July/Aug. 2011 - Your Infant: Keeping Babies Safe Started From a Crib Tragedy
New Federal Crib Safety Laws Took Effect June 28, 2011
Effective June 28th, manufacturers and retailers have to comply with the new standards – old inventory of cribs can no longer be sold, according to Casey Welch of Just for Baby in Savannah. This includes stores that sell used furniture, or individuals selling their cribs individually.
Many stores, such as Just for Baby, stopped ordering cribs that did not comply more than two years ago. And a number of manufacturers have been selling kits to fix cribs that do not meet new standards. Parents can spend up to a thousand dollars on a crib and often keep cribs for many years, as well as passing them on to family members and friends.
However, hotels, daycare centers, and other similar types of facilities will have until December 2012 to comply, and parents should be aware of this, Welch suggests.
The national organization "Keeping Babies Safe applauds these new standards and is proud to have played a part in their enactment," according to Joyce Davis, president of Keeping Babies Safe.
The new crib regulations include the stopping of the manufacture and sale of drop-side cribs; making mattress supports stronger; improving slat strength; making crib hardware more durable; and making safety testing more rigorous by manufacturers distributing in the United States.
Keeping Baby Safe (KBS) also played a significant role in influencing lawmakers to mandate these new crib safety laws. "KBS has worked integrally with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in representing the consumer's perspective in the new law," according to Jack Walsh, Director Emeritus of KBS and a crib safety expert. KBS has successfully lobbied Congress for stronger crib laws on drop-side cribs and better legislation to regulate manufactures of cribs to ensure that every baby sleeps in a safe environment.
Joyce Davis lost her son Garret when he suffocated in a supplemental mattress used in a crib that was advertised as suitable for that particular brand of crib. She has made it her mission to help families avoid the loss she has endured by ensuring that credible crib safety information is available to all parents.
While the accomplishments in the field of child product safety have been remarkable, KBS felt there was much to be done, specifically in the general area of safe sleep environments. Congress drafted a bill that covered cribs and most juvenile products. The CPSC was responsible for implementing the bill, and KBS worked integrally with the CPSC and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) in representing the consumer's perspective in the new law. The bill lists Garret's name as a real life example of a tragedy caused by an unsafe crib. The new safety standards aim to keep children safer in cribs and prevent injury or death resulting from detaching crib drop-sides, or defective hardware.
KBS, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and CPSC have combined efforts to create "Safe Sleep For Babies" videos and safety tips which KBS is making available to the general public, hospitals and health and human service agencies nationwide. This critical safety information is available on keepingbabiessafe.org to help guide parents through the do's and don'ts of how to maintain a safe nursery and crib environment.
"Parents need to know what a safe crib is and parents can't assume that just because one baby 'had no problem' with a crib that it is automatically safe for future use," says Joyce. She recommends the Following Safety Tips:
• If you have a drop side crib you should get rid of it and dispose of it properly so no one can use it. To disassemble a drop side crib correctly, throw out all the loose parts and screws in a bag along with one slat. Wait a week before you discard the rest of the crib so the crib cannot be reassembled.
• If traveling, call the hotel/motel ahead of time to find out the crib make and model they provide. Do they have crib sheets? Many hotels, for example, don't have crib bed sheets. Many use twin bed sheets in a crib and this is not safe. Inspect the crib to make sure it's durable and there are no missing or loose parts. If it's a portable play yard they should not use any supplemental mattress. If it's a crib, the mattress should fit properly in the crib. You cannot assume the hotel, day care facility or rental company will have the safest cribs, or non-recalled cribs, she adds. These facilities have another 18 months (Dec. 28, 2012) to comply with this legislation.
Keeping Babies Safe (www.keepingbabiessafe.org) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides education, assistance and leadership in keeping babies safe from preventable injuries associated with unsafe cribs and unsafe sleep environments. Keeping Babies Safe offers the most reliable crib and sleep safety information, product recall information and safety tips so parents can stay informed and keep their children safe.
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April 2011 - When Your Baby Has a Birth Defect
We see happy images of and tend to hear about only healthy babies. But many babies are born with problems called birth defects. These are abnormalities of structure, function or body chemistry that will require medical or surgical care or could have some effect on a child's development.
About 150,000 babies are born in the United States each year with birth defects, according to the March of Dimes. There is a wide range of birth defects, from mild to severe, and they can be inherited or caused by something in the environment. In many cases, the cause is unknown. Often, doctors can detect a birth defect when they do prenatal tests.
If you've just found out that your child has a birth defect, you're probably experiencing many emotions. Parents in your situation often say that they feel overwhelmed and uncertain whether they will be able to care for their child properly. Fortunately, you aren't alone — with a little effort, you'll find that there are lots of people and resources to help you.
As the parent of a child with a birth defect, it's important for you to:
One of the best things you can do for yourself and your child is to seek support.
Getting in touch with someone who's been through the same thing can be helpful; ask your doctor or a social worker at your hospital if they know any other parents in the area who have children with the same condition. Joining a support group may also help — consult your child's doctors or specialists for advice about finding a local or national support group.
The amount each person would like to learn varies from parent to parent, but try to educate yourself as much and as soon as you are able. Start by asking your doctors lots of questions. Record the answers as best as you can. If you're not satisfied with the answers — or if a doctor is unable to answer your questions thoroughly — don't be afraid to seek second opinions.
Additional places to get information include:
Keep a binder with a running list of questions and the answers you find, as well as suggestions for further reading and any materials your child's doctor gives you. In addition, keep an updated list of all healthcare providers and their phone numbers, as well as emergency numbers, so you're able to reach them quickly and efficiently.
