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Emma’s Inspirations

Last updated on July 5th, 2018 at 05:48 pm

When our daughter Emma was an infant, we moved into our new house. As parents of six children, we were very excited about getting to this new house and getting some much needed unloading done! Pulling into the driveway, we all became very excited and quickly left the car to see the house. There was so much to do – everyone went off in different directions.

I had assumed that my husband or one of the older kids had taken Emma from her car seat emmas dog and cat-small(as that was almost ALWAYS the case) and he thought that it was me who had brought her inside. Making the assumption that everything was okay, we went about unpacking and arranging our new home.

In a sudden moment of panic, I realized that our baby girl wasn’t even in the house. Nearly 45 minutes after we had arrived, I rushed to our car for Emma.

The sun was hot for a spring day. I cannot tell you the thoughts and fears, and the horror that welled up inside of me as I was sure I had harmed our baby girl! I thank God every day that my older son had opened the back window on the ride up because he felt car-sick, or Emma may not have become the vibrant six year old she is today!

From that point on we left notes in all the cars. “Where’s Emma?” was our catch phrase. We were determined to always check the seats and never let this happen to us again.

When my daughter and I read about the school principal who, out of routine, left her baby in a closed car all day, and the dad who forgot the baby was in his back seat because he didn’t ‘usually’ drop him off at child-care, we were sad and sickened by their tragedies… yet we knew how ‘routine’ oriented we all are today… and how easy it is for this tragedy to take place:

  • An average of 40 children die each year in closed vehicles… and numerous others have been left alone in closed cars by adults who assume the car is a ‘safe place’ for their children…
  • How many bus drivers do we read about who fail to “check the seats”!
  • What is typically not realized is how quickly the air inside our vehicles can become saunas for our precious little ones… with temperatures escalating 20 to 30, or even 40 degrees higher INSIDE the car than the air OUTSIDE the car! According to an article in New Science Magazine (July 5, 2005) , a study done out of Stanford University re-echoes these facts: cars become ovens, even while outside temperatures are on the ‘cool’ side!
  • Children’s bodies’ heat up 3 to 5 times faster than adults, and a child can be critically injured or tragically dead within minutes!
  • In 2001, according to Kids N Carsthere were approx 20 child deaths due to hyperthermia.  In 2011, there were 33.  In 2010 there were over 49 (the highest number of fatalities in one year – ever)

My daughter and I remembered our ‘notes’. I thought of easy ways to leave a ‘note’ affixed to car windows, in key spots, to help remind us to “check the seats before we leave”. We decided to design decals to help save lives, as well as awaken our awareness of the dangers of vehicle suffocation for small children and pets! This is how we came up with Emma’s Inspirations.

I came up with the idea of static-cling decals to adhere (but not STICK with adhesive) to the car windows. I wanted to add a couple of ‘check’ marks to the decals with a stick figure boy and girl (some with a cat and dog added as well) and add a phrase that rhymed to increase the ease of remembering the dangers of suffocation for adults… and to educate children as well. I thought the phrase would help develop a new mindset for everyone… and help educate our children about automobile safety- the same way we educate them about outlet and toaster safety.

I thought 3 decals for each car was a good idea so I put them together in packages of 6 … enough for two cars. One could be placed just above the driver’s side window door-lock, another just below the rear-view mirror, (or the left corner of the windshield), and one for the back window corner. Some moms stick one on the kitchen window as well; to remind them to keep any cars outside LOCKED from little hands or hide and seek players! Others place one on or above their house alarm to remind them to check the seats.

Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post wrote a painfully candid article on this subject on Sunday, March 8, 2009. He recounts the tragedy of three families as they endure the heartache of recognition that their children died a horrifically “modern” death; they suffocated in seats their parents never took a second glance in! These are situations no family ever would have anticipated.

Emma’s window decals are that little reminder you need when things are moving at a fast pace. By sticking these decals in the right places you will have a simple and affordable reminder to check again. A reminder so simple …yet one that could save your child’s life!

HEALTHFUL HINTS

Many parents are unaware of the dangers lurking around parked cars. According to the Kids N Cars national database, there are a number of injuries that can happen in a ‘MOMENT’ to children left unattended in or around motor vehicles. Here are just a few things to watch for:

  • A child can suffocate in unattended vehicles;
  • Children can get their heads and hands caught in power windows;
  • They can inadvertently shift the car into gear…or fall out windows and doors;
  • “Frontovers” and “Backovers” are responsible for approx 61% of non-traffic fatalities for children under the age of 15;
  • We must be of a mind to NEVER LEAVE OUR CHILDREN ALONE IN OR AROUND CARS.

The decals from Emma’s Inspirations are an accident prevention tool to remind us to DOUBLE CHECK our seats, REMOVE any passengers, and LOCK our EMPTY parked cars from curious little ones. Other areas where safety stickers can keep your children safe from harm:

  • ID stickers for child safety seats – if you were ever in an accident, it would provide key information about your child to caregivers that you may be unable to communicate. You can usually get these at your local pharmacy or stationery store…
  • You might want to place a decal or sticker on a house or apartment window or door to alert emergency personnel to the presence of children in the home.
  • Poison Control stickers should be placed on phones themselves or next to the phone and/or on an inside cabinet door.
  • Medical alert bracelets or anklets or stickers or decals on a child’s seat or diaper bag or person to warn of potentially life-threatening allergies.
  • Decals and stickers are good to remind ‘no metal’ in the microwave or toaster.
  • Stickers and decals are small, yet significant aids in helping us keep track of the never ending flow of “things to remember to mention” or ”do” or “watch out for”… as we manage the literal “ins” and “outs” of our days… and care for the people, who at the end of our day, we do it ALL for… our children!

