Your Baby

Magnesium Useful for Newborns with Low Oxygen

Early treatment with magnesium can reduce the nerve damage seen in infants born with low oxygen levels.Early treatment with magnesium can reduce the nerve damage seen in infants born with low oxygen levels, also referred to as asphyxia, according to a trial done by researchers in India. The results of the trial are published in the journal Pediatrics. Perinatal asphyxia happens when a newborn is deprived of oxygen long enough to cause apparent damage. Most commonly it is caused by a fall in the mother's blood pressure or interference during delivery with blood flow to the infant's brain.

On average, between two and 10 infants per 1,000 born at full-term will have perinatal asphyxia. Asphyxia causes high levels of the amino acid glutamate to build up in the newborn brain said researcher Dr. Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat. For up to 72 hours, the excess glutamate causes irreversible nerve injury by opening certain cell channels and allowing calcium to flow into cells. Magnesium works to block this calcium flow. Researchers at the Sheri-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Srinagar looked at 40 term infants admitted to their neonatal intensive care unit with severe perinatal asphyxia and moderate or severe brain injury. They were randomly assigned to receive three magnesium treatments or inactive placebo. Both groups received their assigned treatment within six hours of birth, then again after 24 and 48 hours. All patients received normal supportive care for perinatal asphyxia. Two patients in each group died during hospitalization. 56 percent of patients given placebo had abnormal neurologic exams when discharged from the hospital compared with just 22 percent of those given magnesium. The study is the first one with a placebo comparison group to show "improved neurologic outcomes at discharge in the," the authors note. They conclude that large, multicenter trials are now needed to corroborate their findings.

Your Baby

Warning on Baby Acetaminophen

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is renewing a warning about the potential for dosing errors with liquid  products for infants. A new recommended strength may be one cause for the updated warning.

A new strength, 160 mg/5 ml, was introduced to actually help parents and caregivers give the correct dosage, but the change was voluntary for manufacturers. The goal was to have a single concentration of liquid acetaminophen available. Dosing errors were reported in several reviews and were attributed, in some circumstances, to the variety of strengths available.

The FDA announced that not all manufacturers have switched to the new strength and bottles with 80mg/mL plus 80mg/0.8mL are still on store counters. The old version and the new version also have similar packaging – adding to the confusion.

In a safety announcement issued late Thursday, the FDA posted pictures of new and old boxes of Little Fevers brand of infant acetaminophen. "Both boxes in this example say 'New' on the front, but only one of them contains the new concentration of liquid acetaminophen," the FDA said.

One difference you can use to tell the difference is that the older version comes with a dropper, and the newer version comes with a syringe intended to make dosing more precise.

The FDA stressed, again, parents need to use the dosing devise to make sure they are giving the correct amount of acetaminophen to their infant.

Patients and caregivers should contact their healthcare professional if they find the measuring device confusing or are unsure how to measure a dose for a child using the device provided," the agency said. Moreover, healthcare professionals should instruct adults in proper dosing of liquid acetaminophen products for infants when they recommend the drug.

The FDA website lists these suggestions for parents or caregivers that give their child acetaminophen.

“Be very careful when you’re giving your infant acetaminophen” says Carol Holquist, director of FDA’s Division of Medical Error Prevention and Analysis.

Here’s what the agency wants parents and caregivers to do:

  • Read the Drug Facts label on the package very carefully to identify the concentration of the liquid acetaminophen, the correct dosage, and the directions for use.
  • Do not depend on a banner proclaiming that the product is “new.” Some medicines with the old concentration also have this headline on their packaging.
  • Use only the dosing device provided with the purchased product in order to correctly measure the right amount of liquid acetaminophen.
  •  Consult your pediatrician before giving this medication and make sure you’re both talking about the same concentration.

If your pediatrician prescribes a 5 mL dose of the less concentrated liquid acetaminophen, but you administer a 5 mL dose of the more concentrated liquid acetaminophen, the child can receive a potentially fatal overdose during the course of therapy,

Conversely, if a physician prescribes a dose based on the more concentrated liquid acetaminophen and the less concentrated medication is used, the child might not receive enough medication to fight a fever, she say.  

Acetaminophen is marketed for infants under brand names such as Little Fevers Infant Fever/Pain Reliever, Pedia Care Fever Reducer Pain Reliever and Triaminic Infants’ Syrup Fever Reducer Pain Reliever. There are also store brands on the shelves.

 The ingredients indicators do look similar as you can see below.

acetaminophen doses









Source :

Your Baby

Similac Baby Formula Recall

Abbott Laboratories, manufacturers of Similac baby formula recalls up to 5 million powdered products for insect contamination. The makers of Similac baby formula, is voluntarily recalling several products due to insect contamination.

