Remember to Check Your Car Seat!

car seat installationThis Saturday is ‘National Seat Check Saturday’ marking the end of Child Passenger Safety Week 2016. This event invites families to have their child-safety seats inspected by certified car seat technicians. And by certified, we mean technicians that have hours and hours of training and experience in operating even the fiddliest of car seats. Like Katie, our Child Safety Passenger Technician.

Let’s be honest, whether you are a new parent or a seasoned mom, car seat harnessing and installation can be tricky. Confusing. Even infuriating at times. I mean, even the likes of poor Prince William gets it wrong every now and then.

And don’t even mention the rules. They feel like they are ever changing don’t they?

But scary fact, did you know that seven out of 10 children ride in car seats that have not been installed correctly, or are in the wrong car seats for their age and size. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 96 percent of parents believe their child seats are installed correctly.

This weekend offers parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, whoever, not only a gentle reminder to go check their equipment, but also offers lasting peace of mind in confirming a) whether or not they currently have the best tools for the job and b) if they are being utilized correctly. Not to mention a chance to brush up on the latest legislation.

You can call us to schedule an appointment or find participating locations for seat checks here: http://www.safercar.gov/cpsApp/cps/index.htm – though be warned it may get busy! You’ll need your child, the car seat and the seat’s manual, as well as your vehicle owner’s manual. The technician will demonstrate proper installation and then have you do the installation so that you are comfortable and confident.

And don’t worry, if you can’t make it to a Saturday event, parents can also chat with Katie via Babies in Bloom. She would be happy to answer your questions because she knows when it comes to your own precious cargo, it’s never too early or too late for a safety check.

Note, all car seats purchased at Babies in Bloom come with a complementary education and inspection. 

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September is Baby Safety Month

From the moment that line appears on the pregnancy test, you never stop worrying about your little ones safety and wellbeing. You worry about eating the right things while pregnant. And then how much your baby is eating once they arrive. How much they weigh. How much they are sleeping. Why they aren’t crawling yet. Sometimes Every. Darn. Thing!

It can get a little overwhelming can’t it? There’s information just everywhere. And sometimes you can’t help but think that some manufacturers are fuelling the worries in order to sell more gadgets and gizmos, right?

That’s why we like September – it’s Baby Safety Awareness Month. A whole month dedicated to helping us parents make sense of the information overload out there. A month which encourages manufacturers to highlights the main safety issues we need to be aware of. And more importantly the simple steps we can take to reduce those rising worry levels.

This year, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) is focusing on the importance of product registration cards and recall response. Something that is often overlooked. Or thrown away with the empty box.

The JPMA made this little video to highlight how useful these registration cards can be when it comes to matters of safety.

https://youtu.be/FkVj4sYL-K4

Awareness of product recalls can be lifesaving – so a) make sure you register so you have a direct way for manufacturers to contact you if a product you have purchased comes in to question and b) make sure you spread the word to other parents you know, be it on the phone, at the school gates or via social media. We’re all in this together – let’s support each other through it!

If you are seeking more information re: potential baby hazards in the home, from liquid detergent packs to kitchen safety, please visit the official Baby Safety Website here.

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Grandparents Day

grandparents daySunday is National Grandparents Day – a day to celebrate all the wonderful Grandmas, Nanas, Nonnas, Grannies, Gramps, Grandpas…or whatever name you use… out there!

Grandparents Day was never designed to be a day for selling cards, flowers and gifts though –as much as they would be appreciated we’re sure. The lady behind it all, Marian Lucille McQuade, (a grandma to 43, and great-grandma to 10! Wow!) first campaigned for it to be a family day – a day that called for generations to simply spend quality time together. It was in 1978 that Congress proclaimed the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day, with President Jimmy Carter stating it was a day to “honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer“.

So this weekend, if you are still lucky enough to have your own grandparents around, as well as your parents, don’t forget to take the time to really show them your love and appreciation – and make sure your littles do too! Because let’s be honest, life with kids is busy and we often forget to show it day to day, week to week, don’t we?

Hands up moms and dads, who would have been completely lost in parenthood without the support of their parents – especially in those early months, when we were finding our feet as a new parent?

Hands up – whose parents look after the littles while you work? Be it full or part time. And they LOVE it!

Hands up – whose parents always make themselves available on the phone to you if you’ve had a hard day, or if you need reassurance that you are doing this whole parenting thing right?

Hands up – whose parents can make your little kids squeal with excitement at just the mention of their name?

Hands up – who never get tired hearing your parents’ or grandparents’ stories of the ‘old days’?

I bet there are a lot of hands up right now. Grandparents rock!

