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.
Every now and then we hear a news story about a baby that’s kidnapped from a maternity ward. It’s rare, it’s terrifying and it freaks parents and hospital staff out. What happens more frequently is when non-custodial parents or parents who aren’t allowed to take their baby home from the hospital (because of criminal activities or because they’ve lost parenting rights) try to sneak their baby out of the hospital. It’s because of these rare events that hospitals have tight newborn security policies.
The hair salon
When choosing an alternative therapy for your baby, it’s essential to know what really works and is safe for the younger set. “There’s so little scientific evidence for safety or efficacy when it comes to the use of natural therapies for babies,” says New York City pediatrician Stuart Ditchek, M.D., author of Healthy Child, Whole Child (HarperCollins).
Parents everywhere took notice when reports surfaced earlier this year about the accidental strangulations of seven babies (and three close calls) by nursery monitor cords since 2002. The monitors were recalled (see box, below) and given a new label warning that the unit should be placed farther than three feet from the crib so babies can’t reach it.
Radiation is kind of like the boogey-man. You can’t see it. You don’t know when it’s going to get you, but you know it’s there and it’s scary…really scary. Ever since the earthquake hit Japan, people have been terrified that excess radiation could damage their health. The silver lining of our current radiation fear is that it’s brought people into an international conversation about how much radiation is too much. The answer: We don’t exactly know. We do know, however, that we don’t want to be exposed to any more of it than absolutely necessary. Why not?
Yeah, so much mobility, as I said last week. Tuck has really gotten the hang of crawling, though it isn’t a pretty, smooth action yet. But he is a madman, moving all over the place so fast we can’t even figure out how he’s doing it. We lowered the crib mattress last week because he suddenly figured out how to sit up/try to climb over the edge. This morning he’d pulled a blanket rack over to himself and gotten a blanket into his crib (that’s been moved).
Did I say I was apprehensive about Florida? Trust your gut, is all I have to say. Tucker acted like a newborn until the final two nights of the trip, up every few hours and screaming bloody murder every time we tried to put him down. Some nights he literally would not let us stop holding him, even lie between us in bed. We finally had to just let him cry it out (in the crib) *in a hotel,* can you imagine? We actually gave a bottle of wine to the people in the next room. Ugh.
Bumper pads around the inside of a crib make the baby bed look cozy and safe, but health and consumer experts say they're dangerous, the Chicago Tribune reports. For years now, federal regulators have known that bumper pads could pose a suffocation hazard in babies but have failed to warn parents.
Before you know it, your stationary infant will be crawling so fast you’ll barely be able to keep up with her. If you have a yard, you’ll want her to enjoy the sights, sounds, textures and fresh air that the great outdoors has to offer. Here’s how to protect her from potential dangers there:
Insect repellents containing DEET are most effective against ticks (transmitters of Lyme disease) and mosquitoes (carriers of West Nile virus), and they’re safe for babies 2 months and older, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Use a product with 10 percent to 30 percent DEET, and wash it off once inside. Another option: Cutter insect repellent. It contains picaridin, an odorless and nontoxic chemical that has been proven nearly as effective as DEET.