Toy Safety….from the March of Dimes

Noteworthy Wednesday!!!

I want to post this directly from the March of Dimes as toy safety can be a problem after the holidays especially when your children receive gifts from family and friends that may mean well but do not do the research as to what is appropriate for what age child.

News Moms Need is a wonderful reference site.

Toy safety

toysThe holiday season is winding down and the kiddies have new things to play with.  If you’re like me, you might not have read every inch of the instructions before assembling that toddler-sized tricycle or push toy. But they do serve a purpose when it comes to ensuring the safety of our children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has some good tips on toy safety that I thought I’d share:
• Select toys to suit the age, abilities, skills and interest level of the intended child.  Toys too advanced may pose safety hazards for younger children.
• Before buying a toy or allowing your child to play with a toy that he has received as a gift, read the instructions carefully.
• To prevent both burns and electrical shocks, don’t give young children (under age ten) a toy that must be plugged into an electrical outlet.  Instead, buy toys that are battery-operated.
• Children under age three can choke on small parts contained in toys or games. Government regulations specify that toys for children under age three cannot have parts less than 1 1/4 inches in diameter and 2 1/4 inches long.
• Children can have serious stomach and intestinal problems – including death — after swallowing button batteries and magnets.  Keep them away from young children and call your health care provider immediately if your child swallows one.
• Children under age 8 can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons. Remove strings and ribbons from toys before giving them to young children.
• Watch for pull toys with strings that are more than 12 inches in length. They could be a strangulation hazard for babies.
• Parents should store toys in a designated location, such as on a shelf or in a toy chest, and keep older kids’ toys away from young children.


Happy New Year and be safe!

Breast Milk Sharing….

Noteworthy Wednesday!

Breast Milk Sharing….Celebrity Baby Issue Could Help…

There is a demand for breast milk and breast milk sharing has become a controversial topic.

I found this piece written by Annie Urban, who also is a blogger … and a very good one.

She discusses breast milk sharing and the issues associated with it.

Neil Patrick Harris and his partner are the parents of twins one of whom has digestive problems which necessitates the need for breast milk.

Perhaps his difficulties with the availability of breast milk for his baby will highlight the need to solve this problem and reduce the expense to parents that need breast milk for their child.

Potty Training during the holidays…away from home.


Potty Training away from home….

If you are trying to potty train and you are caught in the holiday frenzy this is a great resource for you.

There are some really great tips for you to help keep up with the potty training while you are away from home

Potty training is challenging for you and your baby so I know that we all need as many tips as we can get.

Good luck and happy holidays.


Parenthood Preparation….

Noteworthy Wednesday!

Parenting is one of the most difficult things to do and do well. Your child is unique in his DNA and has a personality that is all his own. The question of whether nature or nurture is the most active ingredient in the formation of child’s personality is something that for me there is no definitive answer just ongoing discussion.

Certainly, most of us can agree that both nature and nurture help to form a child and guide him  through the stages of growth and development. Some characteristics that we observe in our children are definitely those with which we are all too familiar. They are many of our own personality characteristics.

Is it primarily heredity or is the way we as parents are nurturing our little one that is most influential in his growth and development?

I have yet to accept either nature or nurture as a single answer to the above question.

To me , it seems that our children are a products of both heredity and their environment. Parents, family and  surroundings contribute not necessarily in equal measure to  a child’s growth and development  .

In today’s world it seems that few new parents have really had hands on experience with children…by the time they have their own children most adults are as far removed from kids as they can possibly be except for visits with their nieces and nephews and children of their close friends if they are fortunate enough to live near them.

Michael Gross  wrote the above article which appeared in Australia’s Herald Sun.

In it  he makes some interesting points about parenting. This is what he recommends. Keep in mind that he is a new dad.

  • Trust your instincts
  • Build your support networks
  • Form partnerships with professionals (like your kids’ teachers)
  • Build your knowledge base.

As parents or parents to be you should make note of all of the above suggestions. But if you have any common sense at all  and trust your instincts you will likely make it through along with your child so… no worry.

Personally, what I have learned through life experience that “when it does not feel right it probably is not right”.This may seem rather trite but I think that for me  it is one of the most important points. Pregnancy and parenting are one of the many times in life that people will want to share  all kinds of  unsolicited advice.

You will have to call upon your common sense and instincts to tell you how important that advice is and help guide you as to how to use all the well-meaning tips on childrearing that you will, like it not, be receiving. Only you and your significant other  know what it is that will work for you and your family situation.

As a clinical social worker I am trained to listen and work with parents within their particular life situation. In my practice I strive to remember that everyone, all parents and families are unique in their environments and their experiences.

I encourage expectant parents to build their support networks and increase their knowledge base. Support helps you to realize that you are not alone facing parenting dilemmas. There are professionals and friends ready to share experiences with you.

Staying informed from pregnancy onwards will help you face decisions with more confidence … read what you can and stick to the books or websites that you find easy to understand and that are professional. Look for those sites that  have writers and contributors that are experts in their field.

As I have already said, education will give you as parents the confidence to go with your instincts about what is right for you in a world that is almost too full of information. Try not to overwhelm yourselves with too many websites and too many books as this will undermine your confidence in the long run. Pick a few good ones and check in with them as needed.

