Weekend Reading from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Reading


Martha’s Vineyard Fourth of July

It is already the Fourth of July weekend…and it has hardly felt like summer at all because of cool temperatures and mega amounts of rain so far here in Chicago. The sun is shining today and it promised to be a sunny Saturday with great fireworks weather.

Picnics and outdoor fun sometimes help us to forget some of the things we need to do to keep ourselves and family safe from food poisoning and food disasters. Here are some tips for a safe Fourth Weekend.

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Food on the Fourth–safe eating tips

Foodborne illness can be extremely dangerous—especially for pregnant women and young children. Symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea and fever, can become life-threatening.

So if you will be celebrating the 4th of July with family, friends, and a cookout, remember to keep foods fresh and safe. Here are some important safety tips:


“It only takes a second”…how many times I have read that statement and spoken those words. Many years ago I was standing at the Top of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco with my daughter in between me and my husband. We both admired the view at exactly the same moment. When we looked down at our daughter she was not there and no where in sight! The elevator doors were just closing and my heart was skipping many beats at the same moment. It seemed like an eternity but it was only a second later that I heard her voice saying “hi”…”hi” and I realized that she was walking throughout the bar greeting all of the people who were having drinks and enjoying the gorgeous view. Yes…it only takes a second for catastrophe to happen. Summer and pools and beaches are so much fun for everyone but it only takes a second to change that into a horrific event. Keep your eyes on your children around water no matter what. “It only takes a second”

Fullers Beach MV

The day my 2-year-old son almost drowned before my eyes.

Since my daughter and her husband are expecting their first child in the near future they are discussing cord blood banking and its importance. We are so lucky to live in a time when this is an option. Cord blood and stem cells have the potential to save a life. It is an important discussion to have and an even more important decision to make before delivery.


Every expectant parent deserves to know the power of the stem cells contained in their baby’s umbilical cord. Leading organizations have come together to present Cord Banking Basics, a source to help expecting parents make informed decisions about what to do with their babies’ stem cells.

My sincere wishes for a happy and safe Fourth of July Weekend!

My Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Each week so many interesting reads come across my feed that I want to share. It is truly impossibly difficult to sometimes choose which ones to include here.

Weekly Review- Ice Cream

Here are the stories that lit up my screen this week.

The very sad story about a toddler left in his dad’s car has been all over the news. There is a very serious side to this story and it involves other parents, who have made this fatal mistake. It is a very long story but well worth reading to get a perspective on just what a serious problem this is in today’s world.

The toddler slowly sweltered to death, strapped into a car seat for nearly nine hours in an office parking lot in Herndon in the blistering heat of July. It was an inexplicable, inexcusable mistake, but was it a crime? That was the question for a judge to decide.

Do we allow our kids and grandkids to explore their world and discover things without a “helicopter” over their heads? This piece made me realize just what a different world it is today for some children.


In the tardy twilight of a Puget Sound evening, we caught a glimpse of a boy, maybe 6 or 7, playing in mud exposed by low tide. Ankle-deep in vibrant muck, he called out a discovery to his father. “I found a bunch of baby crabs,” he said. “A jillion of them.” From there, he slipped into the woods, chasing some other curiosity of the natural world. A butterfly, I think. He disappeared for some time, without a word of concern from his parents. “You don’t see much of that anymore,” a friend said.


In keeping with childhood safety, here is a post with some very helpful tips. Let it be known that I love The Mother Company. It is simply a wonderful group!



My Body Is MINE!

Children must know that they are “the boss of their bodies.” That simply means that their body belongs only to them, and that no one should try to play an uncomfortable or “yucky” touching game with them. Especially with their “bathing suit areas” or “private parts” of their body. This is especially important as kids head off to swim camps or pool parties where you may not be around. Talk to your child beforehand and make sure he or she knows to immediately alert you (or the chaperone or lifeguard) if anyone tries to play a “touching game”.


