Posts Tagged ‘children’

Create an eco-nursery; County bans BPA baby bottles and Rubber mulch is toxic

Something new: Link Round up!

It’s difficult to post even weekly now with 2 kids and working full time, so I decided when I have several interesting topics at once, I will give a smaller summary and post the link to the article.

Eco-proof the nursery this is a great little article highlighting common concerns for today’s new parents (or new again). It shows how parents are concerned about the expense of raising a “green” baby and offers tips on how to go free for free or for very little money.

One NY County Bans BPA Baby bottles Hats off to them! I hope this catches on, though with manufacturers stopping the production of them and national retailers stopping the sale of them, bottles made with BPA will be hard to come by soon enough.

Rubber mulch is not non-toxic and contains metal fragments. And Obama just used it on his girl’s White House playground. Hopefully he will replace it. While it seems like a great idea to turn used tires into mulch for playgrounds and landscapes, it really is not non-toxic or safe for kids or the environment. Plus, rubber is highly flammable and difficult to extinguish once on fire.

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I’m on Twitter

So I am getting on board with all this keeping in touch technology and am now on Twitter. Follow me at www.twitter.com/amomsblog 

Tweet, Tweet!

Britax Car Seat Sale!

Amazon is having a rare sale on Britax car seats, which are touted as being among the best/safest car seats available. I have one and LOVE it. Yes they are a little bigger and heavier than most, but they have performed better than other car seats in crash tests.

The sale is for one week only, so don’t delay, click here to view the sale items! It looks like all Britax seats will also receive free shipping! When I purchased my Britax, all prices were very similar, so free shipping was important to me. But now there is a sale AND free shipping! Can’t beat that!

Britax offers a wide variety of car seats — convertibles, boosters — and in different models with different features. I have the Boulevard, which offers true side impact protection. I have a Civic, so that was an important feature to me. It also had a knob on the side allowing you to adjust the straps to where YOU want them all without having to remove the straps or the seat.

Britax also has a new seat — the Click and Safe seat which provides and audible click to let you k now when the restraints are tight enough to keep your child safe.

Another thing to watch for is weight limits. The Boulevard is rear-facing up to 35 lbs and forward facing up to 65 pounds. The Roundabout is rear-facing also to 35 lbs, but only forward facing to 40 lbs.

The most important thing about car seats it to make sure they are properly installed!! I NEVER install my own seats. There is a technician at one of the fire stations here who is recommended by Children’s Hospital. He is certified and does hundreds of installations every year. The fact is, death from improper use or installation of car seats is the leading cause of death in infants and children. It’s so not worth it — get it professionally installed fire stations will do this for free, so cost is not an excuse, just takes a few minutes. Your child is worth it!

Other tips for safe car seats and usage:

1. Make sure the seat fits your car and fits your child. It does not matter how safe the seat is if it does not properly fit the car or child.

2. Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. This has nothing to do with age or how long your child’s legs are. Rear-facing is the safest position up to the weight limit of the seat or until his head reaches the top of the seat.

3. Use the seat every time! NEVER go anywhere without your child properly restrained in an approved car seat. Surprisingly, nearly half of all child deaths and injuries related to car accidents are from parents not using a restraint. Don’t do this — buckle up your child before you even start the car.

4. Watch for recalls, especially important if you are using a second-hand seat. Car seats come with a registration card. Fill it out and send it in so the manufacturer can send you any recall information.

5. Lifetime of a seat is about 6 years, at which time a new seat should be purchased, because the plastic starts to breakdown. Again, especially important if you are using a second hand seat.

6. Use a 5 point harrness, LATCH system and tethers.

7. Inspect the seat regularly to ensure it is still secured properly (ideally you would do this each time before putting the child in the seat). Very important as one day I discovered the car seat belt came undone on my daughter’s infant seat. Scared me to death to think what could have happened if I had not checked.

8. Make sure the straps are tight and secure each time you buckle up your child and that the chest clip is in the middle of your child’s sternum.

9. Children up to 80 pounds, 4’9″ and 8-10 years old need to be in some restraint system.

10. Don’t buckle in your child when she is wearing a heavy coat. It can create gaps and your child could fly out of the seat on impact. Instead buckle your child in then use blankets for warmth.

Go to the sale NOW! Before it’s too late….

Other resources:

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/

http://www.aap.org/family/carseatguide.htm

http://car-seat.org/

High Fructose Corn Syrup contains mercury

A new study shows half the samples tested contained mercury. This includes 1/3 of 55 popular name brands where HFCS is the first or second ingredient.

Mercury contamination is very harmful and toxic in all forms. It should be avoided. Pregnant women are advised to avoid certain fish because of high levels of mercury.

High fructose corn syrup is a synthetic sweetner that has replaced sugar in many items. It’s much cheaper than sugar, so is used by many companies in all types of foods and all kinds of brands. 

“Mercury is toxic in all its forms. Given how much high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply,” said the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Dr. David Wallinga, a co-author of both studies.

The use of mercury-contaminated caustic soda in the production of HFCS is common. The contamination occurs when mercury cells are used to produce caustic soda. So the good news is HFCS can be produced without caustic soda, the bad news is us consumers do not know if the HFCS containing products we are consuming are produced using caustic soda or not.

