June 6, 2008
December 21, 2007
Infants and toddlers under the age of 2 should not participate in downhill sledding or tobogganing, even as a passenger accompanied by an adult. The risks are many for a fragile young child of that age. It is better to take your child for rides by pulling them on a sled or snow disk on flat ground. Once your child is old enough to participate in downhill sledding they should be closely supervised by you until about the age of 6 or 7. You should also teach them the proper safety rules for sledding.
August 16, 2007
The FDA on Wednesday warned parents never to give cough and cold medications to children under age 2 unless instructed to do so by a doctor. The medications have been blamed for hundreds of injuries and a handful of deaths in children under age 2. Many parents ignore the labels warning against this.
Cold medicines in high doses can affect the heart, and lead to arrhythmia’s. Some medicines have been associated with high blood pressure and strokes. In rare cases children have been injured when given recommended doses. Some of the injuries and deaths resulted when parents gave two different products to their child, not realizing that both contained identical medicines, resulting in an overdose.
June 13, 2007
There are 2 new Gate Mounting products on the market that solve various issues with installing a baby gate at a stairway.
The first the KidCo K12 Hole Free Gate Installation Kit is cleverly designed to fit on the wood banister posts that are often at the top or bottom of stairways. It fits onto round or square posts and allows you to install a baby gate without drilling into the decorative banister post. It has adjustable clamps, a wood strip and all the hardware needed to install a gate.
The second is the EZ Fit Gate Adapter. It attaches to virtually any stairway post in less than 5 minutes and provides a solid, smooth surface for attaching wall mounted or pressure mounted safety gates. It is portable and can be quickly reinstalled, with the safety gate, in a new location.
These prodcuts make it much easier to preserve your woodwork when installing baby gates.
February 7, 2007
Of all the poisons parents keep in their house, toothpaste would never come to mind. That’s right, toothpaste. We frequently get questions from parents wondering why this item is listed as a hazardous substance to children. Here’s why. The active ingredient in nearly all toothpaste is some form of Sodium Fluoride, a toxic poison. About 1% of toothpaste contains this compound. Even though it’s a small percentage, it is still enough to cause serious problems if overdosed. This is the reason they tell you on the tube to contact poison control if more than what is used for brushing is ingested. It’s also the reason why swallowing even the small amount used for brushing can give kids a tummy ache. This poses an even greater threat, because the flavored pastes, complete with sparkles, that children are used to putting in their mouth can be mistaken for actual candy. Candy today takes a lot of forms, so you can easily see how some children could get confused. Depending on the age and weight of a child, ingesting even as little as half of a tube could be fatal. Children under 3 Consider toothpaste among one of the more dangerous things you keep in your house, and keep it in a locked cabinet at all times. If you have older children in the house, clearly explain the danger it poses to their younger siblings, so they can help keep it away as well. Children over 3 Children over three are old enough to be told about the danger it can pose. Just explain that, although very good for our teeth , it isn’t good for out stomachs. Let them know that swallowing any more than just what they use for brushing means bad business, and they should never eat it like candy. If you believe a child has ingested more than what is used for brushing, call poison control immediately. Their new national number is 1-800-222-1222.
December 19, 2006
Children are always excited to receive gifts and toys during the holidays. Unfortunately, some toys can pose a safety hazard. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 110,000 children under 15 years of age are treated for toy related injuries each year. Half of these injuries are among children younger than 5 years of age and could have been prevented. Help ensure a safe, and happy holiday season by always keeping these age appropriate safety guidelines in mind when choosing gifts for your children.
Under 3 Years Old
- Avoid toys with small removable parts or parts that could fall off. These can be a choking hazard.
- Look for sturdy construction on items with small parts such as Teddy Bears.
- Watch for items that can be compressed to a size small enough to be put in a baby’s mouth such as a squeeze toy.
- Toys with strings, straps, or cords longer than 7 inches can be a strangulation hazard.
- Avoid teethers or soft plastic toys with chemical components such as Pthlates which can be toxic.
Under 7 Years Old
- All toys should be free of sharp glass or metal edges and should not have parts that could break to expose them.
- Avoid shooting toys such as Air rifles, Arrows, BB guns, Dart guns, Missiles, etc.
- Avoid Chemistry sets or Art kits that could contain toxic chemicals.
- Avoid Electric operated toys with electrical or moving parts that are not enclosed.
