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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Looking to Buy a New Car Seat?

orb babies in bloom car seatLook no further. We’ve fallen in love with Clek and are thrilled to be the ONLY retailer in San Diego County selling their innovative and award winning seats.

We currently have three stylish Clek seats available in our Boutique, all with fun names: the Foonf, the Fllo and the Oobr.

It’s the Foonf however that’s really catching our eye. Suitable for 14 lb babies (or 5+ lbs when used with the Infant-Thingy), it’s honestly one of the most impressive car seats on the market.

What’s so great about it you ask? Well, you know us, we only stock things we really believe in, both as parents and for parents, so let us fill you in quickly on this self-proclaimed ‘mother of all car seats.’

The big selling point for the Foonf is that while it is a convertible seat, it will let you rear-face for longer (up to 50lb). And we all know thanks to simple physics that rear facing is the safest position you can put your child in. It simply offers the best protection for your precious cargo’s head, neck and spine.

While the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping a child rear-facing until at least two, the Foonf is built to keep little ones safe and content in the rear-facing position until approximately FOUR, should you wish to do so.

Four? Won’t a rear-facing position be really cramped for the child? And won’t they protest?

A common first thought, but think about Sweden. Four is the norm for rear-facing travel over there and their safety records speak volumes. Unlike other rear-facing seats currently available, the Foonf has been designed with more than adequate leg room, as well as a generous shell height for your growing child. Many parents have seen their child outgrow their rear-facing seat by height before weight, but with the Foonf, you have a better chance of nearing the maximum weight recommendation first. It’s high!  In most vehicles the Foonf will also give children just the right height to still look out of the windows for entertainment too. Something not all other rear-facing seats can offer.clek-foonf-2016-convertible-car-seat-babies in bloom

Another standout feature to note is the Foonf’s clever Anti-Rebound Bar, which helps improve stability and limit the rotation of the seat in the event of a collision.

When the time comes to turn forward-facing, (up to 65lb with Foonf), parents will still have peace of mind on the road thanks to Foonf’s smart safety technology. It features the REACT™ Safety System (Rapid Energy Absorbing Crumple Technology) which mimics crumble zone technology found in vehicles and actively reduces the force impact of a frontal collision on a child by up to 40%*

Then there’s the advanced side impact protection thanks to the seat’s metal substructure, three layers of energy absorbing foam and an adjustable head rest for optimal head protection.  This, along with the seat’s no stress rigid-latch installation, makes it easy to love. Especially when we tell you that its compact size makes three-across seating possible. Hooray!

The Fllo car seat that is also available in store has a lot of similarities to the Foonf. With identical height and weight limits, it offers the same extended rear-facing up to 50lb. It boasts a lot of Foonf’s safety features too, like the advanced side impact protection and Anti Rebound Bar. However there are some notable differences, like NO rigid latch system with Fllo and an EACT system (Energy Absorbing Crumple Technology) instead of the Foonf’s REACT™ Safety System. We know it can get confusing, so we have a handy parent friendly comparison chart in-store if you really want to dig deep and compare the two.

The Oobr full back booster (suitable for 4+) is also in stock and is engineered with front, back and side impact protection, complete with a solid metal frame, belt guides for accurate belt positioning, energy absorbing foam, a structural head rest and rigid latch installation. A great safety investment for the pre-school years and beyond.

We know buying a car seat isn’t a quick or easy decision. Safety and trust in a product is essential for family road confidence. But if Clek seats sound of initial interest, we’d recommend checking online for independent reviews. And why not pop in to the Boutique? We have the Foonf on display, so you can get up close to see the size and quality of the seat for yourself. You can also chat with Katie, our Child Safety Passenger Technician. She would be happy to answer your questions (and all car seats purchased at Babies in Bloom come with a complementary education and inspection). You can visit Clek’s website here too for further product information and product videos.

Hope to see you soon!

 

*based on independent crash testing of Foonf convertible child seat using federal testing standard FMVSS213 (more severe than 97% of real world).

 

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What Type of Sunscreen is Best for Kids?

babies in bloom sunscreenBlessed with more than our fair share of glorious sunshine, we all know how important it is to be sun smart here in SoCal.

But that doesn’t stop us from getting a little confused every now and then when it comes to sun safety, especially when we’re talking sunscreen for our little ones. With so many options on the shelves nowadays, and ever changing recommendations, how do you know which one to go for?

As it is International Sun Screen Day this week (27th), we’re sharing with you what we’ve read and know about choosing and using sunscreen on kids – we hope it helps!

