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Parenting

Recall! 7 Brands of Self-Balancing Scooters and Hoverboards

3:00

More recalls and an advisory have been issued for self-balancing scooters and hoverboards. Many of these products have caused fires, injuries and accidents.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (UPSC) issued an urgent advisory to consumers to stop using LayZ Board hoverboards after the boards were involved in yet another house-destroying fire in Manchester Township, Pennsylvania.

This follows a house fire in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where two young girls died.  A Harrisburg firefighter also died when his car crashed on the way to the fire.

Along with the “stay-away” LayZ Board UPSC advisory, 7 other brands have been recalled.

The problem with the recalled hoverboards, as stated in each recall notice is: “The lithium-ion battery packs in the self-balancing scooters/hoverboards can overheat, posing a risk of the products smoking, catching fire and/or exploding.”

The 7 brands of recalled self-balancing scooters/ hoverboards are listed below. Consumers should immediately stop using these recalled scooters/hoverboards.

·      Smart Balance Wheel Self-Balancing Scooters/ Hoverboards by Salvage World due to explosion and fire hazards. Consumers can contact: Salvage World toll-free at 888-726-9603 from 10 a.m. 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or online at www.salvageworldllc.com and click on Recall Notice for more information.

·      Drone Nerds Self-Balancing Scooters/ Hoverboardsdue to explosion and fire hazards. Consumers can contact: Drone Nerds toll-free at 888-785-7543 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, email at hbrecall@gmail.com or online at www.dronenerds.com and click on “Recall Notice” for more information.

·      Go Wheels Self-Balancing Scooters/ Hoverboards by Four Star Imports due to fire and explosion hazards; sold exclusively at Village Mart. Consumers can contact Four Star Imports at 800-780-5231 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT or online at www.villagemart.com and click on Recall Notice.

·      .iHoverspeed Self-Balancing Scooters/ Hoverboards by Simplified Wireless due to fire hazard. Simplified Wireless toll-free at 833-220-1212 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or email at simplifiedrecall@gmail.com.

·      iLive Self-Balancing Scooters/ Hoverboards by Digital Products due to fire hazard. Contact DPI at 800-311-9263 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT or online at www.iliveelectronics.com and click on “Recall Notice” for more information.

·      Tech Drift Recalls Self-Balancing Scooters/Hoverboards due to fire and explosion hazards. Tech Drift at 800-491-0264 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or email techdriftmyk@gmail.com for more information.

·      Sonic Smart Wheels Self-Balancing Scooters/Hoverboards by Dollar Mania due to explosion and fire hazards. Dollar Mania toll-free at 844-333-4457 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or online on the Dollar Mania Facebook page for more information. 

For more information and images of all the recalled products, go to: https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls?page=1

 

Parenting

Cradle and Bassinet Safety Tips

1:45

Cradles and bassinets can be convenient for parents and comfortable for babies. You can move them easily from room to room, letting you keep an eye on baby during the day. At night, you can keep your baby in your own bedroom during the first few weeks of life as you and baby adjust to a new sleeping schedule.

In recent years, cradles and bassinets have gained new features: You can buy ones that vibrate, are on wheels, swivel from side to side, or nestle next to your bed for co-sleeping without bed-sharing. They’re also great for trips to see the grandparents.

While they are handy, cradles and bassinets are not substitutes for a crib. Babies outgrow them, so you’ll need a crib sooner or later, but they can be useful.

Just like cribs, there are important safety tips to be aware of when using cradles and bassinets:

  • Avoid bassinets and cradles with a motion or rocking feature, as these have caused suffocation when babies rolled against the edge. If you use an heirloom-rocking cradle, supervise your infant while in use.
  • As with a crib, a bassinet, cradle, sleeper or play yard should have a firm mattress that fits snugly without any space around the edges so a baby’s head can’t get wedged in and lead to suffocation. The American Academy of Pediatrics has not yet weighed in on the safety of these products; some pediatricians have warned parents that they are not safe for overnight sleeping. Parents should err on the side of caution and use only products that comply with safe-sleep recommendations.
  • If you have pets or other young children in the house – for instance, a dog who might knock over a bassinet, a cat who might climb in, or a toddler who might try to lift your baby from a bassinet – stick with a crib.
  • Moses baskets - a woven basket with handles - are often lined with puffy fabric, which raises a baby's risk for suffocation or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and are best avoided.

Bassinets and cradles are designed for babies under 5 months old, and who cannot push up on hands and knees.

