A great many moms are sailing down streets and highways when we’re desperately sleep deprived, distracted and futzing with our phones (a habit that’s twice as dangerous as drunk driving). All the while, the lights of our lives—our babies!—are in the backseat (often in a carseat that’s installed wrong). And it’s happening all the time—moms log an average of 150 miles a week.
These are just a few of the alarming habits revealed in a study of more than 2,000 mothers with children under age 2 that American Baby conducted with Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization aimed at preventing childhood injuries. In fact, nearly 10 percent of new moms have been in a crash while driving with their baby. That’s almost three times higher than the rate among the general population, and rivals the crash rate of teens. One of several possible culprits: 64 percent of moms turn around in their seat to tend to their child instead of looking at the road ahead. For more eye-openers, check out this infographic.
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I’ve been guilty of careless driving myself. When my firstborn, Julian, was nine months old, I missed a stop sign while heading to Costco. I was newly transplanted in the suburbs, rusty at driving after a decade in the city, and beyond delirious. I realized my mistake and screeched to a halt a few feet later, causing another car to rear-end us. No one was hurt—massive sigh of relief—but the accident shook me. I signed up for refresher driving lessons and vowed to be more aware on the road, especially while chaffeuring my most precious passenger.
It’s time to STOP, think and hit reverse on these risky habits. This year, let’s all resolve to be more mindful and focused each time we leave our driveway. We owe it to the little people strapped in behind us, and to every other driver on the road.
To learn more about slip-ups moms make behind the wheel, and simple ways to protect your family when you head out, read the feature about our exclusive survey in the January issue of American Baby, and watch our video below on the driving rules every mom should follow. The keys to a safer year are in your hand.
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Later Pregnancy, Lower Risk of a Cancer
The older a woman is when she gives birth, the lower her risk for endometrial cancer, a new study reports. The researchers found that women who had their last babies after age 40 had a 44 percent reduced risk of endometrial cancer, compared with women who had their babies before age 25. (via NY Times)
Devices Don’t Work to Save Kids in Hot Cars
Special seats and other devices designed to help prevent parents from accidentally leaving babies and toddlers behind in cars don’t work, a team of experts said on Monday. They said parents shouldn’t rely on them to keep children safe. Their review of 18 commercial devices, including systems integrated into a car, shows none works well enough to rely on. (via NBC News)
Blood Donations Lowest in 15 Years, Red Cross Says
A perfect storm of events has driven blood donations to the lowest in 15 years, a shortfall so extreme that some patients may have to cancel elective surgery, medical officials say. The American Red Cross fell 50,000 units short of its needs in June and will likely fall short again in July, it said. (via NBC News)
Parents Can Increase Children’s Activity by Increasing Their Own
Parents concerned about their children’s slothful ways can do something about it, according to research at National Jewish Health. They can increase their own activity. When parents increase their daily activity, as measured by a pedometer, their children increase theirs as well. (via Science Daily)
New Ways to Fight-Off Youth Anxiety and Depression
Approximately 8 to 22 percent of children suffer from anxiety, often combined with other conditions such as depression. However, most existing therapies are not designed to treat coexisting psychological problems and are therefore not very successful in helping children with complex emotional issues. (via Science Daily)
Disney-Pixar fans, rejoice! The second phase of Walt Disney World’s Art of Animation Resort opened this Monday, adding 480 family suites inspired by Lightning McQueen, Radiator Springs, and other features of their much-loved Cars franchise.
After passing Sheriff and Doc Hudson at the hotel’s entrance, kids can take in scenes like Luigi’s Casa Della Tires and Tow Mater Towing before settling into supercharged themed rooms with Cars-inspired artwork, carpets and furniture. The resort’s centerpiece is the Cozy Cone Motel, complete with orange cone-shaped cabanas surrounding the Cozy Cone Pool.
This phase of the resort comes on the heels of the Finding Nemo section, which opened in May. For kids and parents nostalgic for some of Disney’s classic films, two new areas based on The Lion King and The Little Mermaid will open in August and September.
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