Your Baby

Breastfeeding Helps Moms Lose Weight

Breastfeeding is good for your-baby and great for mom!The pediatrician always says breast is best for your your-baby. Now, moms have more reason to give breastfeeding a try...it can help you lose weight. A new studypublishedin the American Journal of ClinicalNutritionreveals women who breastfeed are more likely to lose their pregnancy weight six months after giving birth. 25,000 mothers participated in the Danish National Birth Cohort.

Researchers concluded that women who gain a reasonable amount of weight during pregnancy and breastfeed exclusively are likely to lose all their pregnancy weight six months after giving birth. The study also found that women who breastfeed weighed 4.4 pounds less than women who did not breastfeed six months after giving birth.

Your Baby

Spit-Cleaning Your Infant’s Binky

1.45 to read

Have you ever sucked on your baby’s pacifier to clean it? Many parents have. Babies drop their binkies all the time and if you’re in a hurry or just figure a little spit-cleaning won’t hurt, you’re more likely to stick it in your own mouth and give it a quick once over.

A new study out of Sweden says the spit-cleaning technique may actually help your infant avoid eczema and asthma.

“It was surprising that the effect was so strong,” says pediatric allergist Dr. Bill Hesselmar of Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, lead author of the study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

The study involved 136 infants who used a pacifier in their first 6 months. 65 of the infants had parents that reported sucking the pacifier to clean it. In those children, both eczema and asthma were strongly reduced when they were examined at 18 months of age. At 36 months of age, the protective effect remained for eczema but not for asthma.

Scientists didn’t know why the sucking on the baby’s pacifier acted as a protector or whether it was filtering out germs. The technique didn’t have any impact on respiratory illness, meaning that the babies were not more likely to get a cold or the flu from their parents. Common sense would dictate that if you have a cold or the flu or any other contagious condition, then it’s not a good idea to suck on your baby’s binky. Otherwise, maybe it’s not such a bad idea.

Why is sucking on your infant’s pacifier possibly helpful in preventing asthma or eczema in your child? Scientists hypothesize that tiny organisms in the saliva of the parents may be why. Parent’s saliva introduces gut micoflora that live in the digestive tract of the baby. “We know that if infants have diverse microflora in the gut, then children will have less allergy and less eczema,” says Hesselmar. “When parents suck on the pacifier, they are transferring microflora to the child.”

Many pediatricians and family doctors are concerned that children are being “excessively cleaned” into illness. With anti-bacterial soaps and swipes being used on everything, and kids not allowed to get dirty, their immune system isn’t getting the workout it needs to help fight off common illnesses. The bacterial microorganisms provided in the parent’s saliva might help stimulate the baby’s immune system.

“The most exciting result was the eczema,” says Christine Johnson, chair of the public health department at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital. “I’m a bit more skeptical about the asthma findings because asthma is hard to measure before a child is five or six years old.”

Hesselmar also urges moms to lick the baby’s pacifier if their child was delivered by C-section. Vaginal delivered babies receive quite a bit of microbes during delivery. C-section babies can be more prone to allergies. “If they are using a pacifier and those parents think it’s OK to suck on the pacifier, then yes, I would recommend it,” Hesselmar says.

Some parents may find the idea of picking up a pacifier that’s fallen on the floor and putting it in their mouth kind of disgusting. That’s fine, there’s no need to worry about it. If the idea doesn’t bother you, all the better says Hesselmar, “I haven’t heard of anyone getting ill from it,” he says. “There isn’t much bacteria on the floor.”

Source: Barbara Mantel, http://www.today.com/moms/why-it-may-be-ok-spit-clean-your-babys-binkie-6C9773378

Your Baby

Second Infant Death Prompts Recall Re-announcement of Delta Cribs

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In January of 2011, CPSC learned of a death in which a 7-month old girl became entrapped and suffocated between the detached drop-side and mattress of her recalled crib. The crib was purchased secondhand and re-assembled without safety pegs in the bottom tracks.A second infant death has prompted the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue a second recall announcement for Delta Enterprise “Safety Peg” Drop-Side cribs.

