March 13, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Recall notices are important for the safety of all infants and young children. We all want our little ones to be safe and happy. Every time you purchase something for a baby or a toddler, it is a good idea to check to see if it seems safe. There are lots of hazards that we may not notice. Small parts pose a choking hazard, faulty manufacturing can lead to equipment malfunction and injury, and certain products can lead to accidental strangulation or suffocation. It is your job as a parent or guardian to look out for the safety of your children.
There are a bunch of products that have recently been given recall notices. For example, Old Navy has recalled some stuffed toys that have detachable button eyes. This was deemed to be a choking hazard for toddlers and babies. Another tragic case prompted another product recall. A young boy in California was strangled to death when the drawstring on his hooded sweatshirt got caught on a part of the playground equipment where he was playing. This death has resulted in the recall of hooded sweatshirts with drawstrings by the Hill Sportswear company.
Recall notices were also issued for a product from the Disney Store. Tons of parents shop there for their kids, but not everything is safe. A tool set toy was recalled because it poses a choking hazard to young children. In another case, DDI Inc. recalled toy construction play sets from the market. The surface paint on the play sets was found to contain lead. This was a violation of the federal lead paint standard, and the toys were taken off the market. Even some High School Musical products were recalled. As it turns out, that brand was selling a manicure kit with glitter lettering. Unfortunately, this lettering contained lead which was putting children at risk.
As you can see, even some of the more respected product lines have issued recall notices. There are dangers everywhere, and it is important for parents to keep an eye out for their children. It may be an innocent mistake, but accidents can result in injury, illness, and even death. Avoid a tragedy by closely examining all products that you buy for your kids. It is better to be safe than sorry. Check the listings of recent product recalls (or directly from the CPSC) to make sure that the toys and clothes your child has are not a threat to his or her well-being.
April 19, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Walmart has decided to pull plastic bottles (including sippy cups) made using Bisphenol A (BPA) from it’s shelves beginning early next year; citing health concerns and the recent news that Canada is moving to declare BPA as a dangerous chemical.
We are still putting away all the generous gifts we had from our baby shower and there were only one or two BPA created products. We registered for the Born Free baby bottles which are BPA free since we have been following this story for a few weeks.
This excerpt from the article sums it up:
BPA is good for making hard, clear, nearly unbreakable plastic containers — just what you want on the trail or in the nursery. But concerns have been floating around for a while that the chemical could present long-term cancer risks, especially to infants.
While the data are still unclear, a few key dominoes fell this week: Canada moved toward declaring the chemical a dangerous substance, and a draft version of a U.S. government report said BPA might present risks.
Photo credit: swruler9284
February 2, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Portable music players have advanced so much in recent years that we are listening to them a lot more frequently and for longer periods of time. Improved battery life, rechargeable batteries and increased storage space allow us to listen for hours on end. This can lead to irreversible hearing loss if the listening volume is set too high.
This is especially important for children to realize as they may not understand the damage that can happen. As well, they are listening to music in noisier atmospheres which leads to increased listening levels to overcome the background noise.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has adapted the government standards for workplace noise to say that the safe listening levels is 90 decibels for 8 hours a day. If the listening level is raised by 3 decibels, the safe exposure time drops by half. By contrast, research has found that an iPod at peak levels is 115 decibels which is equivalent to sandblasting or a loud rock concert.
Apple provides a volume limit control on their iPod product line to allow you to set the maximum volume for your child’s iPod and lock it with a combination so they cannot change it. Also, Apple has applied for a patent that will further help control the volume level on their iPods by reducing the volume over time during a listening session.
Noise canceling headphones will help offset the need to increase the volume while listening in noisy surroundings. Combined with setting the max listening volume, you can help protect the young ears in your household.
January 30, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Sitting down for a family meal most evenings during the week has some obvious benefits. It’s a perfect time to talk to your kids about what is going on at school and any activity that fosters togetherness is a win-win. But, did you know there are health and mental benefits for your children?
According to a August 2004 survey conducted by the University of Minnesota that appeared in The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, frequent family meals led to better nutritional intake, and a decreased risk for unhealthy weight control practices and substance abuse.
Another University of Minnesota study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that children who ate family meals consumed more fruits, vegetables and fewer snack foods than children who ate separately from their families.
A Harvard study published in the March 2000 issue of Archives of Family Medicine showed that families eating meals together “every day” or “almost every day” generally consumed higher amounts of important nutrients such as calcium, fiber, iron, vitamins B6 and B12, C and E, and consumed less overall fat, compared to families who “never” or “only sometimes” eat meals together.
Children who frequently eat meals with their families tend to do better in school as well. A 1994 Lou Harris-Reader’s Digest national poll of high school seniors showed better grades among students who frequently shared meals with their families. And a survey of high-achieving teens showed that those who regularly eat meals with their families tend to be happier with their present life and their prospects for the future.
Here are some tips to help you make family mealtime happen:
Plan some easy meals (20-minutes start-to-finish) and make sure the ingredients are in the house. On hectic days, make these quick meals instead of doing take-out.
If you have some picky eaters, have choices so everyone doesn’t have to eat the same thing.
Keep the conversation positive. Ask questions like “What was the best part of your day?” or “Mom told me you helped with the laundry today, I think that’s very grown up of you.”
January 25, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
A 12 year study of British government employees revealed that of the 10,000 participants, 68% were more likely to die of heart disease, suffer a nonfatal heart attack, or develop angina if they had long-term job stress. This WebMD article draws a conclusion that the job-related stress leads to an unhealthy lifestyle and bad eating habits.