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Posts Tagged ‘Children’

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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We are launching “Store Spotlight” today and will feature a premiere le·top specialty retail store each week.  Read more for an exclusive Q&A and “sneak peak” images of our featured store of the week! 

This week we interviewed one of New York City’s finest boutiques, Granny-Made.  Visit our Facebook page @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/le-top/117553138255670 to preview our new video mini webisode introducing owner, Michael Rosenberg and head buyer, Adele Salzberg from Granny-Made!

We want to give you the inside scoop on Granny-Made’s latest and greatest news, and what YOU don’t know about one of New York’s hottest children’s stores.  

1.     Granny-Made is a distinctive store name – does it have a special history?
Michael: Well yes, I named it after my grandmother.  She was my Muse and my Inspiration.  I left the corporate world in ‘85 to start the business with her sweater designs.  I remember it was a hand-made catalogue of her sweater designs…I had a small contractor who produced them, and then I decided to advertise [the product] in The New York Times, The New Yorker and Harper’s Bazaar.  The press had a great reaction and the brand took off.  The store was named after her and actually my brother and I came up with the name!

2.     Describe the neighborhood your store is in. 
Adele: The upper side of Manhattan demographically has more young families with children than any other neighborhood in New York.  It is ethnically mixed and there are a lot of multiple births – lots of twins and even some triplets!  There are a lot of great schools, so it is a very desirable neighborhood.  It is the perfect location for a children’s store such as Granny-Made.

3.     Who is your target customer? Do you specialize in any certain types of product?
Adele: What I have found when I started working at Granny-Made is that Michael’s idea was to have very unique store with women’s sweaters. As I saw what the neighborhood was becoming over the years because of so many families with children, I thought it would be only natural to take an approach of [including] childrenswear.  What we wanted to create was a very special store where you could find merchandise that no one else carried.  We have now become the “go to store” for gifts, special occasion and novelty.  My background has always been novelty, which is why in particular le·top performs so well, because no one does novelty better than you [le•top].

4.     What products do your clientele like the most?
We do 20% volume toys, 20% is dresses and 20% of our volume is onesies and our business is anywhere from newborn up to size 8 for childrenswear.

5.     Any celebrity customers over the years or do you have any celebs buying right now?
Adele: Oh! Lot’s and lots! Well, we have had Julia Roberts, Stanley Tucci, Isabella Rosallini, Frank Langella, Richard Kind, and Cynthia Nixon to name a few!

6.     What’s coming up for Granny-Made? I heard you are moving your store location – what will the new store offer?
Adele: The new store is on Amsterdam Avenue between 82nd and 83rd Street and the new address is: 467 Amsterdam Avenue.  I feel that as the children grow, we are growing, and we will now be offering up to size 10.  We’re also have started to offer christening items, which is not available at that many stores. When people ask for something – we bring it in!  We are also going to branch out into special little sparkly shoes to match the cute dresses we carry – pretty much whatever the customer wants, we will do.

Michael: We will also have small furniture, toy boxes, little chairs, something more unique, such as customized rocking chairs.

7.      You have a remarkable history and have been around 25 years, do you have any special plans or events for your anniversary?
Michael:  We will be making the new move to 82nd Street!  We plan on having a celebration after Labor Day with an opening party and champagne! Stay tuned.

8.     What do you feel are the three biggest keys to your 25 year success?
Adele: Well…we are very unique in that:

•   We give amazing customer service – people know that when they come here they will be properly taken care of.
•   The quality of our merchandise is extraordinary – in fact, the Zagat has rated us as “E: extraordinary”.
•   From the beginning of the sale ’til the end, it is all about the SERVICE.

9.     How do you select your products for the store? 
Adele: Well, I shop all of the [childrens’] shows. Whenever a new vendor calls, I will always take the call and listen to what they can offer.  I also shop new resources. The business is constantly evolving and you need to constantly bring in new designers to keep it fresh. We are always one of the first to test a new designer.