At what age can I start using sunscreen?

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) says sunscreen should be avoided if possible in babies younger than six months and that every effort should be made to keep babies covered or in the shade. However, if protective clothing and shade are NOT available, Healthy Children.Org advise using sunscreen on small areas of the body such as the face and the back of hands. If this is your only option, you might want to test your baby’s sensitivity first with a small amount of sunscreen on their inner wrist.

What should I look for in a sunscreen for kids?

Healthy Children.Org say that a sunscreen should have the following:

  • “Broad-Spectrum” on the label – that means it will screen out both UVB rays (the ones that will give you sunburn) AND UVA rays (aging rays).
  • An SPF (sun protection factor) of at LEAST 15 (the AAD however recommends at least 30). The higher the SPF, the more UVB protection it has.
  • Water Resistance – either ‘Water Resistant’ (effective for up to 40 minutes in water) or ‘Very Water Resistant’(effective for up to 80 minutes in water). Note, manufacturers are now banned from using misleading words such as ‘waterproof’ and ‘sweat proof’ on labels as re-applications is always required.

What about chemicals?

Many parents are worried by this. The most common sunscreens on the market will contain chemical filters – from two to six of these ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Mineral sunscreens use zinc oxide and/ or titanium dioxide.

Many kids’ brands are now formulated with safer, more effective ingredients than those in other products – about 63 % of kids sunscreens contain effective mineral ingredients that provide good protection from ultraviolet-A rays, compared to 40 percent of other sunscreens says the Environmental Working Group (EWG). They have an annual safe sunscreen guide on their website which is a wonderful resource – look out for their 2016 edition here.

How often should I apply sunscreen?

Every day if you will be outside. Even on cloudy days, up to 80 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays can penetrate your skin says the AAD.

  • Apply sunscreen to dry skin 15-30 minutes BEFORE going outdoors – it needs time to absorb in to the skin.
  • Use enough to cover all exposed areas – especially the face, nose, ears, feet, hands and even the back of the knees. Most people only apply 25-50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen.
  • Be careful around the eyes – if you rub sunscreen in to a little ones eyes, wipe the eyes and hands clean with a damp cloth.
  • If it irritates the skin, try another brand. If a rash develops, talk with your child’s doctor.
  • Reapply sunscreen every TWO hours.

Does sunscreen expire?

The FDA requires that all sunscreens retain their original strength for at least three years. Some sunscreens include an expiration date but if yours doesn’t, write the date you purchased it on the bottle. If the expiration date has passed, throw it out.

What is the best sunscreen?

There is no right answer to this.  The best type of sunscreen is the one you will use again and again says the AAD. Lotion, cream, stick or spray, it’s a matter of personal choice. Pick one that is practical and appealing to you as well as ticking all the safety boxes in our ‘what should I look for’ section.

Don’t forget to look after YOU in the sun too parents! Set a great, sun safe example to your littles!

Oh and if anyone has THE secret to putting on sunscreen without tears, tantrums and toddler tackles, please let us know.   🙂

For more tips on sun and water safety, click  here.

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Sun and Water Safety Tips

FUN IN THE SUN 

Babies under 6 months:

  • The two main recommendations from the AAP to prevent sunburn are to avoid sun exposure, and to dress infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn. However, when adequate clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply a minimal amount of sunscreen with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor) to small areas, such as the infant’s face and the back of the hands. If an infant gets sunburn, apply cool compresses to the affected area.

For All Other Children:

  • The first, and best, line of defense against harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure is covering up. Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

  • Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that provide 97% -100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays), and clothing with a tight weave.

  • On both sunny and cloudy days use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays.

  • Be sure to apply enough sunscreen — about one ounce per sitting for a young adult.

  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.

  • Use extra caution near water and sand (and even snow!) as they reflect UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.

sun-safety-babies

HEAT STRESS IN EXERCISING CHILDREN

  • The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat or humidity reach critical levels.

  • At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, the intensity and duration of outdoor activities should start low and then gradually increase over 7 to 14 days to acclimate to the heat, particularly if it is very humid.

  • Before outdoor physical activities, children should drink freely and should not feel thirsty. During activities less than one hour, water alone is fine. Kids should always have water or a sports drink available and take a break to drink every 20 minutes while active in the heat.

  • Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material to facilitate evaporation of sweat. Sweat-saturated shirts should be replaced by dry clothing.

