Tag Archive for 'car seat'

Weekly Highlights (12/12/2011)

Welcome to “Weekly Highlights”, our weekly post that recaps important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week and other great reads we’ve come across in our internet travels.

In the News:

FDA Agrees to Determine Safety of BPA - Well, sort of. In response to a lawsuit, they’ve agreed to decide by March 31, 2012 whether to ban BPA in food packaging. They may very well decide not to ban BPA, and nothing much will have changed.

NICVIEW Gives Parents a Virtual Window to Newborns in NICU - Webcams installed in NICUs allow family to keep watch. What a wonderful implementation of technology.

Some News Guests Paid to Promote Products on Air - The next time you see an “expert review” news segment touting the latest products in children’s safety, for example, keep in mind that you may just be watching a commercial in disguise. Despite being illegal, “Safety Mom” Alison Rhodes admits to being paid for her recommendations by the companies whose products she plugs.

New Research:

Scientific Panel Finds Few Clear Environmental Links to Breast Cancer
At the request of Susan G. Komen For the Cure, a panel of scientific experts reviewed research on environmental risks and possible links to breast cancer. Their report released this week, however, makes only a few firm recommendations, one of which includes minimizing radiation from medical tests during childhood. Two or three abdominal CT scans give as much radiation as atomic bomb survivors received. Yikes! The review was unable to draw conclusive links in other areas such as BPA, but the link above gives a good summary of the results of the study.

Children’s Cereal: More Sugar Than a Twinkie
The EWG has released a new report which analyzed the nutrition in 84 popular cereals and found that you might as well serve most of them for dessert. The worst offender, Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, packs more sugar than a Hostess Twinkie, coming in at 56% sugar by weight. The same serving of 44 other popular cereals, including Honey Nut Cheerios, has more sugar than three Chips Ahoy! Cookies. While sugar was the top problem, many also contain too much sodium or fat or not enough whole grain.

The Anatomy of a Temper Tantrum
Researchers at the University of Connecticut have deconstructed the toddler temper tantrum and determined that most tantrums follow a similar pattern and rhythm. Based on audio recordings of toddler tantrums, they found that sadness tends to occur throughout a tantrum with peaks of anger in the form of yelling and screaming. The researchers suggest that the trick to ending a tantrum is to get the child past the anger, where only sadness remains and children begin to look for comfort. The quickest way to do that, they say, is to do nothing. Easier said than done, of course.

Good Reads & Videos:

 

The Coat: A short animated video of one child who gives selflessly to another. A great illustration of charity for little ones.

Chemicals In Your Child’s Car Seat from The Car Seat Lady - An excellent read on the issues/limitations of HealthyStuff.org’s study on flame retardants and other chemicals in childrens’ car seats that was released earlier this summer.

Recalls, December 6 – December 12:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls

No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to jasmine@purebebe.com. We hope your week is off to a great start!

XOXO,

Jasmine & Heather

Weekly Highlights (10/3/2011)

Welcome to “Weekly Highlights”, our weekly post that recaps important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week and other great reads we’ve come across in our internet travels.

In the News:

Baby Death From Shopping Cart Accident Serves as Warning - Very tragic. Please, please, please don’t ever place your child in a car seat on top of a grocery cart.

Some Pediatricians Refuse to Treat Unvaccinated ChildrenSome pediatricians, mine included, are now dropping families from their practice whose children are not vaccinated over concerns that it puts other children at risk. The AAP’s stance, however, encourages educational efforts first.

Illness, Deaths From Listeria-Tainted Cantaloupes Expected to Rise - Recent illnesses and deaths have made the latest listeria outbreak the deadliest food outbreak in the U.S. in decades. The CDC expects more to come because the incubation period for listeria is up to a month or longer. Do not eat cantaloupe unless you know where it’s from. Be especially careful for those with compromised immune systems, including pregnant women.

Junk Food Really Cheaper? - Debunking the myth that junk food is cheaper than real food. Interesting research cited on how eating junk food leads to a craving for more.

New Research:

Babies Can Hear Your Voice & Emotions While They Sleep
In a study of babies, aged three to seven months, researchers monitored the brain patterns of the babies while they slept. When they heard human voices making happy, sad, or neutral sounds, their brains showed patterns similar to how adults respond to the same emotional input when awake.

Early To Sleep, Early To Rise Lowers Obesity Risk For Kids
A study of children’s sleep habits in Australia found that despite getting the same amount of sleep each night, those who stayed up later and slept in later were more likely to be obese. In the sleep study, those who woke up early exercised 27 minutes more and watched 48 minutes less of TV than their late rising counterparts. Good reason to start early in forming good habits with our little ones.