In 2008 the CPSC issued a recall for 985,000 drop-side cribs saying that some cribs were missing safety pegs, causing possible entrapment and suffocation. In January of 2011, CPSC learned of a death in which a 7-month old girl became entrapped and suffocated between the detached drop-side and mattress of her recalled crib. The crib was purchased secondhand and re-assembled without safety pegs in the bottom tracks. Missing safety pegs can create a situation where the crib's drop-side rail disengages from the track. This can create a hazardous space in which an infant can become entrapped and suffocate. In 2008, at the time of the original recall, CPSC notified consumers about the death of an 8 month-old girl who became entrapped and suffocated when the drop-side of the crib detached. At that time, there were 9 detachments, and 2 entrapments reported. The crib used was, once again, re-assembled without the safety pegs. "Buying or accepting cribs second hand can be risky," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "Second hand cribs may not come with all of the necessary parts that are needed to make sure your baby is safe. We urge parents and caregivers to use caution and to be aware that new rules established by CPSC will bring safer cribs to the market this summer." The recalled cribs were sold at popular retail stores such as Kmart, Target and Walmart between January 1995 and December 2005 (through September 2007 for model 4624) for about $100. You can check for Delta’s brand name, address, and Model number on the mattress support boards, The Delta logo is on the crib’s top “teether” rail. This announcement includes the following 49 crib models with "Crib Trigger Lock with Safety Peg" drop-side hardware: •       4320, 4340; •       4500, 4520, 4530, 4532, 4540, 4542, 4550, 4551, 4580; •       4600, 4620, 4624 - production dates 01/06 thru 11/07, 4640, 4660, 4720, 4735, 4742, 4750 - production dates 01/95 thru 12/00; •       4760, 4770, 4780, 4790; •       4820, 4840, 4850, 4860, 4880, 4890, 4892; and •       4900, 4910, 4920, 4925-2, 4925-6, 4930, 4940, 4943, 4944, 4947, 4948, 4949, 4950, 4958, 4963, 4968, 4969, 4980. CPSC urges parents and caregivers to immediately stop using cribs that are missing a safety peg on either leg of the drop side and contact Delta to receive a free, easy-to-install repair kit. Call Delta toll-free at (800) 816-5304 anytime or visit the firm's website at www.cribrecallcenter.com to order the free repair kit. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to find a safe, alternative sleep environment for their child until the repair kit, with new safety pegs, is safely installed on the recalled cribs. Baby cribs are often handed down from a family member or friend, or picked up at garage sales and second-hand stores. It’s important that caregivers make sure that their crib has the safety pegs in place. CPSC reminds parents not to use any crib with missing, broken or loose parts. Make sure to tighten hardware from time to time to keep the crib sturdy. When using a drop-side crib, parents should check to make sure the drop side or any other moving part operates smoothly. Always check all sides and corners of the crib for parts separating that can create a gap and entrap a child. In addition, do not try to repair any side of the crib. Babies have died in cribs where repairs were attempted by caregivers. Crib age is a factor in safety. At a minimum, CPSC staff recommends that you do not use a crib that is older than 10 years old. New, mandatory federal crib rules take effect on June 28, 2011. All cribs manufactured and sold after that date must meet new and improved safety requirements. Older cribs do not meet the new standard and can have a variety of safety problems. Check if your crib has been recalled at www.cpsc.gov

Your Baby

Twitter Question from @GeenasMom

Jill writes:  Is it true that if a small child drinks too much milk it can deplete their body of iron?  I read that somewhere.

Dr. Sue says:  This true.  Too much milk can cause occult GI bleeding and loss of hemoglobin and subsequent anemia. While milk is great and wonderful for growing bones, you should limit a toddler’s intake to about 12 – 18 ounces per day. Thanks for the tweet!

Your Baby

Protect Infants From The Sun

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Whether it’s vacation, shopping, hanging out at the pool or lake or simply in the backyard lots of families will be spending time outdoors. Because their skin is thinner and they lack the ability to sweat, experts want parents and guardians to know that babies need extra protection from the sun.

You might think that sunscreen is the solution - and many parents trying to do the right thing, do cover their little ones in it - but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Academy of Pediatrics, does NOT recommend sunscreen for infants under 6 months old.

Dr. Hari Cheryl Sachs, a pediatrician with the FDA, said parents should avoid putting sunscreen on their infants. Sachs explained that young babies' skin is much thinner than that of adults and can absorb the active, chemical ingredients found in sunscreens more easily. She noted that because they have a relatively high surface-area to body-weight ratio, they are at greater risk for allergic reactions or inflammation from exposure to sunscreen.

"The best approach is to keep infants under 6 months out of the sun, and to avoid exposure to the sun in the hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when ultraviolet (UV) rays are most intense," Sachs said in an FDA news release.

Stroller canopies or an umbrella can offer shade if you have your infant outside. If there are no other options available, a small amount of sunscreen with a sun-protection factor of at least 15 can be applied to small areas of exposed skin, such as the cheeks and back of the hands. Applying a small amount of sunscreen to the baby's inner wrist first to test for sensitivity is a good idea, Sachs noted.

