Archive for the ‘ Kids Health ’ Category

This Incredible First-Aid Video Has Saved Over 30 Babies!

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

The Pen That Lost His LidRemember this life-changing video from St. John Ambulance? St. John Ambulance put it together after surveying 4,000 parents and realizing that 4 out of 5 didn’t know how to save a choking baby.

Since the UK video’s successful social media campaign (7.7 million views and counting!), the lives of at least 36 babies have been saved, simply because an adult spent 40 seconds watching the video.

“When my baby son Jax started choking it was an especially scary moment … I’d seen the St John Ambulance advert a few days earlier, so I flipped my son over on to my leg and after the third back slap I gave him, he coughed,” shared Becca Hensman, a British mom, with Huffington Post UK. “If I hadn’t seen that advert I’m not quite sure how I’d have reacted but, thankfully, I had so I knew what to do straight away.”

To help save more lives, St. John has released a free digital picture book called “The Pen That Lost His Lid.” The same characters from the video (Pen, Princess, Peanut, and Jelly Baby) are back to teach parents and kids, ages 3-7, the proper techniques for dislodging a foreign object from baby’s throat. Learn more about the illustrated book at sja.org.uk/pen-lid.

Sherry Huang is a Features Editor for Parents.com. She loves collecting children’s picture books and has an undeniable love for cookies of all kinds. Her spirit animal would be Beyoncé Pad Thai. Follow her on Twitter @sherendipitea.

Screenshot of the book pages from The Pen That Lost His Lide

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A Paleo Diet…for Babies?!

Friday, March 13th, 2015

formula

My friend Mike is a big fan of the Paleo diet. He swears that by nixing all grains, dairy and pulses (a type of legume) from his meals, he can shed weight without much effort. As an old-school kind of girl who prefers the food pyramid over a fad diet, I’m more than a little skeptical.

So when I heard that Aussie celebrity chef Pete Evans was coming out with a Paleo diet cookbook for babies, I thought it was a joke. In fact, I was thisclose to looking it up on Snopes. Deny growing children essential nutrients and vitamins? On purpose?

Then I read about the recipes. Some call for runny (read: raw) eggs and added salt—two additions no person needs, much less young children. And one, the DIY baby formula, can even be downright deadly for babies, warn health officials in Australia. That’s because the formula—a foul-sounding concoction of liver and bone broth—contains more than 10 times the safe maximum intake of vitamin A and lacks other essential nutrients, reports Australian Women’s Weekly.

So concerned are Australian officials about putting babies on the restricted regimen that they’re delaying production of the cookbook, Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way, while they investigate its claims. “In my view, there’s a very real possibility that a baby may die if this book goes ahead,” Professor Heather Yeatman, president of the Public Health Association of Australia, explained to The Weekly. ”Especially if [the DIY formula] was the only food a parent was feeding their infant, it’s a very real risk. And [I consider that] the baby’s growth and development could be impaired.”

To be fair, there are some selling points of the Paleo diet, says Satya D. Narisety, M.D.,a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Rutgers University. Chief among them, its emphasis on consuming lean meats, fish, fruits and veggies and avoiding processed foods and refined sugars. “However, there are some very big problems with the diet’s restriction of dairy, grains and legumes,” she told Parents.com. “Strict adherence to this diet would set an infant and young child up for deficiencies in essential macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B, and certain micronutrients. These deficiencies can lead to increased weakness, very poor growth, impaired cognitive development and rickets, among other devastating consequences.”

But unfortunately, it’s easy to see how parents could be fooled into thinking the fad diet is right for their kids. There are the scores of people—like my friend Mike—who sing its praises, plus there are myriad health benefits it supposedly offers. In the cookbook, Evans suggests that going dairy-, grains- and legume-free could help prevent everything from autism and birth defects to GI issues and asthma. Of course, in a classic CYA move, there’s also a disclaimer tucked away in there stating:”Although we in good faith believe that the information provided will help you live a healthier life, relying on the information contained in this publication may not give you the results you desire or may cause negative health consequences.”

Talk about mixed signals! Your best bet, experts say, is to bypass the fad diets and stick with what we know works: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies under six months ingest only breast milk or formula. Meanwhile, older kiddos should have a healthy, balanced diet of whole grains, dairy, fruits, veggies, meats and legumes.

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+

How to Buy Baby Formula on a Budget
How to Buy Baby Formula on a Budget
How to Buy Baby Formula on a Budget

Image of baby drinking bottle courtesy of Shutterstock

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Toddlers in Boston Are Drinking WHAT?!

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

caffeine baby

America may run on Dunkin’ Donuts, but apparently so do some toddlers in Boston. A new study by Boston Medical Center (BMC) discovered that a shocking 15 percent of 2-year-olds there guzzle up to 4 ounces of coffee a day, CBS reports. And the ones more likely to have a cup of joe were girls and children of Hispanic mothers.