What can you do? Avoid HFCS. Read the labels, if it contains HFCS, put it back on the shelf. This is what I have done, even before knowing about the mercury contaimination.

We try to avoid sythetically produced ingredients in our house, opting for the safe and natural stuff. HFCS has also been linked to behavioral problems, but not sure anything has been proven there. Though I know several kids who were taken off HFCS and their behavior improved drastically with this change alone. Proof enough for me. 

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Extreme Breastfeeding — 20/20

OK, so I didn’t watch 20/20’s episode on Extreme Mothering. I was interested in the breastfeeding portion, but I knew the stance they would take, so I didn’t even bother watching.

It almost humors me that people are so against “extended breastfeeding” when they know absolutely nothing about breastfeeding period. Breastfeeding is a wonderful experience and the American Academy of Family Physicians, the World Health Organization and UNICEF all recommend a MINIMUM of 2 years of breastfeeding. That’s just the bottom requirement. It’s like getting a D, you just passed.

The mother featured in the 20/20 episode was breastfeeding her 6 year old. Her older 2 children also breastfed for about that long as well. All 3 kids are great, outgoing kids. Nature supports breastfeeding until about 8 years of age, so this mother/child relationship still has a few good years in it. 🙂

Nature supports extended breastfeeding for many reasons:

1. The natural age of weaning is approximately 2.5 – 7 years of age with 4 as the median age.

2. During childhood, the child’s immune system is still developing, thus the antibodies in mama’s milk offer immunity support during these years.

3. Between the ages of 5 and 8 a child’s milk teethfall out, permanant teeth come in and the jaw line changes in such the child loses the suckling reflux necessary for nursing.

4. The brain is still developing and breastmilk offers the best balance of fats needed for this development.

There are many biological reasons and this mom does a great job of outlining them here.

There are many great reasons to breastfeed period, other than the ease of it — healthier child, lower cancer rates for mom and child, great bonding experience, higher child IQ, lower rates of diabetes, fewer ear infections, etc. Plus, breastmilk is great for curing many common ailments like pink eye, cold sores, diaper rash, ear infections, etc.

So really people, if you don’t know your facts, don’t comment on how breastfeeding past a certain age or milestone (like you must stop when a baby gets teeth — that is just ridiculous!), because the facts just are not on your side. Now you may not like it or agree with it, which is fine, but that is your opinion and nothing more. My daughter weaned at 28 months when I was halfway through my pregnancy with my son. My husband was like all the naysayers, but once he saw what great benefits it had for our daughter, he is now a lactavist! We will also let our son wean himself when he and I are ready.

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BPA Free dishes, utensils, snack containers, and food storage for kids

I have been working on this list for months. Giving birth, caring for a newborn and having a toddler to chase on top of that sure takes a lot more time. I know I need to answer a few questions too and will get to those as soon as I can. 

Here I have compiled a list of kids BPA free dishes, utensils, snack containers and food storage containers for kids.

DISHES (plates, bowls, tumblers)
Arrow Frostware Dishes and Bowls; Section plates, Sip-a-bowl, Sip-a-cup, Juice sipper, Tumblers, Bowls, plates 
Bany Cie 5 piece luncheon set 
BabyBjorn Plate & Spoon 

Baby Dipper bowl and spoon set
Bambu Kids Organic Bamboo Dishes, Bowls 
Boon: Groovy interlocking plate and bowl, Snack plateCatch bowl  
Camden Rose “Cheery” Wooden Bowl and Spoon set 
Correlle dishware (“unbreakable,” made of glass)
The Dombo cup 
First years: take and toss set, Double duty plates
Frostware: plates, bowls and tumblers 
Gerber: bunch of bowls with lids, Lil Trainer tableware Plates and Utensils, Divide and Dine Plates, Tossables Disposable Plates, Lil Snackin’ Bowl, Snap N’ Store Plates  
Green Sprouts Eco-Friendly cornstarch divided plates, cornstarch bowl, warming plate, Baby food mill, Baby food grinder bowl
Guyot Designs Squishy Bowl & Cup Set 
Gund Tender beginnings ceramic dish set pink  and blue 
IKEA: Kalas Plates, Bowls & Tumblers; MATA 4 piece Dinnerware set (frog, comes in 4 colors)  (note: IKEA’s other kid dishes are mostly made of melamine and another set has a polycarbonate cup)
Kidco Travel Dish with Spoon , Baby food mill
Land of Nod: Ceramic Kids Dishware