Abbott Laboratories is recalling their powdered baby formula sue to the possibility of small insect parts and beetle larvae. The beetles were found in the production area of one of Abbott’s manufacturing facilities that makes Similac. There is currently no reported immediate healthy risk to infants drinking Similac baby formula.  Parents should look for any gastrointestinal symptoms such as refusal to eat or stomach aches as possible symptoms of ingesting the recalled formula. The Similac recall includes the following products:

  • -all lots of Similac formula powder product lines offered in plastic containers, including 1.38-lb, 1.45-lb and 2.12-lb containers
  • -Similac Sensitive Isomil Soy - 12.4-oz cans - only lots numbers containing RB
  • -Similac Advance - 12.4-oz cans - only lots numbers containing RB
  • -certain lots of Similac formula powder product lines offered in sizes such as 8-ounce, 12.4-ounce and 12.9-ounce cans
  • -Similac formula powder in 8-ounce sample cans that could have been given out in doctor's offices and hospitals

The Similac recall does not affect the ready-to-feed or concentrated baby formula or specialty Similac formulas. Check out the recalled brands at for all brands and lot numbers or you may call Abbott’s consumer hotline 800-986-8850.

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

Controversial Time Magazine Cover

1:45 to read

You’ve probably either seen or heard about the current Time magazine cover with the photograph of a mother breastfeeding her 3 year-old son.  It’s definitely stirring up a lot of debate.  Some people think the photo is inappropriate. Some are “grossed out.” Other folks are wondering how the child will deal with the sudden- and thanks to the Internet- eternal notoriety. Then there’s the debate over breast milk versus formula.

Most of the comments I have read are by women with the occasional man wondering if years of breastfeeding are ruining the mother’s breast. Images certainly can spur a myriad of reactions.

The actual article that the photo is supposed to represent is about attachment parenting. Attachment parenting has come into vogue through the writings of Dr. Bill Sears and his wife Martha. Their book, The Baby Book, was published in 1992, and promotes extended breast-feeding, co-sleeping and “baby wearing,” in which infants are physically attached to their parents by slings. But a lot of people are having a hard time getting pass the cover to read the article.

Another debate the photo has inspired is "how old is too old" for a child to breastfeed?

Personally I think that’s a parent’s choice. I’ve known mothers who breastfed till their child was 3, others who breastfed from 6 months to a year, and others who didn’t breastfeed at all. All the children are doing well.

Breastfeeding is the natural way to feed your baby. Not every mom can or wants to breastfeed her child, but there are plenty of good reasons to give it a try.

Breast milk contains all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs in the first six months of life, and it is easily digested. Also, breast milk contains antibodies that help protect infants from a wide variety of infectious diseases, including diarrhea. Studies suggest that breastfed babies are less likely to develop certain medical problems, including diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma, and allergies. Breastfeeding may also decrease the chances that the child will become overweight or obese.

Those are all very good reasons for mothers to breastfeed their children.

There are times however, when breastfeeding isn’t recommended. Sometimes a mother's health can interfere with her ability to breastfeed. For example, a mother undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, or a mom who is infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV, the virus that causes AIDS) should not breastfeed.

If you have a medical condition or take any medications on a regular basis, you should check with your doctor before breastfeeding. Mothers with inverted nipples can have a difficult time breastfeeding.

How long should you breastfeed? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mother and baby desire. The World Health Organization recommends continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.

Is the Time magazine cover making a positive or negative statement about breastfeeding, or is it just a clever way to get publicity and sell magazines? I think we know the answer to that.


Your Baby

Safer Baby Cribs

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Good News for Babies! After years of accidents- including some that were fatal- caused by unsafe baby cribs, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has strengthened the safety requirements for baby-crib production.There was excellent news from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for babies, parents and caregivers yesterday! Consumers will see a new generation of safer cribs for sale at local and national retail stores.

After years of accidents- including some that were fatal- caused by unsafe baby cribs, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has strengthened the safety requirements for baby-crib manufacturing. Safer cribs will mean a safer sleep for babies across the country. On December 15, 2010, the CPSC voted unanimously to approve new mandatory crib standards, establishing the most stringent crib safety standards in the world. Beginning immediately, all importers, distributors, manufacturers, and retailers must offer only cribs that meet the CPSC’s new and improved full-size and non-full-size crib standards. The new rules prohibit the manufacture, sale, or resale of traditional drop-side cribs. Mattress supports and crib slats will be strengthened, crib hardware will be made more durable and safety testing will be more rigorous. "A safe crib is the safest place for a baby to sleep. It is for this reason that I am so pleased that parents, grandparents and caregivers now can shop with confidence and purchase cribs that meet the most stringent crib standards in the world," said Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "From the start, our goal has been to prevent deaths and injuries to babies in cribs, and now the day has come where only stronger and safer cribs are available for consumers to purchase." CPSC has recalled more than 11 million dangerous cribs since 2007. Drop-side cribs with detaching side rails were associated with at least 32 infant suffocation and strangulation deaths since 2000. Additional deaths have occurred due to faulty or defective crib hardware. The new standards aim to prevent these tragedies and keep children safer in their cribs. Starting on December 28, 2012, child care facilities, including family child care homes and infant Head Start centers, as well as places of public accommodation, such as hotels and motels, and rental companies must use only cribs that comply with the new crib standards. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) required the CPSC to update the old crib standards, which had not gone through a major revision in more than 30 years, to ensure that the standards provided the highest level of safety possible. If you already own a drop-side crib, contact the crib manufacturer to find out if your crib has been recalled or if it will send you a bracket that will immobilize the drop side. For more information on crib safety you can go to

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


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 and and 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 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).