Researchers chalk some of this up to culture. Kids raised in Cambodia, Australia, Ethiopia, and in the Hispanic culture are commonly served coffee, and the practice naturally continues even if the parents live in the U.S. Which means it’s quite possible toddlers are getting their buzz on in places other than Beantown, says Anne Merewood, PhD, MPH, director of the Breastfeeding Center at BMC and the study’s principal investigator.

Though no official government guidelines exist yet, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents against serving babies caffeinated drinks. Besides the obvious havoc it wreaks on sleep, caffeine could lead to weight problems when children start school. According to one study, 2-year-olds who drank coffee or tea between meals or at bedtime were three times more likely to be obese in kindergarten. Other research hints at a link between caffeine consumption in children and issues like depression, type 1 diabetes, and substance abuse.

Not a pretty picture. Still, Merewood says more work needs to be done to figure out exactly early caffeine consumption means for pint-sized coffee drinkers. “Given what the current data shows about the effects of coffee consumption among children and adolescents, additional research is needed to better determine the potential short- and long-term health implications of coffee consumption among this younger age group in Hispanic and other populations,” she explains.

Culture and health concerns aside for a second, I can’t envision myself giving my toddler anything that will give him even more energy, especially before bedtime. Keeping up with him is enough on its own, without adding a caffeine jolt. Plus, he’s pretty happy with the tried-and-true milk and water regiment right now. The way I see it, he’ll have his whole adult life to revel in the joy of a good coffee buzz or a steaming cup of tea. What’s the rush?

Now it’s your turn: What’s your take on the caffeine and babies? Have you ever given your child coffee or tea?

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+

How to Start Solids
How to Start Solids
How to Start Solids

Image of baby drinking courtesy of Shutterstock

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The Quickest Way to Save a Choking Baby: Watch This Video!

Monday, January 26th, 2015

St. John Ambulance Choking Baby videoDo you know what to do when Baby is choking? If you don’t, watch the new animated video below on how to save a choking baby.

The video, titled “The Chokeables,” was created by St. John Ambulance, a first-aid training organization with branches around the world, and is being shared on social media. Every parent can benefit from watching the 40-second video, which features objects that babies commonly choke on (such as a pen cap, a marble, a broken crayon, and a nut). The objects are voiced by three British actors, including Sir John Hurt, who appeared as Mr. Ollivander, the wand-maker, in the Harry Potter movie series.

A princess figurine demonstrates the following steps to save a choking baby:

  1. Lay your baby face-down on your thigh. Give him up to 5 back blows.
  2. If that doesn’t work, turn your baby over and give him up to 5 chest thrusts until the airway is clear.
  3. If the chest thrusts don’t work either, call an ambulance immediately.

So far, at least seven people have saved choking babies after watching the video, reports The Mirror.

Sherry Huang is a Features Editor for Parents.com who covers baby-related content. She loves collecting children’s picture books and has an undeniable love for cookies of all kinds. Her spirit animal would be Beyoncé Pad Thai. Follow her on Twitter @sherendipitea

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Is Your Nursery Making Your Baby Sick?

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

baby on new carpetWhen most of us were setting up baby’s nursery, there were certain things we knew to avoid: loose bedding, lots of toys in the crib, anything with sharp edges. But a new study has found one more potential no-no for baby’s room, at least during the first year of life: new carpet, rugs, or laminate.

According to an article in The Telegraph, researchers at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Germany have discovered that the chemicals in the glue used to install brand-new flooring can be toxic for babies and make it difficult for them to breathe. Their study involved 465 moms and babies living in Leipzig, Germany, two-thirds of whom made some kind of renovation to their home and a sixth of whom replaced their flooring. During the home improvements, the scientists regularly assessed the babies’ breathing and monitored the air quality in their homes. The findings were published in the journal Environment International.

Though not all flooring requires glue — area rugs are a classic example — researchers still warn parents to hold off on laying down the new stuff in the nursery. “Although the concentrations of these volatile chemicals are lower if no adhesive is used when installing the flooring, even then the concentrations are still high enough to significantly increase the risk of infants suffering from respiratory complaints in their first few months,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Ulrich Franck.

Pregnant women aren’t off the hook, either. UFZ researchers believe the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in new flooring and adhesives can affect developing babies in utero and even boost their chances of developing allergies, especially if you or your partner already suffer from conditions like hay fever or asthma.

One of the biggest takeaways from the study is to hold off on installing your new flooring until after baby’s first birthday. That’s because the study found that home improvements (and all the airborne chemicals associated with them) that occured after baby was born didn’t impact baby’s respiratory functions as much as ones that took place during pregnancy. “According to our results, exposure to these volatile chemical compounds seems to be more critical in pregnancy than in the first year of a child’s life,” says Dr. Irina Lehmann of he UFZ.

Tell us: How was your experience setting up baby’s nursery?

How safe is your baby’s gear? Check out our Products Recall database to find out. And be sure to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the latest baby news!

Nursery Ideas: Design a Modern Nursery
Nursery Ideas: Design a Modern Nursery
Nursery Ideas: Design a Modern Nursery

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on TwitterPinterest, and Google+

Image of baby on a carpet courtesy of Shutterstock

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