Choosing Safe Toys for All Ages

Is it just us, or does your holiday gift list seem to keep growing each year?

There’s all those 2016 babies that your family and friends have brought in to the world; all those new ‘best friends’ that your little ones have made; perhaps even new kids in the neighborhood to buy for now.

Despite best intentions, there aren’t always enough hours in the day to keep on top of the list, meaning there is always an inevitable last minute gift dash, be it in-store or online.

With thousands of toys to choose from, and budgets to be mindful of, it’s tempting to just grab the first bargain you see. But, is it going to be safe?

And are the toys your own kids receive going to be safe?

The truth is, toys can pose serious health risks if they aren’t properly made or designed. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were about 254,200* toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments in 2015 – 73 percent happened to children under the age of 15 and 35 percent happened to children under the age of 5.

With this in mind, here are some toy buying, and toy receiving, tips for the holiday season:

  • Check the toy for age, skill level, and developmental appropriateness before purchasing, or before allowing them to be played with
  • Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off. Toys should have no sharp edges and be sturdy enough to withstand impact without breaking, being crushed, or being pulled apart
  • Look for safety inspection labels – “ATSM” means the toy has met the American Society for Testing and Materials standards
  • For children under three, avoid toys with small parts which can cause choking. This includes magnets, deflated balloons and button batteries. Rule of thumb: If the piece can fit inside a toilet paper roll, it is not appropriate for kids under age three
  • Do not give toys with ropes and cords or heating elements
  • If you are going to buy sports equipment for older kids, always accompany it with protective gear: e.g helmet (sized to fit) and kneepads with a skateboard. Or if budget doesn’t allow, speak to the parents about the additional safety purchases needed before use
  • Be aware of lead in toys and educate yourself not only about the type of toys that have been recalled / those most likely to contain lead in the paint, but also the symptoms of lead poisoning
  • Do not give crayons and markers unless they are labeled “nontoxic”.

If you are worried, confused, or simply stuck on ideas for age appropriate holiday toys, then please pop in to our Boutique, where our girls will be more than happy to help you complete that ever growing gift list!

*Cuts, scrapes, and bruises were the most common toy-related injuries, with most injuries affecting the head or face. Out of a total of 50 categories of toys, non-motorized scooters were involved in one out of every four injuries

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You Guys Rock!

winner-badgeWe won a ‘Red Tricycle Totally Awesome Award 2016’. Hooray!

We are absolutely thrilled to be named ‘Hippest Baby and Maternity Shop’ in SoCal. Thank you so so much to everyone who voted for us – you guys are the best. And you ALL need to share this wonderful moment with us, because we are much more than just a business, Babies in Bloom is a community. A place to not only shop, but learn and share family experiences, whatever your parenting style (no judgement here!). You make us who we are and that’s a big part of what makes us winners.

Some wise old soul once said: ‘Customers may forget what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.’ And we truly believe that. We aim to make all our customers feel heard. Feel supported. Feel excited. Feel inspired. Feel confident, and just feel special – like every mama and mama-to-be should. Daddies, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles too. The whole family.

And thanks to you, we feel pretty special right now too. So from the bottom of our hearts, thank you once again for taking the time to vote for us. And thank you for shopping small. We hope to see you really soon!

 

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Happy Birthday to Us!

image3What a party to remember! A big thank you to everyone who attended our Babies in Bloom Birthday Extravaganza – it was so good to see you and your beautiful growing families.

Our hearts are warmed and overwhelmed by the support that our community continues to show not just us, but each other too. We are so proud to offer a safe sanctuary for all parents and parents-to-be to meet, learn, support and shop small.  What an honor it is to watch parents grow in excitement and confidence, as well as share their valuable experiences, via our facilities. We think we have the best job in the world, and today’s birthday fun just proved it!

Our doors opened at 9am, offering the first 50 families a special gift bag with purchases, followed by a completely free pre-natal yoga class for those moms-to-be looking for ways to relax and bond with their growing baby. (If you missed our free taster, but are interested in yoga classes, check out our events calendar – we run classes twice a week at the boutique.)

image1-3We were also so lucky to host a Hullaballoo concert for our families. There was a sea of toddler wiggles, clapping hands and musical instruments throughout the performance!  Our favourite was definitely the ‘Sippy Cup’ song for coffee loving Moms. We triple challenge you to get this song out of your head. We haven’t stopped singing it yet. ‘She’s got a growwwwn up sippy cup, she goes to Starrrrbucks to fill it up….’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSXjlvdziQw
We’re hoping the adorable petting zoo from Nettie’s Party Pals, the free pony rides on the adorable 12 year old Magic, the bounce house, the carnival games and yummy popcorn meant that your little ones napped like champions for the rest of the afternoon / that night. We certainly did!image2

If you were unable to stay for the afternoon to attend the Babywearing and Car Seat 101 classes – fear not, we also have those running throughout the month at the Boutique. Again just check our class calendar for future dates.
And finally for those who entered our raffle on the day, we sure hope you were victorious! There were some fabulous prizes were up for grabs – enjoy!

Now the big question….how do we top that for next year’s birthday?

 

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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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