These temporary products can be helpful for keeping an eye on your baby while they are napping, if you need to move from room to room or stay overnight in another home. Parents and caregivers need to make sure any cradle or bassinet used meets current CPSIA safety standards.

Story sources: https://www.babycenter.com/bassinets-baskets

 

Parenting

Happy Halloween!

2:00

It’s that time of year as goblins, ghouls, super-heroes, pirates and princesses make their way through neighborhoods with outstretched hands and shy giggles.  Yep, Halloween is here!

While little ones concentrate on having fun, parents can help make this traditional holiday safer.

Candy check:

·      Children shouldn’t snack on treats from their goody bags while they’re out trick-or-treating. Give them a light meal or snack before they head out – don’t send them out on an empty stomach. Urge them to wait until they get home and let you inspect their loot before they eat any of it.

·      Tell children not to accept – and especially not to eat – anything that isn’t commercially wrapped. Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.

·      If your child has a food allergy, check the label to ensure the allergen isn’t present. Do not allow the child to eat any home-baked goods he or she may have received.

·      If you have very young children, be sure to remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys.

Preventing fires and burns:

·      Select flame retardant materials when buying or making costumes.

·      Choose battery-operated candles and lights instead of open-flame candles.

Good visibility:

·      Make sure your child can see clearly where they are going and can be seen.

·      Trim costumes or clothing with reflective tape. Many costumes are dark in color and can’t easily be seen by car drivers.

·      Give your child a small flashlight or glow stick to carry with them if they are trick- or- treating after dusk.

Pumpkin Carving: Carving pumpkins is traditional in many families and while the results can be stunning, great care needs to be taken when children are involved. 

·      Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.

·      Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.

·      Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.

Costumes: Store bought costumes rarely fit properly, so you may need to make some adjustments.

·      Adjust costumes to ensure a good fit. Long skirts or capes can drag on the ground and cause falls.

·      Secure hats, scarves and masks to ensure that your child can see everything that is going on around them. Also, check to see that nothing is keeping your child from breathing properly. Masks and some super-hero helmets can fir too tightly, making it hard to breathe.

·      Make sure that swords, canes or sticks are not sharp.

Home safety:

·      To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.

·      Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.

·      Wet leaves or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps.

·      Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.

An adult should always accompany young children. When your child is about ten, they may start asking to go with their friends. There are some questions to think about before you decide to let them go out on their own:

·      What is your child’s maturity level? Do they normally act pretty responsible and make good choices?

·      Who are the friends they want to go with and what is their maturity level?

·      What area are they going to be trick-or-treating in?  Will it be local or in an area your child may not be familiar with?

·      What time to they plan to start and be back home? Give your child a definite time.

Colored contacts have become popular with some older children. Often the packets these contacts come in have advertising on the package claiming that, “One size fits all.” They don’t.  These lenses are illegal in some states, but can be found online. They may cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye infections. Avoid these at all costs.

Whether your child is with you - or out with friends - make sure someone has a charged cell phone with them.  You want be prepared in case of an emergency.

Halloween has changed over the years and lots of parents now take their children to specific places that host Halloween parties and activities, but whether it’s in a controlled environment or out on the streets, it’s still smart to keep safety first.

Sources: https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/pages/Halloween-Safety-Tips.aspx

 Dr. Karen Sherman, http://www.hitchedmag.com/article.php?id=365

https://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm187021.htm

 

 

 

Daily Dose

Car Seat Safety

1:30 to read

I recently received a text from a patient who asked if she could turn her 17 month old child’s car seat around and have it forward facing in the back seat. She said that her car seat instructions read “may forward face after the child weighs 20 lbs”.

 

Not long after that, another patient came in for her 18 month check up and during the course of the check up I always ask about car seat position.  I remind them that they should continue to have their child in a rear facing car-seat until they 2 years of age.  The child’s mother said that she had turned the car seat around to forward facing because the child “did not like rear facing”.  Interesting discussion with a toddler.

 

So, this just so happens to be Child Passenger Safety Week and National Car Seat Check Saturday as well. What a better time to remind parents that the safest way to restrain your child who is under the age of 2 years (depending on your carseat height and weight restrictions)  is in a rear facing car seat.  

 

In a recently published article in the journal Pediatrics, about 38% of 17-19 months olds were not following AAP recommendations to ride in a rear-facing car seat. The recommendations were changed in 2011 as studies found that young children in a forward-facing car seat were 5 times more likely to be seriously injured than those in a rear-facing seat. 