Beautiful pieces from our rabbit moon 'passage' and 'fleur-de-lys' collections

10.     What is one trend you’re currently seeing with customers?
Michael: Our girls dress business has exploded! We are surrounded by little girl’s dresses in here!

Adele: In fact, the le·top girls’ dresses were among the first tested in our store, and have bought so many of them. When it comes to little boys, they don’t want the “cutesy” things, parents nowadays sometimes want them to look like little men.

Michael: With that said, it is not that we resist this trend [of little men], but little boys have plenty of time to look like dad.

Adele: Yes, we try to keep a balance between “cutesy” and “little men”, but for girls – they want it VERY girly.  What we hear a lot about our dresses from young women who walk into the store is, “I wish you had that [a little girl dress] in my size!”  The dresses we carry are very girly. We don’t want our little girls to look like they are going to a cocktail party; we want them to look like they are going to the Nutcracker [big smile].

11.     If you had one piece of advice for someone entering children’s retail today, what would it be?
Adele:

  1. Do your homework.
  2. Find out who your customers is.
  3. Shop stores and see what is out there.
  4. Talk to your vendors – GET the information and don’t go into it blind. Research is one the most important things when opening a business.
  5. Talk to the other stores on the block – find out traffic patterns.
  6. Walk around the neighborhood – see how many baby carriages, how many toddlers, and do your homework!

12.     You probably have seen thousands of mommies and their children come in and out of your store doors – what is one of the funniest things you have heard come out of parent or child’s mouth?
Adele: “I Want IT, I want it, I WANT IT!”

13.     What are your top 3 fashionista tips for dressing a child?
Adele:

  1. When it comes to toddler girls – they only wear 3 colors: pink, pink and PINK. So, make sure you have pink!
  2. When it comes to boys, they like dinosaurs and trucks.
  3. It is important to have the right accessories for your perfect outfit – the dress, the hat, the tights, and the sweater – the perfect assortment to complete the outfit!  That’s what is so great about le·top is that you have all of the merchandise to “build the right package/outfit”.

14.     And your #1 kid fashion “no-no”?
Adele: Dress your child as children – they don’t stay children very long!

Michael: The reason we carry up to size 10 is because lots of children can wear bigger size childrenswear, and until they get up to the teen years where parents don’t have a lot of say on what their kids wear, parents still want that “say” and influence on their clothing. For us that is important.

15.    What is your best or most memorable moment in your store?

Michael and Adele [together]: That is hard! Every day is a special day here.

Adele:I just love it when they come in here and tell us they love our shop. I love it when they just get off the plane from Oklahoma and they say, “This is my first stop and I come to your store first.”  Every day, just the joy of making the customer happy and making the sale is Marvelous.

Swimsuit from the le•top Gone Fishin' Spring collection

Michael: Yes, it is truly gratifying. Now we are seeing the children that were growing up the last two dozen years coming in here now with their own children, and now their parents are grandparents… just moving on to the next generation is great!

16.    What collection or piece from le•top do you love right now from the Spring 2010 collection?
Adele:
We love your duck collection [for Spring].  Nobody does ducks better! For Fall 2010, I can’t wait for your bomber aviator jacket to hit the store.

Visit our Facebook page @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/le-top/117553138255670 and put a face with the name from our latest interview.  Preview our latest “Store Spotlight” video webisode introducing owner, Michael Rosenberg and head buyer and connoisseur, Adele Salzberg.

Granny Made
381 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10024
212.496.1222
www.grannymade.com

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Paulo_Dino

Paulo in le•top Walking with Dinosaurs long-sleeved shirt and overalls. So proud to be standing on his own!

It was just a regular morning. My husband and I woke up and got the kids ready. Usually we each take a child and get him/her dressed. Then while Miranda puts her shoes on, we place Paulo in the crib so that we can get ourselves dressed. It was the usual morning routine. But this particular morning, we heard Miranda yelling, “Mom, Dad, come here!!!” We thought perhaps Paulo had hurt himself or that she saw an insect in her bathroom, so we both rushed out of our bedroom and followed the sound of her voice.