  • Practices and games played in the heat should be shortened and there should be more frequent water/hydration breaks. Children should promptly move to cooler environments if they feel dizzy, lightheaded or nauseous.

HEAT STRESS IN INFANTS

Infants and small children are not able to regulate their body temperature in the same way that adults do. Every year, children die from heat stroke from being left in a hot car, often unintentionally, with the majority of these deaths occurring in children 3 and under. Here are a few tips for parents when traveling in a car with infants or young children:

  • Always check the back seat to make sure all children are out of the car when you arrive at your destination.

  • Avoid distractions while driving, especially cell phone use.

  • Be especially aware of kids in the car when there is a change from the routine, ie. someone else is driving them in the morning, you take a different route to work or child care.

  • Have your childcare provider call if your child has not arrived within 10 minutes of the expected arrival time.

  • Place you cell phone, bag or purse in the back seat, so you are reminded to check the back seat when you arrive at your destination.

POOL SAFETY

  • Never leave children alone in or near the pool or spa, even for a moment; close supervision by a responsible adult is the best way to prevent drowning in children.

  • Whenever children under age 5 are in or around water, an adult – preferably one who knows how to swim and perform CPR – should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”

  • Install a fence at least 4 feet high around all four sides of the pool. The fence should not have openings or protrusions that a young child could use to get over, under, or through.

  • Make sure pool gates open out from the pool, and self-close and self-latch at a height children can’t reach. Consider alarms on the gate to alert you when someone opens the gate. Consider surface wave or underwater alarms as an added layer of protection.

  • The safest fence is one that surrounds all 4 sides of the pool and completely separates the pool from the house and yard. If the house serves as the fourth side of the fence, install an alarm on the exit door to the yard and the pool. For additional protection, install window guards on windows facing the pool. Drowning victims have also used pet doors to gain access to pools. Keep all of your barriers and alarms in good repair with fresh batteries.

  • Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd’s hook ­– a long pole with a hook on the end — and life preserver) and a portable telephone near the pool. Choose a shepherd’s hook and other rescue equipment made of fiberglass or other materials that do not conduct electricity.

  • Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties.” They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children and parents a false sense of security.

  • Children over age 1 may be at a lower risk of drowning if they have had some formal swimming instruction. However, there is no evidence that swimming lessons or water survival skills courses can prevent drowning in babies younger than 1 year of age.

  • The decision to enroll a child over age one in swimming lessons should be made by the parent based on the child’s developmental readiness and exposure to water, but swim programs should never be seen as “drown proofing” a child of any age.

  • Avoid entrapment: Suction from pool and spa drains can trap a swimmer underwater. Do not use a pool or spa if there are broken or missing drain covers.  Ask your pool operator if your pool or spa’s drains are compliant with the Pool and Spa Safety Act. If you have a swimming pool or spa, ask your pool service representative to update your drains and other suction fitting with anti-entrapment drain covers and other devices or systems. See PoolSafely.gov for more information on the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.

  • Large, inflatable, above-ground pools have become increasingly popular for backyard use. Children may fall in if they lean against the soft side of an inflatable pool. Although such pools are often exempt from local pool fencing requirements, it is essential that they be surrounded by an appropriate fence just as a permanent pool would be so that children cannot gain unsupervised access.

  • If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first.

  • Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors.

BOATING SAFETY

  • Children should wear life jackets at all times when on boats, docks or near bodies of water.

  • Make sure the life jacket is the right size for your child. The jacket should not be loose and should always be worn as instructed with all straps belted.

  • Blow-up water wings, toys, rafts and air mattresses should not be used as life jackets or personal flotation devices. Adults should wear life jackets for their own protection, and to set a good example.

  • Adolescents and adults should be warned of the dangers of boating even as a passenger when under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and even some prescription medications.

OPEN WATER SWIMMING

  • Never swim alone. Even good swimmers need buddies!

  • A lifeguard (or another adult who knows about water rescue) needs to be watching children whenever they are in or near the water. Younger children should be closely supervised while in or near the water – use “touch supervision,” keeping no more than an arm’s length away.

  • Make sure your child knows never to dive into water except when permitted by an adult who knows the depth of the water and who has checked for underwater objects.

  • Never let your child swim in canals or any fast moving water.

  • Ocean swimming should only be allowed when a lifeguard is on duty.

  • Teach children about rip currents. If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore until you escape the current, and then swim back to shore.

For more tips on sun and water safety, visit www.healthychildren.org

Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Pediatrics. Shared with permission.

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