Posts Tagged ‘ Chicago ’

Chicago Outlaws Crib Bumper Pads, Citing Safety Concerns

Friday, September 9th, 2011

This week the Chicago City Council adopted an ordinance banning the sale of crib bumper pads after learning they may have played a role in the deaths of a least a dozen babies, The Chicago Tribune reports.

Many families think of bumper pads as an essential way to keep babies cozy in the crib,  but “babies can lack the motor skills and strength to turn their heads if they roll against something that blocks their breathing,” The Tribune said.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission already recommends that parents keep anything soft—such as pillows, quilts, and “pillow-like bumper pads,”—out of a baby’s bed to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. But Nancy Maruyama, of SIDS of Illinois, pointed out that parents see bumper pads in stores, and think “if (stores) sell it, it must be safe,” she told the Tribune.

The state of Maryland is considering a similar ban, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission has said it is studying the safety of bumper pads.

Chicago Aldermen were motivated by stories in The Chicago Tribune in March. The paper reported that federal regulators investigated at least a dozen cases where crib bumpers appeared to play a role in a baby’s death, but investigators ultimately said it wasn’t clear the pads were to blame. So reporters took a closer look at records about the deaths. From the Tribune:

[I]n reviewing the agency’s own records, the Tribune found that in many of those cases, babies who died had their faces pressed into bumper pads.

The Tribune also found at least 17 additional cases in which the safety agency did not investigate a child’s death even though the agency had reports on file suggesting bumper pads played roles in the fatalities.

The Chicago bumper pad ban will take effect in about seven months.

(image via: http://kidsindanger.blogspot.com)

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Kids Who Attend Preschool Less Likely to Become Criminals

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Kids at PreschoolA study published in the journal Science has found that kids who attend preschool are less likely to commit crimes or become addicted to drugs and alcohol as adults.  Preschool-educated kids are also likely to grow up to have higher education and income levels than non-preschool-attending peers.

The study, which was conducted in low-income neighborhoods in Chicago, followed 1,539 children, mostly African American, born in 1979-80.  Nine hundred of the families sent their 3-4-year-old kids to the Chicago’s federally-funded Child-Parent Center Education Program, and the rest attended full-day kindergarten but no preschool.

Time magazine reported on the study:

After tracking the children to age 28, researchers found that those who had attended preschool were 28% less likely to develop alcohol or other drug problems or to wind up in jail or prison in adulthood, compared with kids who did not go to preschool. What’s more, their odds of being arrested for a felony were cut by 22% and they were 24% more likely to attend a four-year college. Incomes in adulthood of those who attended preschool were also higher than those for the children who did not.

Researchers emphasized, however, that it’s the quality of the preschool, not its mere existence, that is likely responsible for these remarkable findings.

“Just funding preschool doesn’t mean it’s going to be effective,” Arthur Reynolds, director of the Chicago Longitudinal Study, told Time. “You have to follow the principles of quality,” including consistent lessons in listening, math and reading preparation, and other school readiness techniques.

(image via: http://www.whyboysfail.com)

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