- Always read labels for age recommendations
- Always read the instructions for proper toy use
- Avoid toys that produce loud noises that could impair a child’s hearing
- Immediately discard plastic wrappings, which can lead to suffocation.
By following these simple guidelines and using a little common sense while toy shopping you can avoid accidents and make your holiday a safe one.
September 15, 2006
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, inhaling an uninflated balloon or pieces of a broken balloon is one of the leading causes of child suffocation death. A small child can accidentally suck a balloon down her throat while trying to blow it up. Some children think it’s fun to chew on a piece of balloon or to stretch it across their mouth and suck in or blow bubbles, but the balloon can easily be sucked into their airway. Because balloons mold to the contours of the throat and adhere, they can quickly cause suffocation. Carefully follow these safety rules concerning balloons:
- Do not allow a child under 6 years old to blow up a balloon. Always blow it up for them.
- Always supervise children under 6 when they are playing with balloons.
- When the child is old enough to understand, warn them of the danger of sucking or chewing on balloons.
- Keep balloons safely out of reach, and be sure to pickup and safely dispose of all the pieces of broken balloons.
August 25, 2006
There are a lot of Baby Gates on the market from a multitude of different manufacturers. If you are shopping for one, it may be confusing sorting out which company offers the best quality gates. The simple answer is KidCo. They offer the highest quality, best rated, and largest selection of baby gates and extensions in the industry.
KidCo offers pressure gates, walk-thru gates, stairway gates, fireplace gates, play dens, configurable gates, and extra wide gates in an array of sizes and finishes. Most of their gates are made from sturdy metal with a choice of color, but they also offer finished wood gates for various models. All of their gates are adjustable and have optional extensions to custom fit the gate to the opening size.
KidCo gates are a little more expensive than most of the competition, but they are made better and are more durable. They are simply a better value. There are some good gates from other manufacturers but they can’t match the breadth and completeness of the KidCo line of baby gates.
August 14, 2006
Unfortunately not all products marketed for children and babies are completely safe for their use. Many may contain toxic chemicals that may have detrimental health impacts for children exposed during critical stages of development.
Toxic flame retardants (or PBDEs) are set of chemicals used to slow the spread of fire in a wide set of consumer products. Levels of these chemicals found in the breast milk of American women and some fetuses are approaching levels shown to impair learning and cause behavior problems in lab mice.
Phthalates are a family of chemicals used in many plastic children’s products to improve flexibility. Adults and children are exposed to phthalates through everyday contact with these products. These chemicals have been linked to premature birth, reproductive defects, and early onset puberty.
Many Baby Products Tested Contain Toxic Chemicals
When seven infant sleep aids and other products were tested for toxic flame retardants three of those tested positive for PBDEs in the foam material. The tests found multiple PBDEs in the foam of: First Year’s Air Flow Sleep Positioner, the Leachco Sleep n’ Secure 3-in-1 Infant Sleep Positioner, and the PeeWees Disposable Crib Mattress Pads.
When 18 bath books, teethers, bath toys, and others were tested for phthalates, 15 of these tested positive for phthalates.
These tests show that some baby products may in fact contain toxic chemicals. Unfortunately, since manufacturers are not required to label their products for these chemicals, parents have no way of knowing whether or not a product poses a hidden hazard.
In the absence of good government regulations, but armed with the knowledge that some chemicals are a cause for concern, parents can take a few simple steps to limit their child’s exposure to these.
At the store, parents should select toys, baby dishware, and sleep aids made of materials that are less likely to contain toxic chemicals.
At home, parents should avoid washing plastic dishware with harsh dishwashing soap and hot water, which may allow chemicals to leach out of the plastic.
Products to avoid:
- Food containers with polycarbonate or PVC plastic
- Canned foods
- Foods wrapped in plastic
- Polycarbonate plastic baby bottles
Choosing safer products:
- Look for PVC Free labels on toys
- Choose wood toys
- Opt for glass: for baby bottles, and food containers
- Use ceramic, metal, or enamel plates and utensils
If you use plastic products:
- Don’t let children put plastic toys in their mouths
- Never heat food or beverages in plasic containers
- Don’t let milk sit in plastic baby bottles for long periods
- Don’t use harsh detergents or very hot water when washing plastic baby bottles. Never put in dishwasher.
- Throw away plastic bottles that look scratched or hazy