Little Tikes: 4 piece turtle mealtime set, Cozy Coup bowl with lid, Turtle Bowl with lid 
Munchkin: Multi Plates & Bowls, Toddler Plates, 3 Pack Stayput Suction Bowls, Stayput Suction Toddler Bowls  
Nuby: Wash or Toss Dishes, Snack Cup and Spoon, Microwaveable Bowl with Lid
ORE Originals Baby Face ABC Ceramic Dish Set (REALLY cute!)
Recycline 10” dinner plates, 7” salad platescups all made of polypropylene
Sassy: Less mess toddler feeding bowl, Feeding plate set, Warming dish, Perfect size snack cups, On-the-go feeding set, Feeding bowl set, Insulated feeding pots, NEW BPA-free line coming soon! 
Skip*Hop Mate Dish Set (note other Skip Hop dishes are made of melamine, so are BPA free, but the safety of melamine in dishware is debatable right now)
TreBimbi Dinnerware Sets: 6 piece Puppet Club  and 5 piece Party set    very cute and would make mealtime fun
Tupperware – all products marketed for kids are BPA-free, including Bell Tumbler Sippy Cups with Seals Set of 4, Divided Dish Set with Easy Grip Handle, Ideal Little Kids Bowls, set of 3, Feeding set for Kids 
Stainless Steel dishware 
Think Baby stainless steel feeding set 
Trendykid Stackable Steady Cup 
ZAK Designs  Many of the dinnerware sets are made of melamine.
 
UTENSILS
Bambu Kids Organic Bamboo Utensils 
Boon: Benders Fork & Spoon, Modware Toddler Utensils, Polka Dot Fork and Spoon, Squirt Food Dispensing Spoon 
First Years forks and spoons
Gerber: Infant Spoons, Toddler Spoons, Fork and Spoon Set, Graduates Kiddy kutlery (SO cute with fork, spoon and knife), Scoopin’ Spoons (my daughter loves these), Tossables Disposable Utensils
Green Sprouts Eco-Friendly Cornstarch fork and spoon, silicone toddler spoon
IKEA: Kalas 18 Piece Cutlery set 
Munchkin: Soft-Tip Infant Spoons
Nuby: hot safe feeding spoon, Nibbler, Easy grip fork and spoon set, Spoon and Fork with Soft Handle, Fun Feeding Spoons with Toys and Sounds,
One Step Ahead: My Very Own Flatware stainless steel (3 and up)
Recycline cutlery made of polypropylene
Sassy: Less mess feeding spoon, toddler feeding spoon, Teether feeder, travel case w/fork and spoon
TreBimbi Dinnerware Utensils
Williams Sonoma: Kids Stainless Flatware

SNACK CONTAINERS
Boon Snack Ball
Little Tikes 3 piece turtle snack set 
Munchkin: Snack Catcher, Snack n’ Serve Cups, Snack Dispenser
RazBaBY formula and snack dispensers 
Snack Trap 
The First Years: take and toss snack savers, 6 pack of snack cups

FOOD STORAGE – Baby
Baby Cubes baby food storage system
BornFree Thermal Food Jar
Gerber Bunch of Bowls with Lids
Green Sprouts Baby food grinder bowlsilicone freezer tray
MunchkinBaby Food Grinder, Fresh Food Feeder 
So Easy Fresh Baby Food Kit 
Thermos Food Jars  

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Did the plastics industry write the FDA’s report on BPA?

I found this article awhile back saying the FDA’s report on the safety of BPA, released in August, may have been written by the folks at the plastics industry, who obviously have a large stake here.

MILWAUKEE, WISC.; October 23, 2008 (WPVI) — A government saying that bisphenol A, a controversial chemical in plastics was safe came largely from research supplies by the plastics industry.

In a special report, writers for the Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal say the FDA’s own documents say most of the work was prepared by major stakeholders in keeping bisphenol A, also called BPA, on the market.

That includes Stephen Hentges, executive director of the American Chemistry Council’s group on bisphenol A, who commissioned a review of all studies of the neurotoxicity of bisphenol A and submitted it to the FDA. The FDA then used that report as the foundation for its evaluation of the chemical on neural and behavioral development. The American Chemistry Council is a trade group representing chemical manufacturers.

The FDA’s report, which came out in August, said concerns about BPA were unfounded. It is used in baby bottles, water bottles, the linings of infant formula containers, dental sealants, eyeglasses, and inside food cans.

One month later, advisers from the National Toxicology Program – an FDA advisory panel – came to the opposite conclusion – that there is cause for concern on how BPA affects fetuses, infants, and children, as well as how it affects development of the brain and prostate gland.

A congressional committee is now investigating the August report, and the FDA’s links to the plastics industry. The agency had been criticized before for using industry figures to make its case for BPA’s safety. The FDA has promised to do an independent study on BPA safety, but that has yet to be done.

Bisphenol A has been detected in the urine of 93% of those tested.

Last weekend, the Canadian government officially declared BPA as a toxin, and banned its use in baby bottles and children’s products.

Numerous university studies on BPA using lab aninmals showed the potential for serious health effects.

A government committee is currently analyzing the initial FDA report finding no harm. Its report is due out on in Washington next Friday, October 31st.

/end article

Additionally, there was a report earlier this week that one of the top FDA officials reviewing the BPA case accepted a bribe from the plastics industry. 

The good news is there are folks in the US who are taking action.
Attorneys general of 3 states have written letters to 11 companies asking them to ban the use of BPA in their products. This includes popular bottle and formula makers.
– The Environmental Working Group continues to study BPA in formula and issue the findings so parents can choose safer formulas.
– Blogs by concerned parents are helping spread the word and providing parents with lists of BPA-free options so they may choose safer products for their children.

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