Unfortunately it’s not the case for everyone, but we never stop needing our parents, or our parents’ parents, however old we are. And this weekend is another chance to remind them all of that, especially if we have been a little slack on the appreciation front recently. Another chance to remind them that they sit at the heart of your family, no matter how many miles might be between you. To remind them that your kids adore them and love their old tales, traditions…and recipes!  So whether they live around the corner, in a different state, or in a different country, put the spotlight on Grandparents this weekend. Be together – be it virtually or physically. Cherish them! And learn from them, so that one day, our own grandbabies will not only know about them, but think we are that awesome too!

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Our Favorite Places for Free Family Fun

ARGGH! It’s September!

Of course we mean, phew, the kids are back at school and everything, but, arrrrrgh, where has this year gone?

It’s that time of the year where you let out a big sigh over the total cost of summer entertainment and back to school prep. And then an even bigger sigh when you think about the calendar dates crammed in to the next few months- Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and then Christmas and New Year.

So ultimately it’s that time of year where FREE or low cost family fun ideas are most welcome.

Luckily for us, our year round sunshine and wealth of beautiful beaches means that we have a lot of free outdoor options for families, as well as indoor, (Buccaneer Beach and Moonlight Beach are the best aren’t they? We’re so lucky!). But beaches and sand filled cars aside, here are our top FIVE cash friendly favorite places in the County:

 

  1. ALTA VISTA BOTANICALvista-botanical GARDENS:

A little closer to our Vista home than the San Diego Botanic Gardens in Encinitas – and a little smaller – the Alta Vista Botanical Gardens is full of character and charm. And is still evolving. It’s beautiful, varied, peaceful (even with little ones in tow) and offers some striking views of the local area. While not all pathways are stroller friendly (some are steep and uneven!), you can work around the garden with wheels. It is very kid friendly – in no walking distance at all, right by the entrance, you will find a stroller friendly music garden for the kids (adorable!), play tunnels, a butterfly tepee and a picnic area. Best of all, the gardens are also bursting with sculptures – imagine your kid’s face as they turn a corner and discover a giant metal T-Rex, a Scorpion or a Giraffe (The metal artwork is by Ricardo Breceda).

Admission is $3 based on the honor system – bring your own lunch, walking shoes, hats and sunscreen and that’s a cheap and beautiful lunch date with the kids – plus a few dinosaurs here and there.

1270 Vale Terrace Dr, Vista.

 

  1. LOCAL LIBRARY:

Beyond visiting your local library to check out new bedtime tales, don’t forget to check out their events calendar too, either on site or online. We have some fantastic libraries in the County, offering regular story time, arts and crafts, kids’ yoga, family movie nights – even programs that will let your little ones read to cuddly dogs (awwwww!). All FREE of charge.

Various locations.

 

  1. BATIQUITOS LAGOON:

Once you hit the trail and are out of sight and sound of the I-5, this FREE ecological reserve is a gem. It is bursting with nature and bustling with hikers, dog walkers and families on an adventure stroll. Most of the trail is stroller friendly and there are plenty of little bench stops for tired little legs, or snack attack breaks. (Note, bicycles are not allowed). The public walking and hiking trail is about two miles long and you can pick up a pamphlet at the educational center which helps you know what animals and plants to look out for.

……And for those that might care, we’ve been told there is a bunch of Pokemon to pick up on the trail. So you could always make it a family Pokemon Go hunt. The older ‘littles’ will LOVE that!

7380 Gabbiano Lane, Carlsbad.

 

  1. WATERFRONT PARK

Bring a tent, hats, sunscreen, swimwear and a picnic and just spend an afternoon relaxing on the beautiful lawn in front of the water fountains and play area. Completely FREE. And if you want to avoid parking drama, you can always make it a real adventure and take the scenic Coaster train down to Santa Fe Station and simply walk to the park. It’s not far at all – and so much fun!

1600 Pacific Hwy, San Diego.

 

  1. FREE MUSEUM DAYS

How many of us remember to take advantage of the free museum days? So many of the main city museums, including the New Children’s Museum and the Natural History Museum, offer San Diego and County residents FREE admission on select days each month – to find out which days are free, visit http://freemuseumday.org/sd.html

And take note, this October, San Diego Museum Council invites kids to explore even more of San Diego’s diverse museums – for free! From October 1-31, children ages 12 and under receive free admission with a paid adult (limit 2) at more than 40 museums including Birch Aquarium at Scripps. For more info and to download the coupon, visit http://www.sandiegomuseumcouncil.org

Various locations.

 

So that’s our top five….but we’re also throwing in an extra one for you for free of charge. Number 6: LOCAL STORES! Like us. Keep your ear to the ground and follow your favorite family stores on Social Media to find out if and when they might be hosting some FREE in-store entertainment. We do regular events like complimentary baby and toddler story time for example, (check out our events calendar here for dates), while stores like Wild Birds Unlimited on El Camino Real host regular live animal presentations, which both the kids and parents will love!

Have fun out and about guys!

 

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