Sachs and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offered additional tips to ensure infants are protected from sun exposure, including:

  • To prevent sunburns, dress infants in lightweight pants and shirts with long sleeves, as well as hats with brims that shade the ears and neck, advised the AAP. Sheer fabrics should be avoided because they could still result in a sunburn.
  • Ensure babies are well hydrated. Offer them their usual feeding of breast milk or formula, said Sachs. Use a cooler to store the liquids if they will be out in the sun for more than a few minutes.
  •  Monitor babies for signs of sunburn or dehydration, including fussiness, redness, excessive crying and lack of urination.
  •  If sunscreen is applied to babies, steer clear of products containing the insect repellant DEET.
  •  Babies who become sunburned should be taken out of the sun immediately, and cold compresses should be applied to the affected areas.

The AAP has more sun safety tips for kids older than 6 months.

  • The first, and best, line of defense against harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure is covering up. Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that provide 97% -100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays), and cotton clothing with a tight weave.
  •  Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours - between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  •  On both sunny and cloudy days use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays.
  •  Be sure to apply enough sunscreen -- about one ounce per sitting for a young adult (18-21 years old.)
  •  Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
  •  Use extra caution near water and sand (and even snow!) as they reflect UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.

We all know how damaging and painful sunburn can be. If you have a baby, most likely he or she will be included in some of the family’s outdoor activities this summer, just make sure that your little one is protected from the sun.

If you have questions about your child and sunscreen, talk with your pediatrician about it. He or she can give you the best advice on when to begin using suncreen and the SPF that’s right for your particular child.

Sources: http://news.yahoo.com/keep-infants-sun-heat-experts-warn-130406184.html

http://www.healthychildren.org/English/news/Pages/Summer-Safety-Tips-Sun-and-Water-Safety.aspx

Your Baby

Pets May Protect Infants Against Allergies

1.30 to read

Fluffy or Fido may protect your baby from developing allergies later in life. Many owners will tell you that their pet is like a family member. A new study suggests that those four-legged family members may reduce a child’s risk of developing allergies.

For years allergists have warned parents that some pets may actually cause allergies, but a new study published in the journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy suggests that early exposure to pets, during an infant’s first year of life, appears to provide an actual defense against allergies later in life. Lead study author Ganesa Wegienka, Ph.D., of Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit noted, “Exposing children to cats and dogs in the home is not going to increase the risk of sensitization to these animals. It might even decrease the risk.” Interesting revelations were found in the study such as; 18 year old males, who lived with a dog in the house when they were an infant, reduced their risks of developing allergies by half,  but not so with girls. Cats, on the other hand, seem to affect both sexes. Infant boys and girls who lived in a home with cats reduced their risks of developing allergies –by about 48%- by the age of 18 years. Another finding of the analysis showed that both males and females delivered by C-section had a 67 percent less likelihood of developing a dog allergy when a dog was present in the home during their first year of life. Wegienka said that this could be due to the fact that babies born by cesarean section are not exposed to the diverse microflora that babies born vaginally are. The long held idea that pets may cause allergies led Wegienka, and her colleagues, to study what effects childhood exposure to cats and dogs had on the risk of developing allergies to them. For their study, the researchers analyzed blood samples of more than 500 children taken during the Detroit Childhood Allergy Study from 1987 to 1989 that followed participants from birth. The focus of the analysis was to look for the presence of an antibody known as animal-specific IgE, which would indicate that a child was sensitized to that animal. In addition, follow-up among children in the study at age 18 included additional blood samples and pet histories. The histories indicated that 184 participants had a dog, and 110 of the children had a cat, during their first year of life. Pet allergy is an allergic reaction to proteins found in an animal's skin cells, saliva or urine. Signs of pet allergy include those common to hay fever, such as sneezing and runny nose. Some people may also experience signs of asthma, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing. Severe allergic reactions can be deadly. Pet allergy is often triggered by exposure to the dead flakes, or dander, that a pet sheds. Any animal with fur can be a source of pet allergy, but the most common pets are cats, dogs, rodents and horses. Wegienka pointed out that the study does not definitively indicate that having a family pet will prevent infants from developing allergies later in life, as it only found an association between a reduced risk for allergies and exposure to cats and dogs at an early age. Wegienka cautioned, “We don't want to say that everyone should go out and get a dog or cat to prevent allergies.” She then added, “More research is needed, though we think this is a worthwhile avenue to pursue. How does having a dog or a cat change the home environment? And, how does that affect allergy risk?" If you have an infant and a pet sharing the house, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your little one to make sure that he or she is able to tolerate pet dander.