These are my top three selections for review this week.

There are many more fascinating family, parenting, kids, and food articles to name just a few topics that I enjoy. It seems I cannot get enough time to read all of them


I hope that you get a chance to click on at least one review, if not all and you enjoy reading them.

What are some topics that you love to read about on the internet?

Each week, I will try and select some good articles that relate to parenting, kids and various other topics.

Look for “My Weekly Review” each Friday!

Bounce House Safety and Kids…

How safe is a bounce house?

Safety is of prime concern when raising children or taking care of kids.  This week we have been watching a horrible story involving a bounce house.

If you have one of these playful houses in your yard or your child uses them at other kids’ homes then you need to be aware of the safety of this “toy”.

Children should never be playing in these inflatable houses when it is windy outside as they may be lifted off the ground, as happened in upstate New York, a couple of days ago.

There are several other cases of injuries when commercial bouncing houses have been tossed about by winds…truly dangerous and sometimes tragic injuries have been sustained during such accidents.

bounce house

A bounce house can be safe but children should always be observed by an adult while they are playing outside in these enclosures.

Wordless Wednesday Again…Kids and Safety

Car Seat Safety for Kids

To me, there are few things more important than car seat safety since kids spend and enormous amount of time in cars.

Here is a must see video for new parents and seasoned parents as well as grandparents and any child caregiver.

car seats, safety first My go to person for car seat information is “The CarSeat Lady“. She is in my opinion the best information source for parents when they are choosing a carseat and when they want information in its proper installation and use.

Toast Tuesday

Toast Tuesday!

This week, I would like to feature Melinda Tripp on my blog.

She is devoted to the safety of children and most importantly teaching children to be safe.

Take a look at her blog and give two thumbs up to PROJECT SAFE!


About the Author and PROJECT SAFE:

If you want every child as I do to grow up safely, make good choices, be  confident, empowered and success-filled, welcome aboard the express train to safe kids across the nation.

A plan tailored by parents and teachers for their child, their family and their class.

Welcome to my world, the one where we strive together to grow the safest next generation.

I am calling it PROJECT SAFE.

via About the Author and PROJECT SAFE « Teachsafety.

“I Really Don’t Trust Anyone, Sometimes”

Noteworthy Wednesday!

As a mom, I was very protective…yes I admit, I was one of those moms who sought not just to protect my children but other children as well. I guess I still am “that” mom and now “that” grandmother”

For example…

In the early 80’s my children went to a very nice elementary school in a small suburban village on the far south side of Chicago. All the schools entrance doors were open and accessible during the entire school day. It was bucolic town filled with the summer homes of the Illinois Central Railroad executives from “back in the day”. It is fair to say that the railroad went straight through the middle of town and stopped within walking distance of the grammar school.


On one end of the school were the younger kids, kindergarten and first graders…there was an unlocked door adjacent to the kindergarten so “room” moms could walk right in from the parking area. The other end of the school housed the older children 3rd through 6th grades and another couple of doors which were always unlocked to welcome visitors.

This lack of security was unacceptable to my New York City mentality, so I took it upon myself to speak to the Prinicpal about my concern for his “open door” policy. It was a perfect opportunity for an abduction in my eyes.

“Mrs. Lavine, it would be such an inconvenience for the parents to have to all come through the front door when they are picking up their children…I really don’t think that locking the doors is warranted.” My response was …”this is 1987, Mr. Deadbolt”.

Enter Laurie Dann…May 20th, 1988

On that day, Laurie Dann entered a grammar school in Winnetka, a north shore suburb of Chicago…she killed one young boy and wounded two girls and 3 boys before killing herself after taking a nearby family hostage after fleeing from the school.

You should not be surprised when I tell you that in the Fall of 1988 when our grammar school reopened, all the doors were locked and everyone had to check in after coming through the main entrance. A printed announcement went out to each child’s family saying that in light of the tragedy in Winnetka our school would   be secure.