 

In the study many of the families involved who had their children forward-facing often said that they “thought their child was too tall or too heavy to be rear-facing”. Others commented that “their feet were touching the back seat and they looked uncomfortable”. 

 

Interestingly, your child has been in a rear-facing car seat since birth, so it is strange that they “prefer” to forward face.  Kind of like being in the middle seat of an airplane, if you have never been seated on the aisle you don’t know the difference in seats.

 

If you are concerned about the appropriate car seat for your child or how to install it, this is a good week to have a car seat expert help make sure that your child is riding in the safest car seat possible. If your child is under the age of 2…that also means rear facing!  

 

 

 

 

 

  

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Daily Dose

Baby Bling Can Be Dangerous!

1:15 to read

I recently saw a TV segment on “blinging” your baby and toddler. It seems that the latest craze is decking out not only little girls, but also little boys. Being the mother of three sons I can understand wanting to “dress up” boys as well (little boy clothes can be a bit boring) but a few of the models on TV were wearing necklaces. 

Now, a boy wearing a necklace doesn’t bother me at all, but a baby or toddler with a necklace worries me!  This isn’t about gender, rather about safety.  

A necklace is a real choking and strangling danger for babies and young children. I know that many parents receive necklaces for their babies on the occasion of a baptism and in some cultures an infant is given a necklace made of string or beads to wear soon after birth. 

But, whenever a baby comes into my office with a necklace on I discuss the possibility, even if remote, of the child suffocating if the necklace gets caught or twisted around the child’s neck. There is no reason to even risk it! 

Baby bling is great if you want to put your child in cute shirts, hats, or even trendy jeans. Go for it!  But I would never put a necklace on a child. It is akin to the adage about peanuts...when should a child be allowed to eat peanuts?  When they can spell the word!  

We pediatricians are no longer worried about peanut allergies in the young child, it is the choking hazard that is the real concern. It’s the same for a necklace. Let your child wear it when they can spell the word, or put it on when your 3 year old plays dress up, but take it off once finished. There is no need to ever have a young child sleep in anything like a necklace, or anything that has a cord until they are much older. 

Children ages 4 and under, and especially those under the age of 1 year, are at the greatest risk for airway obstruction and suffocation.  So, put the necklace back in the jewelry box for awhile. You can re-wrap for re-gifting and re-wearing at a later date. Safety before bling! 

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Parenting

Is Your Child Ready for a Tricycle or Bicycle?

2:00

Whether it’s a birthday or the holidays, sooner or later you’re going to start thinking about either a tricycle or bicycle for your little one. Despite some potential hazards, riding bikes and trikes is a fundamental part of childhood.

At what age is a child typically ready for a trike? Most children are able to handle one around 3 years old.

You want to look for a trike that is low to the ground and has big wheels. These are less likely to tip over. You also want to have your child try on several bicycle helmets to make sure it fits properly. 

It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, tricycles should only be used in protected places. Because they are so low to the ground, they are difficult for motorists to see on a street or in a driveway. Drivers need to be particularly vigilant in checking to see whether a youngster is anywhere near the car before pulling out of a driveway. Without a backup camera, you won’t see a small child on a tricycle when backing out.

Once your little one masters a tricycle, when is it safe to move on to a 2-wheeler? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children should be at least 5 years old or older before learning to ride a bicycle. One of the most important tips for buying a bicycle for your child is to purchase the correct size. The wrong size bike can cause your child to lose control be injured.

While it may be fun to surprise your little one with a bike, he or she really needs to try it out first to help choose the correct size. Sometimes parents are tempted to buy one that their child can grow into – don’t do it. A bike that is too large is hard to maneuver and especially dangerous for a first time bike owner.

How do you know how to find the right size? The AAP offers these tips on how to test any style bike for the proper fit:

  • Sitting on the seat with hands on the handlebar, your child must be able to place the balls of both feet on the ground.
  • Straddling the center bar, your child should be able to stand with both feet flat on the ground with about a 1-inch clearance between the crotch and the bar.
  • When buying a bike with hand brakes for an older child, make sure that the child can comfortably grasp the brakes and apply sufficient pressure to stop the bike.

Also, think about your child’s coordination skills. You can consider coaster brakes until your child is older and more experienced.​

Many of today’s adults didn’t grow up with helmets, but they have proven exceptionally valuable in preventing serious brain injury from falls. Make sure your child has a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)-approved helmet.