“He’s standing! He’s standing! Paulo is standing!” Oh, my! I thought crawling at 5 months was early, but standing at 6 months?! At this rate he’ll be walking at 7 months!

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AppleWe have all grown up hearing “An Apple a Day keeps the Doctor Away!”  Now, as a mom, I am focused on providing the right nutrition for my daughter so she can grow up strong and healthy.  I began by asking myself ‘What are the rules that we should be nutritionally living by?’  I know that healthy habits should start early, beginning with exercise, portion control and choosing the ‘right’ foods – these habits will set the stage for the rest of her life.  Children learn by observing their role models – mostly family – so I did some research to educate myself about the necessary nutrients needed to make our entire family healthy.  Here is a list I’ve complied – it is just what the doctor ordered!

Calcium:
Calcium is crucial for bone mass development, but a third of 4 to 8 year old children don’t get enough.  A bonus is that many high calcium foods are also high in Vitamin D – helpful for preventing Type 1 diabetes. Foods rich in calcium and Vitamin D include milk, cheese, yogurt (excellent but watch the sugar), fortified cereals, soy products and some juices.

Iron:
Iron is essential – it helps red blood cells carry oxygen to cells throughout the body, directly affecting brain development.  Studies show that up to 20 percent of kids are not getting enough Iron.  If this deficiency is left unchecked it can lead to learning and behavioral problems. Some of the best sources of Iron are lean meats including shrimp, beef, and chicken. If your child is a vegetarian or doesn’t care for the taste of meat try beans, lentils, and chickpeas. Although Iron from plant sources is not absorbed easily by the body, Vitamin C based foods can increase the absorption level.  Foods high in both Iron and Vitamin C are broccoli, Swiss chard, and other dark green leafy vegetables.

preschool lunchVitamin E:
What is important about Vitamin E? It is an antioxidant that protects our cells from damage. It is estimated that 80 percent of children under the age of 8, and more than half of preschoolers, are lacking sufficient amounts of the vitamin. To my surprise, eating fat free foods, since they generally lack essential oils, is part of the problem. Make sure your child’s diet includes small amounts of nuts (if no allergies,) avocado, tomato sauce, wheat germ or spinach.  Fortified cereals may have Vitamin E but all-natural cereals do not. 

Fiber:
This seems to be a buzzword for adults, but it keeps children regular, fills them up and may help protect them from other illnesses later in life. An easy way to establish a goal for grams of daily fiber is to add the number 5 to your child’s age.  It’s ideal to have at least one high-fiber food at every meal. Cereal can be a great way for your child to obtain fiber – just make sure it has 5 grams or more per serving. Other great sources of fiber are fruits, beans, lentils, chickpeas, whole-grain breads, oatmeal, nuts, sweet potatoes, popcorn and green beans. My daughter LOVES hummus and just 2 tablespoons has as much fiber as a half cup of brown rice.

Bananas…and last but not least, Potassium:
Potassium is the main contributor to maintaining healthy muscles that contract and maintaining beneficial fluid balances and blood pressure. Most kids are getting slightly more than half of the recommended dose needed. Remember getting a muscle cramp as a kid and hearing your mom say, “Eat a banana!?”  She was right!  Bananas are one of the best sources of potassium, along with oranges, dried apricots, cantaloupe, honeydew, sweet potatoes, fish, and tomatoes.

As the mom of a two year old girl I know it can be difficult to get all of these needed nutrients into your child!  Fortunately many of these suggested foods, like beans or nuts, can serve a dual purpose. If you have a finicky eater you may want to talk to your pediatrician about adding vitamin supplements, but IT IS possible to get all they need by eating the right foods.

I found something that was interesting and fun…the US government has a food pyramid and website just for kids with lots of helpful hints about their health – Check it out!