Your Baby

Manufacturers Move to Ban Drop-Side Cribs

A push is underway by some crib makers to ban drop-side cribs.A push is underway by some crib makers to ban drop-side cribs because of concerns over infant deaths, injuries and a series of recalls in recent months.

Officials familiar with deliberations of a committee that sets industry standards say the proposal would end production of drop-side cribs - where one side moves up and down. The proposal would require cribs to have four immovable sides. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the proposal has not been finalized. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says at least three children have died in drop-side cribs in the last 18 months. The agency knows of more than two dozen incidents in which drop-sides detached from cribs.

Your Baby

Recall: Otteroo Baby Floats Due to Drowning Risks

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Babies and young children can drown in less than 2 inches of water.  That’s why it is  vital that parents and caregivers never leave a baby or young child unattended while they are near or in water.

When bathing their infant, parents will sometimes attach a bath float to their child to help keep his or her head above water. While the float may offer some assistance, critics warn that the device can give parents a false sense of security that their child is protected from drowning.

Otteroo Corporation makes inflatable baby floats that are specifically designed for babies 8 weeks and up.

The company is recalling about 3000 units of their inflatable Baby Floats after receiving 54 reports of broken seems on the product. No injuries have been reported.

The Otteroo Inflatable Baby Float is an inflatable round ring made of clear and blue plastic material. It has two air chambers that fasten around a baby’s neck with a white buckle. The floats have a chin rest, two handles and two circular openings on the back of the ring to allow the device to expand as the child grows with age. There are three colorful balls that move freely around inside the ring.  The name “Otteroo” is imprinted on the top of the float in large, orange letters with an Otter logo.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled inflatable baby floats and contact the firm to receive a free replacement.

The floats were sold online at Otteroo.com and Amazon.com and Zulily.com from January 2014 through July 2014 for about $35.

Consumers can contact Otteroo Corporation at (415) 236-5388 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or online www.otteroo.com and click on “Safety” at the bottom of the page for more information.

According to their website, Otteroo is offering a free replacement for those who purchased the product manufactured in 2014 (NO: 002013001).

Sources: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/Recall-Alerts/2015/Otteroo-Corp-Recalls-Inflatable-Baby-Floats/

http://otteroo.com/pages/safety-info

Your Baby

Infant Antibiotic Use and Asthma

1:45 to read

Antibiotics are a common treatment for bacterial infections in children and adults however; some infants who receive antibiotics in their first year of life may be twice as likely to develop asthma, as they grow older.

The drugs themselves may not be the culprits though.

A child’s impaired immune system and genetic variations could explain why some kids face a higher likelihood of developing asthma.

The study, reported online May 15 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, also didn't find any link between early use of antibiotics and development of allergic diseases.

The study’s authors noted that this contradicts a theory that antibiotics increase the risks of allergic asthma by disrupting a child’s immune system.

Antibiotics are often given to children for ear and respiratory infections. While the study found an association between infants who receive antibiotic treatment and asthma later in life, it was not designed to prove an actual cause and effect link.

In the new study, British researchers analyzed statistics from a study that tracked more than 1,000 children from birth to 11 years of age.

Information on antibiotic prescription, wheeze and asthma exacerbations were taken from medical records. Skin reaction tests that show whether a child is hypersensitive to allergens were done at ages 3, 5, 8, and 11 years. 

At age 11, blood was collected from children who had received at least one course of antibiotics or no antibiotics in the first year of life to compare their immune-system cell response to viruses and bacteria. Genetic testing was also done to look at the links between common genetic variations on chromosome 17, known as 17q21, and antibiotic prescription.

The study’s findings are believed to be the first to show that children with wheezing who were treated with an antibiotic in the first year of life were more than twice as likely as untreated children to experience severe wheeze or asthma exacerbations and be hospitalized for asthma. 

"We speculate that hidden factors which increase the likelihood of both antibiotic prescription in early life and subsequent asthma are an increased susceptibility to viral infections due to impaired antiviral immunity and genetic variants," lead author Adnan Custovic, of the University of Manchester, said in a journal news release.

"However, further studies will be needed to confirm that the impaired immunity was present at the time of the early childhood respiratory symptoms and predated antibiotic prescribing rather than as a consequence of the antibiotics," Custovic added.

The study was published in the journal The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

Source: Randy Dotinga, http://www.webmd.com/asthma/news/20140515/study-probes-link-between-early-antibiotic-use-asthma

http://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/article/?id=12094

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