Now, I am not one to say ” I told you so” and I wish that Laurie Dann had never taken a gun and shot innocent children at school where they are supposed to be safe but sometimes it takes a tragic event to stimulate people to take safety precautions.

That is how I felt when I read a recent post about the safety of sleepovers. WHAT SAFETY? When you have a group of kids the same age, together in your house, things tend to get out of hand rather quickly when the supervision drops off for even a short period of time. It is just a fact. Have you had that experience? Then why would anyone in their right minds want a group of kids sleeping over at their house ever…really?

Here is my one and only story about sleep overs. My niece came to live with us temporarily when she was in the 8th Grade…Junior High. That should already set up your antennae. She came home one day and asked if she could sleep over at a friends house. Mind you, we were living in the same town that I have already described…a sort of Mayberry if you will.

I had no idea what to say to her…so I called her mother and asked her what she thought, since I did not know the girl that well nor her family. I did know she was the youngest of three. She had two brothers in their twenties and her father was a bank president, as if that should make a difference. It was a mutual decision to let the sleep over take place. It went off without a hitch and all was well. I breathed a sigh of relief and hoped that I would never hear the word sleep over again in the near future.

Not too short a time passed and my niece came home from school to tell me that her girl friend’s father had killed himself. It was the same friend with whom she had spent the night.

The story goes this way…the father and one of the young girl’s brothers had a fight and the dad took a gun from the house, went  outside to the front yard and shot himself in the head…end of story. The family vacated the house and all was forever hush, hush in our bucolic suburb.

To say, I was stunned is an understatement. It became apparent that I had learned a great deal about how I felt about sleep overs before I really needed.  My uneasy feelings concerning them were suddenly and sadly validated.

You just do not know what goes on behind the closed doors of you neighbors and friends homes.

At the time my own children were only 2 years and 4 years old . Sleepovers had not even been a topic yet…we had no relatives nearby so my kids had only slept at home or with us in a hotel on vacation.

I also knew that children are molested often by family members or someone they know and trust. This scares me beyond anything I can rationally explain because as a nurse and clinical social worker I have seen the horrible harm that sexual abuse does to children.

My advice would be to not trust anyone with your kids until you can comfortably explain good touch, bad touch to them. They must be able to tell you anything and never be afraid of the consequences.

I know this is a very hard statement to read and it seems so OVERPRTOTECTIVE,,,and it is just that…but if you at least feel like you are overprotective and accept it, you will examine the potential hazards in situations where you think there are none and hopefully never have to deal with unforeseen situations.

Educate your children…give them what they need to protect themselves…start early and if you don’t know what to say or when to begin, do your homework get the information you need.

Do not look through rose colored glasses forever …don’t let your hidden fears become a disaster waiting to happen.

Are you basically trusting?

How trusting are you as a parent or grandparent?

Do you consider yourself protective or overprotective as a parent or grandparent?

Related Reading:

The Safety of Sleepovers: I Dont Trust Other Parents | BlogHer.

Sleep Over Nightmare

What Should You Do? Helping Children Protect Themselves in theTwenty-First Century by Melinda Reynolds Tripp



Halloween is one of my favorite holidays…I love the costumes,candy and I especially love the “little ones” coming to the door dressed up.

For the safety of  the kids…the American Academy has issued safety tips for the holiday.

I like to review them to make sure I remember all the tricks that can make a happy holiday a real horror!


Cribs, Presumed Safe…

Presumed Safe

This has been a big week for recalls related to children’s safety from car seats, to bassinets and cribs.

We think that our children are  safe when we put them in their cribs and for the most part they are.

Here are some points to consider concerning cribs and baby equipment in general:

  • If your child is ready to climb he could be injured by falling out of his crib.
  • If your crib is a hand-me-down if could be a recalled one that could potentially injure your  child.
  • Parents and caregivers need to be alert to warnings and read them before using toys, cribs, swings, highchairs, bouncy seats etc.