Pools, Play-in Fountains Spread Diarrheal Disease
The CDC reports 134 disease outbreaks associated with recreational water in 2007-2008, a 72% increase from the previous report and largest number ever reported in a 2-year period. Cryptosporidium was the most common culprit, a bacteria that is fairly resistant to chlorine, and the highest risk places for contracting this bacteria are public sprinklers and fountains which often use recirculated water.

How to Get Kids to Eat Healthy Foods
In a study aimed at making school lunchrooms healthier, Cornell University researchers found that putting fruit in a colorful bowl more than doubles fruit sales in schools. The researchers also suggest other changes including smaller cereal bowls, moving chocolate milk behind plain milk, and an express lane for those who choose healthy foods.

Good Reads:

A Beautiful Body from Our Regularly Scheduled Program - A tender, bedtime conversation that captures the essence of a message I plan to share often with my children.

The Perfect Play Haven from IHeartOrganizing - I am in LOVE with this play room. Fantastic ideas for organizing your kids’ toys!

Secrets of an Unflappable Working Mother from RealSimple - 10 surprisingly good tips from a working mom who’s been juggling work & family for years.

International Walk to School Day, Every Day from HuffingtonPost - One mother’s example why we should let go of our fears and take action, if necessary, to provide our children with a safe, positive school environment.

Recalls, September 28 – October 3:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to jasmine@purebebe.com. We hope your week is off to a great start!

XOXO,

Jasmine & Heather

Evenflo Recalls Some Maestro Booster Seats

 

Image courtesy Consumer Reports

On Friday, Evenflo initiated a voluntary recall of more than 18,000 Maestro Combination Booster Seats in the U.S. and Canada after Consumer Reports’ tests showed that the seat can crack and fail in a simulated 30-mph frontal collision. The $80 car seat is designed to be used either as a conventional child car seat using its own 5-point harness or as a booster seat for larger and older children using the vehicle’s seatbelt. No problems were found when used in booster seat mode, but when used as a conventional car seat, the seat’s plastic shell cracked and the harness loosened causing the dummy to snap forward (refer to the video below).  While no cracks or injuries have been reported in the field, Evenflo was able to replicate the results in its own testing and, as a result, has issued this voluntary recall.

 

Has Your Car Seat Been Recalled?
In the US, the recall involves 13,792 units with model numbers 3101198, 3010980, 31011048, 31011049, and 31011059 – all U.S. units manufactured up to April 9, 2010. In Canada, the recall involves 4,479 units with model number 31011057C – units manufactured up to April 26, 2010. The model number and date of manufacture can be found on a white label behind the seat above the highest shoulder belt slot. Consumer Reports notes that the models failing their tests were manufactured in December and February, and units manufactured after April 2010 included design modifications and passed their tests.

What To Do If Your Car Seat Is Affected
The Company is sending notices to registered owners of affected seats and asking retailers to pull the seats from their shelves. If your seat is among those recalled, you should stop using the seat immediately and contact Evenflo for a free reinforcement kit by calling 800-233-5921 in the U.S. and 800-265-0749 in Canada. The reinforcement kit consists of a metal bracket that is installed on the underside of the seat. Jennifer Stockburger, manager of Consumer Reports’ vehicle-and-child-safety program, cautions owners not to switch to booster mode prematurely because the problems were only identified in the harness mode. “A child is better secured and has less potential for injury in a crash when secured using a seat’s internal harness. Moving a child to a booster seat mode prematurely is actually a step-down in overall safety,” she says.

Owners who are using the seat as a booster seat may continue using the seat while they wait for the reinforcement kit. The seat was rated a “Best Bet” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for use in booster mode.

For details on the recall, including a video installation of the remedy kit, visit Evenflo’s recall information page.

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Related Articles
Is Your Booster Seat Safe? IIHS Releases 2010 Booster Seat Ratings
Is Your Car Seat Installed Correctly?
Is Your Baby Ready to Face Forward in the Car?

Fantastically Funny Friday (9/17/2010)

Happy Friday everyone!

To start your weekend off right, how about a little entertainment from a little one who certainly has a lot to say? Check out this baby’s babbles. Definitely one of those moments that makes you wish you knew what was going on in a baby’s head. There’s no doubt she knows what she’s trying to say! :)

And, as always, some comic relief from the mouths of our youngsters. If your child has said something that you’d like to share with purebebe’s readers (don’t be shy!), please email us at purebebeblog@gmail.com and we will post the best quotes of the week every Friday!

Alex, 2 1/2
[While on the potty, talking to his Grandmother, Amie]
ALEX: Uh-oh, Amie, poo-poo stuck. Needs new batteries.

