Archive for the 'safety' Category

eco-friendly play spaces

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

If July 31st wasn’t my daughter’s first birthday, I would make my way to Colori in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood. Colori is an eco paint boutique and on July 31st they are hosting an all day, hands-on workshop focusing on creating beautiful green play spaces for kids.

I have used Mythic paint, a brand of eco-paint they sell, and it is wonderful.  It has no VOCs, is very durable and is competitively priced.  I honestly can’t think of a good reason NOT to use this paint.

Michelle Quaranta is the owner of Colori Eco Paint Boutique and is a color therapist/consultant.  Friends and I have relied on her eye for color and have been thrilled with the results.  She can consult with you right in the store or can make a house call to really help to refine your color vision.  Really, if you’re going to make an investment in paint for a room or entire house, shouldn’t it be right?!

id bracelets for wandering kids

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Many years ago I was a nanny to four little ones while I was in graduate school.  Whenever we would go on outings, their mother would write her cellphone number on the inside of their arms with a pen.  She reminded them that if they somehow got separated, to find another mommy and ask her to call the number.  Fortunately, we were never separated, but it was good to have this plan.

Fast forward several (ahem, plenty) years and here I am taking my very own children on such outings, without a good plan.  Imagine my delight when I saw a post on Stroller Traffic for these adorable waterproof ID bracelets from Mabels Labels.

best sunscreen

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

I know I seem like I’m on a bit of a kick here, but it seems that my confusion about sunscreen has a basis.  According to the Enviornmental Working Group’s most recent research on the industry, there has been a product explosion over the past two years.  Thanks to pressure from the EWG, the number of sunsreens containing any of the 4 recommended UVA/UVB blockers jumped to 70% from just 29% last year.  Most notably, the number of sunscreens protecting from harmful UVA rays has more than doubled.  Their 2009 sunscreen guide has a best of list with comprehensive pros and cons on each sunsreen.

teaching your kids about boundaries and bad touches

Monday, April 6th, 2009


I recognize that as parents one of the last things we ever want to think about when it comes to our children is someone touching them inappropriately, or worse.  As a former counselor in a program for children and teen sexual abuse survivors, I remember the horror well.  Jill Starishevsky, a mother and former prosecutor for victims of child abuse and sex crimes has published a children’s book, “My Body Belongs to Me” that allows us parents to have an age-appropriate conversation with our children about their bodies, boundaries and what to do when someone violates them (heaven forbid) – tell!  In my experience, this is one of those subjects that we don’t want to think about, which means we often avoid talking about it and giving our children a clear message that this is wrong and should not be kept a secret.  If ever there was a must-have book for our children, this would seem to be it.  It is written for youngsters ages 3-10.

Pattie Fitzgerald, founder of Safely Ever After, a safety program for parents and kids, proclaims, “I have been teaching child safety classes for nearly ten years, and this is the first children’s book I’ve seen that really addresses the issues in a way that kids can understand and that doesn’t seem scary or heavy-handed.”

wonder bumpers

Sunday, March 8th, 2009


Wonder bumpers, by Go Mama Go Designs, are a lovely solution for parents who are aware of the dangers of traditional crib bumpers, but would like to soften the sleeping environment for those active infants and toddlers who are all over the crib.  Like so many other great products created in the parenting market, wonder bumpers were created by moms.

fans dramatically reduce SIDS risk

Monday, October 6th, 2008

The New York Times Well Blog posted about a new research finding, published today in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, has found having a fan in baby’s room reduces the risk for SIDS by as much as 72 %!  The proposed theory is that the fan prevents the baby from re-breathing in exhaled carbon dioxide.  And while the fan doesn’t make the baby’s room cooler, it is important to keep the sleeping environment cool as this also reduces the risk for SIDS.

IMPORTANT: Bassinet Linked to Infant Deaths

Thursday, August 28th, 2008


An article in today’s Chicago Tribune reports that the Simplicity 4-in-1 and 3-in-1 co-sleepers have been implicated in two infant deaths, the most recent was last Thursday in Kansas. Though these bassinets have not yet been recalled, any parent with one should stop using it and discard it immediately.  There appears to be a design flaw that allows the baby to slip through and become trapped.

important product warning – mommy’s bliss nipple cream

Friday, June 13th, 2008

If you have this product – throw it away. If you are using it, stop immediately. A friend and new mother shared the May 29, 2008 post from the FDA informing consumers to neither use nor purchase Mommy’s Bliss Nipple Cream.  Here is what the FDA said:

The product contains potentially harmful ingredients that may cause respiratory distress or vomiting and diarrhea in infants. The product is promoted to nursing mothers to help soothe and heal dry or cracked nipples. Potentially harmful ingredients in the product are chlorphenesin and phenoxyethanol. Chlorphenesin relaxes skeletal muscle and can depress the central nervous system and cause slow or shallow breathing in infants. Phenoxyenthanol, a preservative that is primarily used in cosmetics and medications, can also depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration in infants. Mothers and caregivers should seek immediate medical attention if their child shows signs and symptoms of decreases in appetite, difficulty in awakening, limpness of extremities or a decrease in an infant’s strength of grip and a change in skin color.

the vaccine book

Friday, June 13th, 2008


I recently attended a talk given by Dr. Robert Sears, author of The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child. He is part of the Sears family and has made vaccines his area of pediatric specialty. What I liked about his presentation is that he spoke from a place of balance, neither overstating nor understanding the importance of vaccines. He gave parents all the latitude necessary to make informed decisions for their child and family. He was clear about what science has learned and where there are shortcomings. In his book, he offers information about each vaccination, children’s risks for each disease and a vaccine schedule that he follows in his practice. A good, comprehensive read if you are searching for information to help you make a vaccination choice.

mr yuk – poison prevention

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008



I have no idea what prompted me to do a search for Mr Yuk earlier today, but I’m so glad I did. In so doing, I reached way back into my childhood and connected with an icon that was plastered around our house (on the phone and toilet seat for starters). Created in 1971 (by the Pittsburg Poisen Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburg), and selected for being the most “loathed” by children in testing, Mr Yuk continues to be the face of danger some 37 years later!!

Mr. Yuk now bears the national, toll-free number to call in a poisoning emergency, 1-800-222-1222. Dialing the number routes the caller to the nearest poison control center anywhere in the United States.

To request a free sheet of Mr. Yuk stickers, send a self-addressed stamped business size envelope to:

Mr. Yuk
Pittsburgh Poison Center
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
3705 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2583