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Photo taken in 2007 at the British premiere of "Hairspray".  (AP Photo/Nathan Strange)

Photo taken in 2007 at the British premiere of "Hairspray". (AP Photo/Nathan Strange)

On Saturday Sarah Michelle Gellar gave birth to baby girl Charlotte Grace Prinze.  The 32-year-old star of “Buffy” and her 33-year-old husband Freddy Prinze Jr. (both stars in Scooby-Doo) are now proud parents to their first baby. A representative for Gellar told People that “The family is over the moon.”

The couple met on the set of “I know what you did last summer” in 1997 and after 2 years of dating they wed in 2002.

In an interview with Access Hollywood, before announcing her pregnancy in April, she explained why she felt it was important to wait for the right time to start a family.  “When we do have children, my husband and I will have such a strong foundation because we’ve given our relationship time to grow, I try to go into everything with and open mind, but it’s much more than I thought it would be. The partnership grows to such a different level. And all my life it was just my mom and me, us against the world; so to let someone else in and to have another partner was hard for me.  Now he’s my partner, my best friend, and my husband.”

I’m so happy for her; it’s extraordinary,” her former Buffy the Vampire Slayer costar Michelle Trachtenberg told Us around the time her pregnancy was announced. “She’s going to make a great mommy. They’re going to be extraordinary parents.”

Congratulations to the new family and we wish them the very best of luck on their new journey as parents!

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IMG_0057-correctedLike any mom I’m always on the lookout for tricks to make the photos I take of my child truly reflect how cute and special she can be. Children just don’t always cooperate, do they? I thought I would share a few pointers I have gathered to improve those home photos.

Lighting:
The best light is natural light, especially the time just after sunrise or right before sunset. The midday sun causes harsh shadows, and a squinting child is not as cute!  For indoor shots try placing your child near a window, or setting up additional lights to reduce shadows.

Preparing the space:
When taking a ‘posed’ shot keep the area clear, so you and your baby can move around easily.  Keep it simple; using a solid color blanket is always a good backdrop.

IMG_0192-corrected2Personality:
No matter what your child’s personality might be, you always want to capture a moment that truly reflects your child.  If you have a stubborn youngster (like mine) a smile may not be in the cards. Try for that perfect candid shot, when your baby is truly engaged with an activity.  You may not get a shot looking directly at the camera, but the lens might capture that peaceful little angel you know and love. When children are really excited you may catch the smile, but watch those quick movers you might get an image that is blurry.  Many point-and-click cameras have a setting for action – you get a better chance to truly ‘capture the moment!’ For little babies try catching them while sleeping, you can even pose them and really catch a sweet expression.  For older children pull out the camera when it is their ‘best time of day’ – don’t wait until they are tired.

IMG_0106-correctedPractice:
Great photographers take many photos to get the perfect shot. As an amateur you need to keep on clicking – including shots from all different angles, with different lighting and experimenting with setting you haven’t tried out on your camera. Zoom in on hands, feet and eyes or try coaxing a natural expression by asking them to show you a favorite toy.

Just remember…Have Fun!

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Last Saturday, our day for chores, grocery shopping, gardening and the like, was pleasantly interrupted by a call from a close family friend. His family member was moving to Washington and had a playhouse her kids had outgrown; could we use it?  Our response: “Love to!”  The next thought: “Where will we put it?” Our smallish yard is pretty full with our large edible garden, flowers, patio furniture, lots of gardening equipment, a grill, and lumber for an upcoming fencing project!

PlayhouseI tend to live by Tim Gunn’s motto of “Make it Work.”  A few hours and an aching back later everything was in its new organized place and our yard actually looked bigger! Our friend showed up with the pieces of the house and by the time Lilah woke up from a much needed nap she had a new playhouse. She was so excited to have a ‘new home!’  We put potted roses outside the kitchen window to give it a homey feel – it’s perfect!!! Lilah loved it so much that, even though the fog had rolled in and a cold wind blew through our yard, she insisted we have a tea party. Luckily one of the walls pulls back to make it an indoor/outdoor dining table so I could be in the house without actually being “in” the house. I know she will get years of enjoyment out of this little abode. I am grateful we can enjoy the playhouse, rather than adding to the landfill!  Tea Anyone?

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