Kali, 2 1/2
[First day back at school]
MOMMY: You should be really nice to the new kids today and help them out since they are coming for the first time. You know the ropes.
KALI: Ok, mommy.

…Later, after picking Kali up from school…

MOMMY: How did it go today? Where you helpful to your new friends?
KALI: Yes, Mommy, I didn’t HIT any of them!

Matthew, 2 1/2
MATTHEW: What is money?
MOMMY (showing Matthew a dollar bill): The first president, George Washington, is on the dollar bill.

…Later…

MATTHEW – Mommy, where is your money?
MOMMY – Right here in my hand.
MATTHEW – No Mommy that is President not money. Where is your money?

Other Funny Articles:
Fantastically Funny Friday (9/10/10)
Fantastically Funny Friday (9/3/2010)
Fantastically Funny Friday (8/27/10)
Fantastically Funny Friday (8/13/2010)
Mommy’s Wearing an Itsy, Bitsy, Teeny, Weeny, Blue, Black and White Bikini…

Getting Through the Airport with your Kids…AND your Sanity

Image courtesy familytravelsuite.com

Whether traveling by myself or with my kids, I dread the task of getting through airport security and getting to the gate on time. Perhaps that is because I frequent Dulles airport which, in my experience, has the world’s slowest and least traveler-friendly (never mind family-friendly) security and, until recently, was one of a handful of airports that still used “people movers” to transport people between gates and the main terminal. But I digress…

Any parent traveling with a child feels some level of anxiety about getting through security, and I think that anxiety is multiplied tenfold when you have to either do it alone or with multiple kids.

Imagine how I felt after our most recent trip, our second in 2 months with 2 girls (ages 2 1/2 and 4 months), when we received comments from fellow passengers and airport/flight personnel like “You look like you’ve done this before” and “You all are quite efficient.” We even managed to get through security with no evil stares or rolling of the eyes! Yay!!! In fact, after we made it through security, we were stopped by a man who asked us for some tips for his daughter and her 4 week old who he expects will do some traveling in the near future. Can you believe it? I think we’re getting the hang of it!

Not to say that we’ve got it all figured out, but I thought I’d share our “system” and a few tips that have helped us get to the plane on time and with our sanity in tact:

How we I pack:

Let’s face it – in most families I know, Mom does most of the packing. In our house, Dad is responsible for the technology – cameras, phones, portable DVD player, chargers, etc. He waltzes in the last half hour of packing – throws in his toiletries and a few shirts and pants out of the closet, and voila, he’s done. He makes it look so easy after I’ve spent the whole night packing for me and the girls and preparing for every contingency: cold, hot, rain, not…

So we have our suitcase or two that will get checked. And below are the items we take to the airplane. Now, you could check the car seats and take a double stroller, but my preference is to have the kids in car seats on the plane, and we often don’t need a stroller at our destination. A carrier for the baby will usually do. So here is how we accomplish it:

For the infant

A lightweight travel stroller,with a large storage basket for your things. Lightweight and compact means it will be easy to lift and put on the belt for the scanner. Make sure it is easy to fold and that you remember how to fold it (I forgot how to fold my stroller one time since I hadn’t used it in a while and ended up fumbling at security until finally they said just bring it through).
Infant Car Seat (minus the base). We take our infant car seat to the gate in hopes that we can snag an extra seat on the plane. Otherwise, we’ll pack it up in the carrier bag and gate check it.

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Car seat travel bag. See above. This and the remaining items get packed in the stroller.

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Baby carrier – for boarding with baby. As my babies get older, I take the Ergo; but with my infant, I love my Moby. For those who have one and are concerned, it’s really not too difficult to put on in a public place. I just keep the ends off the ground by setting them on the baby’s car seat. And keep in mind, the ends just hang around your waist – they don’t touch the baby, so if it happens to grace the ground, it’s not the end of the world.
Diaper bag. I prefer a backpack– when your hands are full, you’re not bumping it into passengers as you go up the aisle on the plane.

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For the toddler

A rolling suitcase.

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A toddler car seat. We take her seat on the plane because she’s much more comfortable and able to sleep than she otherwise would be.

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Traveling Toddler car seat accessory. A simple $15 contraption that uses the LATCH system on the car seat to attach it to the suitcase. Voila – you have a stroller.

x

Squeaky shoes. We never go to the airport without these. Wherever our daughter steps, her shoes squeak. Not that she’s ever walked away, but we ALWAYS know where she is.

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Before the trip:

Check the TSA website for the latest updates and restrictions before you pack.

If you’re traveling with a toddler, prepare them for what to expect. While my daughter has traveled numerous times, her anxiety about things changes with the wind so this year I bought the book, “Going on a Plane”. She loved the book and, when we got to the airport, was very excited about security and baggage claim because she’d seen them both in her book before the trip.

