Happy Child Passenger Safety Week- Are you in the 75%?

Happy Child Passenger Safety Week- Are you in the 75%?

It is something that parents do on an almost daily basis, and you probably don’t think twice about it.  Putting your kiddos into their car seat when you head out on the road.  But did you know that studies estimate that 75% of car seats are installed or used incorrectly?!! Car crashes are the leading cause of death in children 1 to 13 years of age.  This week is National Child Passenger Safety Week, so over the next few posts, I hope to answer some of the most important questions parents may have about car seats.  Today, we will focus on perhaps the biggest “error” I see parents making…turning their child forward facing too soon.   The American Academy of Pediatrics along with every car safety organization now recommends that ALL children remain rear-facing until AT LEAST 2 years of age.  In fact, children can remain rear-facing until they reach the height and weight limit for the specific car seat in the rear-facing position.  In most cases, the weight limit will be between 35-40 pounds (some even up to 45 pounds), and the height limit is the same for all car seats- the top of the child’s head should be at least 1 inch below the top of the car seat.  Many parents, websites, and most state laws still cite the out-dated recommendation for rear-facing only until 1 year of age or 20 pounds.  However, this recommendation was changed more than 4 years ago. “In a front-end collision, can you imagine putting 25% of your body weight as a rapid forward, force onto your delicate spine?” So what is...
How we almost became a drowning statistic

How we almost became a drowning statistic

It was our first swim of last summer. Mr. J (3 at the time) and Miss M (2 at the time) could hardly wait.  They had gotten suited up and each had waited their turn to get their sunscreen applied.  During their “wait time” to let the sunscreen soak in, Miss M was sitting right next to me on the porch while Mr. J wanted to sit on the top step of the pool and make “handprint art” with the pool water.  Standing about 10 feet from the pool steps, I applied my own sunscreen and was a bit distracted by Miss M explaining something about her princess pool toys for all of about 15 seconds or so.  And when I looked back to check on Mr. J, he was no longer on the step.  As panic set in, the adrenaline immediately kicked on, my mind slipped into the slow-mo that only happens in dire emergencies, and I noticed the tips of his fingers wiggling just above the surface of the water.  He had silently (and I do mean, truly, without a sound) slipped off the step into 3 feet of water, with me standing less than 10 feet from him.  As slow-mo continued, it felt like an absolute eternity to cover that short distance as my legs couldn’t move fast enough to get to him.  And I will never forget the look on his face when I got to the pool steps and started down to grab him.   It was utter helplessness…he was looking up at me with eyes wide open, panic stricken.  I pulled him out of...
What’s lurking in the water?

What’s lurking in the water?

  Bath time can be considered an extension of playtime in our house.  There is often making of “watermelon soup” in a pink watering can, construction of cities with foam blocks, and purple and green fish and dolphins diving through the water in addition to copious amount of splashing, squealing, and singing.  But could there be something harmful lurking in the water? Well, if you have water squirting toys, like we did, the answer could be “Yes.” “That spells M-O-L-D better than almost anything else I can think of.” We had quite the collection of these toys for our tub…a basketball, a football, a crab, and classic rubber ducky to name a few.  While these made for some good fun while in the tub, we never made sure to “empty” the water from them at the end of bathtime.  Overtime, can you even imagine how much water was left inside these toys?  Standing water in a dark enclosed area with no way to get out.  That spells M-O-L-D better than almost anything else I can think of. My curiosity got the best of me, so I decided to cut open one of these toys the other day, and here is what I found.        WOW!  To think my kids were bathing with these and still using them to squirt water at each other!  GROSS (and maybe truly harmful to their health)!  Well, we have now had a revamping to our toy repertoire in the bathtub! Toys that make good bathtime entertainment should have good drainage.  It’s like your yard…no one wants standing water.  Non-absorbing foam blocks that...
The View Out the Back Window

The View Out the Back Window

  The big milestones for your child when that first birthday arrives…walking, drinking whole milk, moving to a forward facing car seat. Whoa…not so fast on that last item! While the recommendation for changing to a forward facing car seat used to be 20 pounds and a year of age, new research and extensive crash testing has indicated that the longer we wait for this transition, the better. The American Academy of Pediatrics along with every transportation safety group recommends that children remain rear-facing until at least 2 years of age. In actuality, children can remain rear-facing until they outgrow the height and weight limits for the specific car seat in the rear-facing position. These parameters will be different for every car seat, so make sure and check your specific seat for these details. “For newborns and infants, the head makes up about 25% of the body weight compared to only 6% in adults. That sure is a lot of weight to be violently thrown forward while only tethered by your spine!” Here is the science (in a very brief form) about why it is important to leave a child rear-facing as long as possible. The laws of physics - inertia really - tell us that an object will move towards the point of impact. This means that in a head on collision, the first movement of the head and neck will be in the forward direction. For newborns and infants, the head makes up about 25% of the body weight compared to only 6% in adults. That sure is a lot of weight to be violently thrown forward...
Recall Alert

Recall Alert

For all of those families out there who have a Graco stroller, listen up! Today, the company issued a voluntary recall of over 4.7 million strollers manufactured between August 1, 2000 and September 25, 2014. This recall includes the following 11 models of single-occupant strollers: Aspen, Breeze, Capri, Cirrus, Glider, Kite, LiteRider, Sierra, Solara, Sterling and TravelMate.  The problem? The strollers involved in this recall have a folding hinge on each side of the stroller that has the potential for catching a child’s finger which could lead to a laceration or, more serious, an amputation of the finger. There have been 11 reported incidents thus far including 10 reports of either partial or full fingertip amputation. Glider Model Here is what the hinges on the recalled strollers look like when folding/unfolding   Graco will be providing families with a free repair kit (i.e hinge covers) that will be available in the beginning of December. If you have one of these affected strollers, the company says they are ok to continue using as long as operators “exercise extreme care when unfolding the stroller to be certain that the hinges are firmly locked before placing the child in the stroller.”       In order to verify that your stroller is one of the models being recalled, you will need to locate the model number which can be found on the label which is on the stroller leg above one of the rear wheels.   You can then visit the Graco site here to enter the model number to see if your particular stroller is involved in this massive recall.   For more...
Getting safe ZZZZZ’s

Getting safe ZZZZZ’s

I had the honor of taping a public service announcement for Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana (PCAL) in regards to safe sleep environment for newborns and infants.  The national “Safe to Sleep” campaign, which began 20 years ago, was started with the goal of reducing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  SIDS is the leading cause of death in children between 1 month and 1 year of age.  While SIDS cannot be prevented, there are ways to reduce the risk of SIDS and extensive studies have shown that placing an infant to sleep on the back at all times has led to significant risk reduction.  Since the inception of this campaign and through extensive community outreach and education, the rate of SIDS has dropped by 50% in the United States since 1994. x http://youtu.be/K0V6Uk1XN4A This is such an important message to get out to all care givers, so make sure and share this information about safe sleep environment with anyone and everyone who will be caring for your baby.   To learn more about Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana, click here.  To learn more about the Safe to Sleep campaign, click...