For more than 20 years Healthy Child Healthy World, a non-profit whose mission is to empower families to make better, safer choices, has been protecting children from the harmful effects of toxic chemicals. We are seeing increased evidence of the impact of these chemicals found in everyday products on children’s health.
When it comes to babyproofing, you’ve thought of everything, right? (Outlet covers? Check. Safety gates? Of course.) But according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, accidental death rates dropped among all age groups in 2009, the latest year for which data is available—except among babies younger than 1 year. Below are the leading causes of accidental death for babies, listed in order, along with advice to keep your child out of harm’s way.
Overwhelmed by the number of choices in products? Get answers to all of your important questions with our guide to Car Seats 101.
The Importance of Car Seats
A car seat is one of the most important gear purchases you're going to make as a new parent. It is one of the only products you will ever buy for your child that has the potential to actually save their life.
Planning a visit to the Greatest City in the World? While hailing a taxi on 5th Avenue with your newborn and strapping him into a car seat might seem daunting to a new mom, it only takes about 45 seconds to do it safely, according to The Car Seat Lady, aka NYC pediatrician Dr. Alisa Baer. Here’s how:
Any day now you’ll be reaching for summer’s first tube of sunscreen. You’re not alone if you’re wondering just what’s in it and, most importantly, if it’s safe for you and your kids to spend the season slathering it all over. Sunscreens shield us from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
To provide this defense, they contain chemical and mineral ingredients that scatter, reflect or absorb UV radiation, including oxybenzone, octyl methoxycinnamate, avobenzone, zinc, and titanium.
Pregnancy, especially your ﬁrst, upends your life in unexpected ways. Motherhood looms and you’re madly trying to ﬁgure out how to give your baby the healthiest start. So it’s no surprise when you also ﬁnd yourself evaluating the health of the world your infant is about to enter.
It’s called the “nesting instinct”—that sudden urge to tidy, purge, organize and decorate. But getting your home ready for your newborn isn’t just about putting together the crib and washing all those teeny tiny clothes. It also means hunting down the hidden hazardous chemicals that have been shown to affect your baby’s growth and development. Think of it as environmental babyproofing.
There is a battle brewing about a staple in parents' baby-care arsenals: swaddling.
Here’s the good news: Ever since the 1994 launch of the Back to Sleep campaign, which instructs parents to put infants to sleep on their backs, the number of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) cases has decreased by more than 50 percent. The bad news is that SIDS is still the leading cause of death in babies ages 1 month to 12 months, with more than 2,300 U.S. infants dying from SIDS every year.
If getting your baby to sleep is a singing, rocking and jiggling process that’s exhausting the whole family, you may want to consider sleep training. “The process involves teaching your baby a new way of going to sleep, usually from being rocked or fed to sleep to falling asleep in her crib,” says Jodi Mindell, Ph.D., author of Sleep Deprived No More (Da Capo Press).
Measles, pertussis (whooping cough) and Hib meningitis—all vaccine-preventable diseases—are making a comeback in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At the time of writing, 2011 was on track to be another record year for measles, a potentially deadly illness; 10 infants died in California in 2010 from pertussis; and five Minnesota children contracted Hib meningitis in 2008, resulting in one death.