Give yourself plenty of time. Plan an extra half hour when traveling with kids. It’s no fun for any of you to be rushed.

Be organized and have a plan. Decide who will be responsible for each child and for which travel items. My husband was in charge of our toddler, her car seat, his laptop/bag, and the suitcase. I took charge of our infant, her car seat, the stroller, and all the items in it. A few tips:

Have liquids easily accessible. Note: Breastmilk, formula, and baby food are allowed through security in amounts over the general limit and do not need to be in a Ziploc, but they will need to be tested. Be prepared to hand them over to a security agent once you get through the scanner.

Make sure your pockets are empty, and don’t wear any jewelry.

Designate one person responsible for travel documents – that way you’re not getting to the other side and asking who has the boarding passes. This is a good idea for the entire trip – My husband is always in charge of our boarding passes and driver’s licenses.

Wear shoes that can be easily removed – that includes your kids. They will be asked to remove their shoes too. Skip shoelaces or buckles, and go for Velcro or slip-ons.

Arrival & Check-in:

Everything gets unloaded – baggage before the kids so you can get everything situated. We traditionally have 3 suitcases as we tend to take long trips to visit family, so two of them get hooked together while the third, our carry-on, is reserved for our toddler and her car seat. We load up the travel stroller, and then our carry-on and stroller are ready for the kids.

Both the girls are taken out of the car in their car seats – that includes our toddler. My husband just releases the LATCH system and picks her up in her seat and sets her on the curb. The infant is set in the traveling stroller in her car seat, and my husband attaches our toddler and her car seat to the carry-on.

At check-in, ask about available seating for your infant if you haven’t purchased a seat. You can ask again at the gate, but sometimes a friendly check-in agent can rearrange seating for you and your family next to an available seat and even make note for gate agents not to reserve that particular seat.

Security:

Use the designated “family” lane if available. You’ll find security agents and fellow travelers who are much more sympathetic and usually helpful here.

Remember: Everything goes through security. I’ve heard people mention that they’ve been able to push their strollers through security or carry their babies in a carrier, but more often than not you’ll be asked to take the baby out of the carrier/stroller/car seat to send it through the scanner. If it doesn’t fit on the scanner, it’ll have to be wanded.

Okay, so here’s how we do it: We leave the kids in their car seats until the last possible moment. As I mentioned, hubby gets the toddler; I get the infant.

  1. Remove everyone’s shoes and toss them in a tray.
  2. Disconnect the toddler’s car seat from the carry-on, and remove the infant car seat from the stroller leaving both kids strapped in their seats for the time being.
  3. Empty the stroller, and place all your things on the belt. Remove liquids.
  4. Fold your stroller, and place it on the belt.
  5. Remove kids from their car seats, and place seats on the belt (upside down).
  6. Walk through security, and gather your things on the other side, starting with the car seats. If possible, move out of the way of other travelers to a separate bench or table.
  7. Put the kids back in their car seats, and take inventory. Off you go!

Gate check and boarding:

Check in with the gate agent. As soon as you arrive at the gate (and/or as soon as an attendant is available),

  1. Ask (again to confirm) about available seating for your infant.
  2. Get your gate check tags for your stroller and car seat, if necessary.
  3. Ask for pre-boarding for families. Most times, this is a given, but sometimes the attendants forget or are crunched for time. You’re going to need a few minutes at the bottom of the ramp to unload your gear, and being able to walk up the aisle and get situated before everyone backs up behind you is going to be a major sanity-saver.

Bag and tag your car seat, tag the stroller, and put baby in the carrier. You are ready to board. I like to walk with my baby and get her asleep before boarding because she’ll sleep right through take-off much better than she will nurse or suck on a pacifier. (FYI – you will need to take the baby out of the carrier during take off, so be prepared to open up/remove your carrier).

Boarding the plane. My husband wheels our toddler down the ramp, while I carry the baby and the diaper bag and wheel the stroller down the ramp. At the bottom, he disconnects our toddler, and I fold the stroller. If we’re taking the infant seat on the plane, I’ll carry it on. Otherwise, I’ll help with the carry on and my husband will carry the toddler in her car seat onto the plane. Alternatively, we get the toddler out of her seat, let her walk onto the plane while my husband carries her car seat in one hand and the carry on in the other. This is the part we think could still be improved – we’re thinking of getting my husband a carry strap for the car seat so he can put it on his back before we even head down the ramp.

You’ve made it!

Now, if only you can make it to your destination with what’s left of your sanity. For some tips, read Keeping the Peace a Mile High – 6 Tips for Traveling with Baby.

-Jasmine




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