Let’s face it; tricycles and bicycles are one of a child’s first steps towards independence. Once balance and braking are mastered, the freedom of moving through space on your own is intoxicating. They’re also a great way for families to exercise and spend some quality time together outside.

Story sources: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Choosing-the-Right-Size-Bicycle.aspx

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Ready-For-A-Tricycle.aspx

Parenting

Recall: 587,000 Preferred Kids Wind-Up Musical Toys

1:30

More than 500,000 wind-up musical toys are being recalled because of a choking hazard. The stuffed animals come in a variety of animal characters and colors.

The recalled Preferred Kids Wind-Up Musical Toys have a metal post and /or handle that can detach and get stuck in a child’s throat if they put the part in their mouth.

The firm has received six reports of parts from the wind-up handle detaching from the toy. No injuries have been reported so far.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled toys, take them away from young children and contact Kids Preferred for a free replacement toy.

The toys were sold at Carter’s, Target, Walmart and other stores nationwide and online from January 2016 through August 2017 for between $11 and $20.

Consumers can contact Kids Preferred toll-free at 888-968-9268 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, email at recall@kidspreferred.com or online at www.kidspreferred.com and click on “Product Safety” for more information.

The model number and batch code are printed on the smallest white sewn-in label behind the care label.

A list of model numbers and batch codes as well as photos and descriptions of the recalled toys can be found at https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2017/kids-preferred-recalls-wind-up-musical-toys

Daily Dose

CPR

1:00 to read

I was seeing a newborn the other day and the parents had a great idea. Their baby had spit up and they were concerned about how to clear his airway.  When we discussed how to hold the baby to clear the airway they had the great idea of having a CPR “teaching party” for a group of their friends who also had young babies!

 

I do encourage new parents (actually all parents and even grandparents) to take a CPR class. I am fortunate that we have yearly CPR class in our office which keeps us all up to date. 

 

It is fairly easy to find local CPR classes either through the YMCA, the American Heart Association and often through the hospital where you deliver your baby.  But, in these cases you have to take the class on “their schedule”. What a great idea to host a party with your friends and hire a certified CPR instructor to come to you!!

 

You know I do like to “isolate” my newborn patients from crowds (for 6-8 weeks), but it is fun to gather with other parents of newborns to get some social interaction. If everyone brought their baby, and a dish for dinner, it could be a mini dinner party followed by CPR training….ending with wine!

 

So…let’s start planning CPR parties, I may even do one for my friends who are becoming grandparents!

 

 

Your Baby

FDA Warns that “Sleep Positioners” Are Dangerous for Infants

2:00

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to parents and caregivers of infants about the dangers of using sleep positioners. The products are also known as “nests” or “anti-roll” supports.

The two most common sleep positioners include two raised pillows or "bolsters" attached to a mat. Babies younger than 6 months old are placed on the mat between the pillows to keep them in a specific position while they are sleeping. 

But putting babies to sleep on or near soft objects, such as positioners, toys, pillows and loose bedding, increases the risk for accidental suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says. 

Some babies have been found in dangerous positions next to a positioner they had been placed in for sleeping. Federal officials also reported that infants have died after being placed in one of these products. In most cases, the infants got out of position, rolled onto their stomachs and suffocated, the FDA explained.

The FDA and infant heath experts say that babies should always be put to sleep on their backs on a firm, empty mattress, preferably in a crib.

Babies should never sleep with a positioner, pillow, blanket, sheets, a comforter or a quilt, the FDA advised. Appropriate clothing keeps babies warm enough while they are sleeping.

Some sleep positioner companies claim that their products prevent SIDS. But the FDA noted it has never cleared an infant sleep positioner that promises to prevent or reduce the risk of SIDS since there is no scientific evidence to back up this claim.

Some of the companies also promote their products as helpful for easing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition that causes stomach acids to back up into the esophagus. Others suggest their positioners help prevent flat head syndrome (plagiocephaly), a deformation caused by pressure on one part of the skull.

While it’s true that the FDA has previously approved some of these products for GERD and flat head syndrome, the government agency has asked these companies to stop marketing these items because it feels that the risks outweigh the benefits.

Every year about 4,000 infants die unexpectedly while sleeping due to suffocation, SIDS or another unknown cause, according to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

The FDA urged parents and caregivers to talk to their child's doctor if they have questions about how to make sure their baby sleeps safely.

Story source: Mary Elizabeth Dallas,  https://consumer.healthday.com/kids-health-information-23/sudden-infant-death-syndrome-sids-news-643/sleep-positioners-a-danger-to-baby-fda-727180.html

 

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