Your Baby

Arsenic In Fruit Juice

2.00 to read

There’s been a lot of media coverage about the pros and cons of giving children fruit juice to drink. Now a new study conducted by Consumer Reports says that 10 percent of juices tested by the magazine had arsenic levels higher than allowed in water by the Food and Drug Administration.

Brands including Apple & Eve, Great Value, Mott's, Walgreens and Welch's had at least one sample that exceeded the 10 parts per billion threshold, it said. Other juices with low arsenic levels include: America's Choice Apple; Tropicana 100% Apple; and Red Jacket Orchards 100% Apple.

One of the big concerns is that so many children drink fruit juice daily. Arsenic can accumulate in children’s bodies over time, and raise their risk for cancer, and other serious illnesses.

The 88 samples came from 28 apple and three grape juice brand products that were purchased by Consumer Reports. They included ready-to-drink bottles, juice boxes and cans of concentrate from different lot numbers at stores around New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The Juice Products Association responded to the report by saying that comparing juice to water was not appropriate.

The FDA has different guidelines for juice than it does water. While the guideline for water is 10 ppb of inorganic arsenic, juices are allowed higher levels at 23 ppb.

"Fruit juice producers are confident the juice being sold today is safe," said Gail Charnley, a toxicologist for the juice association.

“They showed that the juice samples they tested met the Food and Drug Administration’s limit on arsenic in juice,” Charnley said. “The toxicologists and the food safety experts at the FDA set that limit in a precautionary public health based kind of way. And the food industry is committed to meeting those limits.”

The FDA is willing to look at it’s fruit juice standards and possibly make some adjustments.

"We welcome the research that Consumer Reports has undertaken and look forward to reviewing the data that formed the basis for their story and their recommendations,” the agency noted. “We continue to find the vast majority of apple juice tested to contain low levels of arsenic, including the most recent samples from China. For this reason, FDA is confident in the overall safety of apple juice consumed in this country. By the same token, a small percentage of samples contain elevated levels of arsenic. In response, FDA has expanded our surveillance activities and is collecting additional data”

Consumer Reports also found about one-fourth of all juice samples had lead levels at or above the federal limit for bottled water, it said.

The advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, Consumer Union, said in the report these findings should be enough to prompt the federal government to establish arsenic limits for juice.

The FDA has conducted recent tests on fruit juice after Dr. Mehmet OZ talked about high levels of arsenic, in children’s fruit juice, on his television show. The FDA said its results showed very low level of total arsenic in the samples it tested.

One of the issues the FDA had with Oz’s study was its failure to separate out measurements of inorganic and organic arsenic. Studies have linked inorganic arsenic to a variety of cancers. But many consider organic arsenics – especially the types commonly found in seafood - to be safe.

As far as Consumer Reports is concerned, that’s not a proper way to evaluate arsenic in drinks and food.

“Questions have been raised about the human health effects of other types of organic arsenic in foods, including juices,” the magazine noted. “Use of organic arsenic in agricultural products has caused concern. For instance, the EPA in 2006 took steps to stop the use of herbicides containing organic arsenic because of their potential to turn into inorganic arsenic in the soil and contaminate drinking water.”

Beyond this, there’s evidence that organic arsenic converts into the inorganic form when chickens consume feeds that contain the compound, Consumer Reports researchers noted.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)  has also weighed in on giving kids fruit juice to drink.  Their website notes that drinking too much juice can contribute to obesity, the development of cavities (dental caries), diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems, such as excessive gas, bloating and abdominal pain.

The AAP suggests that:

  • When you give your child juice, it should be 100% pasteurized fruit juice and not fruit drinks.
  • Infants under 6 months of age should not be given juice, although many Pediatricians do recommend small amounts of juice for children that are constipated.
  • Infants between 6 and 12 months can drink up to 4 to 6 ounces of juice a day, but should do it only in a cup, not a bottle.
  • Younger children aged 1 to 6 years should have only 4 to 6 ounces of juice a day.
  • Older children should be limited to 8 to 12 ounces of juice a day.
  • Instead of juice, children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits.

The arsenic study will be featured in the January, 2012 issue of Consumer Reports magazine and is available online.


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