I came across an interesting “parents-in-progress” book….“from the hips” by rebecca odes and ceridwen morris. These two mothers discuss “ten anti-rules” for parenting. Here are a few of them…

  • strive for imperfection
  • everyone’s an expert, but you’re the authority on yourself and your baby
  • parenting is out of control
  • shift happens
  • there is no right way

This book is worth more than a look…check it out while you are expecting.

One thing that I know for sure is that parenting is demanding but full of unexpected joys with all of its ups and downs.

Get ready for the most important ride of your life.

Holiday Safety…


Keeping your family safe…

The holidays are here and it takes only a little time and thought to make it safe for your young child who is so curious and is exploring everything that you have around the house this time of year.

All those twinkling lights and sparkling ornaments…how inviting.

  • Christmas Trees…make sure they are secure and cannot tip over. Keep the live ones watered and do not block doorways with a tree.
  • Lights…use indoor lights only indoors and make sure your outdoor lights specify that they can be used outdoors.Check the wires for any breaks. Never use lights on a metallic tree…this is an electrical hazard. It can actually cause a tree to be electrically charged and cause electrocution. Bubbling lights can break and they are filled with a chemical that is potentially harmful and hazardous. Use with caution.
  • Decorations… use only flame-resistant materials. Be especially careful of ornaments that can break and create sharp pieces that can harm your little ones. Also be aware of decorations that have small little parts that could create a choking hazard.
  • Fireplaces…keep trees and decorations away from the fireplace and have a screen or closed door around your fireplace while it is burning. Even when the fire is out keep it closed so that your little one is not tempted to play around it and get burned. Do not burn papers in your fireplace.
  • Plants...certain house plants are poisonous to humans and pets…check to make sure which ones these are. When in doubt throw it out or give it to someone who does not have pets or children.
  • POISON CONTROL– 1-800-222-1222 Keep this website and phone number handy.

Holiday Safety...

  • Keep things such as matches, candles and lighters out of the reach of children
  • Establish an emergency exit plan if the unthinkable happens and a fire breaks out. Practice this plan and make sure your children know the plan and where to meet when you all get out of the house.
  • A little precaution goes a long way and makes for Happy Holidays!

Traveling with Kids…

Noteworthy Wednesday!

Up In The Air

This is a funny post from another mommy blogger although it probably was not amusing when this situation was taking place.

It is a dilemma that I have never encountered or witnessed on any of my many flights.

I people watch all the time and observe children and the various behaviors that they exhibit, from which I may add, I learn a lot. I also like to see what activities parents bring on board to amuse their kids during a flight so that I might try these when I am flying with my grandchild.

But this  issue is one that can really be a problem when traveling with a potty trained toddler who is afraid of the bathroom on the plane.

I guess my response would be to try to prepare a child ahead of time for the noise in the bathroom and the look of  bathroom before even getting on the plane. I would also make sure that a child tries to use the bathroom in the airport before boarding.

Remember the roar of the engine noise seems even louder in the bathroom and any bumps could be scary, also the flushing sounds are somewhat disturbing to me  so I sympathize if they are afraid…it sounds like the suction could actually take you with it. That suction is also heard when you drain the sink as well so prepare the child and make it a game if you can. Perhaps even the fact that the toilet is metal may seem scary…it certainly is not as friendly looking as the little potty with “Dora “on it that they are using at home. “Dora” seat covers may help but it did no good for the poor child in this scenario.

One thing I do know is that I would not pursue it if my child had a bad reaction to the airplane bathroom and perhaps I would always carry a pull-up or two and a change of clothes until such time as his/her fear was resolved.

Have any of you had this experience with your child and if so what do you advise?

Food Allergies…new guidelines…

Tuesday “Travels”

Food Allergies and Children

These articles are a must read for parents of children with food allergies. They explain the latest guidelines published in the Journal  of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and issued by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NAID) on diagnosing and treating food allergies.

Allergies are complicated and difficult to handle with children especially as they get old enough to go to school and are then exposed to other children bringing foods in their lunch that are potentially lethal to the allergic child.

Over Thanksgiving while we were boarding our flight…a parent was requesting special services because her child had a peanut allergy. I asked her how the airline deals with this situation. She said that they give her time to wipe down the seat and seat belt before her child sits down. The flight attendants then announce to the passengers that someone has an allergy to nuts so it is requested that passengers refrain from eating nuts while onboard. They also do not serve peanuts as the snack.

Allergies to peanuts and other foods are quite serious and parents have to be very diligent dealing with this. Hopefully these new guidelines will help.

Study Slams Kids Medicine Dosing Instructions –


Kids Medications….

Study Slams Kids Medicine Dosing Instructions –

Okay…listen up parents and grandparents.

This is the flu and cold season and OTC medications are very popular. PLEASE use extreme CAUTION when you decide to give these medications to any of your children.

Follow the package recommendations and do not use any of these medications for children who are too young

Dosing seems to be very problematic….apparently the medications do not come with droppers or anything to properly measure the recommended dosage.

Please consult with your child’s doctor and the pharmacist so that you are indeed giving the proper dosage.

Proper dosing is key to medication use not only with children but also with adults.

Medications are not to be treated casually…they are DRUGS.

You need to model good behavior for your children so that they will respect “medications” and use them properly when they indeed get older.