“Of the nearly 182,000 children hurt in cribs during the study period, two-thirds were injured due to a fall. Not surprisingly, as babies grew increasingly mobile, the proportion of injuries from falls increased.  As kids got older, prop of inj from falls increased. “This is telling us that coming up with designs that help anticipate that is the way we need to go,” says Smith.

That could take the form of taller crib rails or other fixes. (In any case, parents should drop the height of the crib mattress to its lowest level once baby pulls to a stand. And by 35 inches, it’s time to boot that baby to a big-kid bed.) “Crib designs haven’t really changed in the past two decades, but now they will have to,” says Smith.

Babies of the future may indeed be confined to cribs that look even more like jail cells. If that’s the case, there may be a booming market for black-and-white onesies.

via Cribs, Presumed Safe, Injure 26 Children Every Day – TIME Healthland.”

Vaccine controversy…history repeats itself…

DESPITE overwhelming evidence to the contrary, roughly one in five Americans believes that vaccines cause autism — a disturbing fact that will probably hold true even after the publication this month, in a British medical journal, of a report thoroughly debunking the 1998 paper that began the vaccine-autism scare.

That’s because the public’s underlying fear of vaccines goes much deeper than a single paper. Until officials realize that, and learn how to counter such deep-seated concerns, the paranoia — and the public-health risk it poses — will remain.

via A Century of Vaccine Scares – NYTimes.com.

Vaccines have always carried with them an underlying fear…what if you get the disease from the vaccine is a question I hear very often when the flu shot is offered every fall. ” Oh, the only time I got the flu is right after a flu shot…so I don’t want to get it again.”

For those of us in medicine and who work in hospitals the flu shot has become mandatory in recent years otherwise you cannot work. Only those with an allergy to eggs  or who have had a reaction to the flu shot in the past are exempt from getting the vaccine. With so many adults fearful of a flu shot, why is it that we are surprised when parents do not want their children vaccinated?

I am not quite sure.

As for my own history with vaccines…I can remember when the polio vaccine trials came out  in the 1950’s. It was being offered in public schools in New York. Many parents allowed their children to receive the vaccine at school.

My mother however, did not go along with mass inoculation trials at school. I personally remember the chatter among family in our living room. Most of it centered around whether or not the vaccine was safe. “What if you could actually get polio from the vaccine?” Polio could be deadly or severely crippling. My mother wanted to wait and see for herself.

“The report”, wrote the New York Times, “was a medical classic.” Dr. Francis reported that the vaccinations had been 80 to 90 percent effective on the basis of results in eleven states. Overall, the vaccine was administered to over 440,000 children in forty-four states, three Canadian provinces and in Helsinki, Finland,[3] and the final report required the evaluation of 144,000,000 separate items of information. After the announcement, when asked whether the effectiveness of the vaccine could be improved, Salk said, “Theoretically, the new 1955 vaccines and vaccination procedures may lead to 100 percent protection from paralysis of all those vaccinated.”[18]

via Jonas Salk – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

When it seemed that all was safe…I received the polio vaccine at my pediatrician’s office.

So with a history of fear surrounding vaccines there is no wonder that parents are nervous when it comes to the relationship of autism and vaccines. This fear will not easily be put to rest…but parents must be judicious and not expose their children to other deadly diseases if there is not a valid connection between vaccines and autism.

With the new findings concerning the study of MMR vaccine and autism it seems that this fear should be put to rest…however it may be very difficult for that to happen since the public has been duped once by medical researchers in this case and now they may be fearful for another reason, unethical behavior on the part of researchers.

So who are parents supposed to believe?

It is my feeling that because there has been a long time with out an outbreak of some of these very serious and deadly illnesses parents have become somewhat cavalier about the actual need for all children to receive immunizations. Healthcare professionals need to do their homework and talk to parents about childhood immunizations before we do succumb to another epidemic of one of these horrible diseases.