Part of this process of collecting information should involve exploring options for paying for treatment and ongoing care for your child. There may be extra medical and therapeutic costs associated with caring for a child with a birth defect. In addition to health insurance, many resources are available, including nonprofit disability organizations, private foundations, Medicaid, and state and local programs. One of the hospital social workers should be able to help you learn more about these resources.
Besides identifying, evaluating and treating your child's needs, early intervention programs will:
Your child's doctor or a social worker at the hospital where you gave birth should be able to connect you with the early intervention program in your area.
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FEB. 2011 - How to Form a Lasting Bond with Baby
By Jonathan M. Fanaroff, M.D., J.D.
With such high stakes, many parents feel anxious about the process — especially when the initial bond isn’t what the parent expected. It’s important to remember that bonding happens naturally, however. Whether you feel an instant connection to your newborn or it takes a bit longer, there are many ways to build a secure bond.
Your bond with your child will change over the years, but its importance never fades. The key to bonding is simply to discover and enjoy your baby. Early bonding is a wonderful start to the long process of developing a trusting, loving and lasting relationship.
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NOV 2010 - Is Your Baby Getting Enough Vitamin D?
You take her to regular checkups, monitor her nutrition, provide plenty of cuddle time and stimulation, and keep her out of the sun. But is your newborn really getting everything she needs to thrive? More likely than not, she is not getting enough vitamin D, according to studies published by a leading group of doctors.
Also known as the "sunshine vitamin," vitamin D supports the growth of healthy bones in infants and assists with maintaining functions of their brain, heart and various muscle tissues. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets, a disorder that weakens the bones and becomes apparent during infancy or childhood.
"Vitamin D is not only important in bone health, but emerging data support its role in maintaining our immunity and preventing diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Unfortunately, many infants are not receiving adequate levels of vitamin D from breast milk, formula, or synthesis from sunlight," says Dr. Scott Cohen, a pediatrician and author of the book Eat, Sleep, Poop: A Common Sense Guide to Your Child's First Year.
For many people, exposure to sunlight is the body's way of producing vitamin D. But many others, including children being protected from the sun or those with darker skin, need supplemental vitamin D.
In 2008 the American Academy of Pediatricians revised its recommendations regarding vitamin D, saying that all children, including newborns, should receive 400 IU a day of vitamin D – double the previously recommended level. Follow-up studies published this year in the organization's scientific journal, Pediatrics, showed that most children are not receiving vitamin D levels that meet the new 2008 recommendations.
According to data reported in the two studies published in the journal Pediatrics this year, less than 13 percent of infants exclusively breastfed were meeting the daily recommendation of vitamin D. Yet less than 16 percent of infants who were exclusively or predominantly breastfed were receiving supplemental vitamin D.
Ensuring your baby gets enough vitamin D can seem challenging, regardless of whether you feed your child breast milk, infant formula or a combination. So what should you do? Here are a few simple ways to help ensure your baby gets enough vitamin D:
• If you breast feed, talk with your pediatrician to determine whether you should add a vitamin D supplement. While it is the gold standard for infant nutrition, breast milk by itself generally will not supply your baby with enough vitamin D to meet the AAP recommended levels.
• If you formula feed or partially formula feed your baby, you also should talk with your doctor. Standard infant formulas include 400 IU of vitamin D in 34 fluid ounces, but most babies consume an average of approximately 27 fluid ounces of formula a day over the course of their first three months of life. Look for a formula that supplies 400 IU in fewer fluid ounces, or talk with your doctor about supplements.
• Remember that your child's need for vitamin D does not stop when he or she transitions to solid foods. Continue the conversation with your doctor and choose foods and drinks that contain vitamin D, including milk and milk-based beverages designed for toddlers.
“During infancy, you have just one chance to get nutrition right. For U.S. babies, vitamin D is often lacking but it is critical for healthy bones and body,” says Dr. Gregory Finn, a pediatrician at Blue Fish Pediatrics in St. Louis, Mo.
– Source: ARA Content
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JULY 2010 - Work and Stay-at-Home Dad Writes About New Babies
CF Staff Report
Levin’s new page turner along with his highly trafficked web blog bust a variety of common parenting myths wide open, he believes. "I feel that we, parents, live with some unacceptable assumptions and misconceptions about raising kids, and I bust them all in this book"
"Once a kid comes into your life, there's no turning back, so you'd best get ready early, whether it's in nine months or nine years. I am eliminating the guesswork for parents everywhere.”
Levin’s story is also one of perseverance and a young father's dying wish to raise great kids. Levin (Israeli) was diagnosed at 26 with an irreversibly fatal kidney disease. Despite this grim prediction, he and his French wife, Michelle, decided to start a family. Knowing he was living on borrowed time, he decided to become a work/ stay-at-home dad and shoulder most of the responsibility of caring for his son for the first year of his life.
Levin continues to stay at home and raise his now two adorable children, a son, Eden who is 5 years of age, and daughter, Oriane who is 4.The experience of writing "The Diaper Chronicles" turned into something extremely meaningful, and provided valuable learning lessons. Lessons that despite his diagnosis, Levin believes will live on within happy, growing families everywhere.
"I believe I represent a growing new type of dads in America - fathers who are involved with their kids, empower and motivate them to become great children," continues Levin. "Such dads choose to reverse the traditional roles of fathers and mothers and invest their time in the education of their kids."
He writes about reading the body language of babies, raising a baby with a pet up through potty training. For first time parents, it’s a must read.
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