized for burn-related injuries suffer from scald burns (65 percent) or contact burns (20 percent).
  • Fireworks-related injuries sent more than 3,800 children to hospital emergency rooms in 1997.
  • Fires kill more than 600 children ages 14 and under each year and injure approximately 47,000 other children.
  • Approximately 88,000 children ages 14 and under were treated at hospital emergency rooms for burn-related injuries – 62,500 were thermal burns and 25,500 were scald burns.
  • Hot tap water scald burns cause more deaths and hospitalizations than any other hot liquid burns.

Common Causes
The first step in helping to prevent kids from being burned is to understand these common causes of burns:

  • Scalds, the No. 1 culprit (from steam, hot bath water, tipped-over coffee cups, hot foods, cooking fluids, etc.)
  • Contact with flames or hot objects (from the stove, fireplace, curling iron, etc.)
  • Chemical burns (from swallowing things, like drain cleaner or watch batteries, or spilling chemicals, such as bleach, onto the skin)
  • Electrical burns (from biting on electrical cords or sticking fingers or objects in electrical outlets, etc.)
  • Overexposure to the sun

Types of Burns
Burns are often categorized as first-, second-, or third-degree, depending on how badly the skin is damaged.

  1. First degree is limited to the outer layer of the skin, causing it to be dry, red and painful, but without blistering. A mild or moderate sunburn is an example of a first degree burn.
  2. Second degree, or partial thickness burn is more serious, and involves blistering of the skin. This type of burn is also painful, but unlike a first degree burn, the affected skin will likely appear to be moist.
  3. Third degree burn is where all of the skin layers have been penetrated and the burned area will be white, charred, firm and leathery. A third degree burn also destroys nerve endings, so your child may not feel pain in the burned area.

Preventing Burns
You can’t keep kids free from injuries all the time, but these simple precautions can reduce the chances of burns in your home:

(more…)

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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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