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Editor’s Note: we first ran this post in November of 2009.  With the weather warming up and National Heat Awareness Day on Friday the 23rd, we wanted to take a moment to share it with you again as a reminder to Please Check the Seats Before You Lock!

My Body Belongs to Me

Last updated on August 31st, 2015 at 12:45 am

As a prosecutor of child abuse and sex crimes in New York City for more than a decade, I My Body Belongs to Me-small2have often encountered children who were sexually abused for lengthy periods of time and suffered in silence. One case in particular had a profound impact on me and compelled me to write a children’s book called My Body Belongs to Me.

I prosecuted the case of a 9-year-old girl who had been raped by her stepfather since she was 6. She told no one. One day, the girl saw an episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” about children who were physically abused. The episode, “Tortured Children,” empowered the girl with this simple message: If you are being abused, tell your parents. If you can’t tell your parents, go to school and tell your teacher. The girl got the message and the very next day went to school and told her teacher. I prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s office. The defendant was convicted and is now serving a lengthy prison sentence.

I have thought often of that very sweet, very brave 9-year-old girl. It occurred to me that after three painful years, all it took to end her nightmare was a TV program encouraging her to “tell a teacher.” I wrote My Body Belongs to Me to continue that message. It endeavors to teach children that they don’t have to endure sexual abuse in silence. Parents and educators can use it as a tool to facilitate an open dialogue with youngsters.

The story is a simple scenario involving a gender neutral child who is inappropriately touched by an uncle’s friend. The powerful message really comes through when the youngster tells on the offender and the parents praise the child’s bravery. The last page shows a proud, smiling child doing a “strong arm” pose. The text assures them that it wasn’t their fault and by speaking out the child will continue to grow big and strong. It is a compelling and uplifting message.

The “Suggestions for the Storyteller” section is an important, interactive feature that facilitates the discussion to follow. It will make any caregiver feel more comfortable talking about this important subject, thereby helping to PREVENT the unthinkable from happening to their child. Research tells us that child sexual abuse does not discriminate. It is a problem that affects everyone.

  • In the United States, approx. 1 of 4 girls and 1 of 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18.
  • 47% of child sexual abuse victims wait 5 years or more to speak up, if they ever do.
  • 93% of child sexual abuse victims are abused by someone they already know.

It is my sincere hope that by educating girls and boys about this taboo subject, My Body Belongs to Me will prevent them from becoming victims in the first place.

HEALTHFUL HINTS:

  • To keep your children safe:
    1. No secrets. Period. Encourage your children to tell you about things that happen to them that make them feel scared, sad or uncomfortable. If children have an open line of communication, they will be more inclined to alert you to something suspicious before it becomes a problem. The way I effectuate this rule is as follows: If someone, even a grandparent, were to say something to my child such as “I’ll get you an ice cream later, but it will be our secret”, I firmly, but politely say “We don’t do secrets in our family.” Then I say to my child “Right? We don’t do secrets. We can tell each other everything.”
    2. Teach your child the correct terms for their body parts. This will make them more at ease if they need to tell you about a touch that made them feel uncomfortable.
    3. Teach your child to tell a safe person if someone touches them in an inappropriate way. Discuss with children the importance of telling a parent, teacher or other trusted adult right away.
    4. Let children decide for themselves how they want to express affection. Children should not be forced to hug or kiss if they are uncomfortable. Even if they are your favorite aunt, uncle or cousin, your child should not be forced to be demonstrative in their affection. While this may displease you, by doing this, you will empower your child to say no to inappropriate touching.
  • If you choose to use My Body Belongs to Me as a tool for teaching your family about body safety, here are some suggestions:
    1. Read the book at least once for enjoyment before using it to get into a serious discussion.
    2. After reading the book, help lead an open-ended discussion by asking questions such as the following: What are your parts that are private, Why did the child get scared, What did the uncle’s friend do, What did he tell the little child, If someone touches your private parts, should it be a secret, Why did the uncle’s friend put his finger up to his lips, What did the child do when he did that, Were the mom and dad happy when the child told them what had happened, What did they do, If the child did not tell the parents, who else could be told, How does the child feel in the picture at the end?
    3. Find teachable moments with your child to reinforce the lessons learned in the book.

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Editor’s Note: We first introduced you to Jill Starishevsky and “My Body Belongs to Me”  in February, 2010.  At the time, her book had been self-published and was only available for purchase on her website.  In May 2014, My Body Belongs to Me will be re-released and available for purchase on Amazon (congratulations Jill!).  And, since April is National  Child Abuse Prevention Month, we  thought it the perfect time to re-introduce this wonderful book to the Pediatric Safety community.  On a side note – if you decide you want a copy before the end of April, click on over to her site and tell her we sent you – she’ll take good care of you.

Kid’s Companion for Special Needs

Last updated on August 31st, 2015 at 12:46 am

Editor’s Note: We first introduced you to Kid’s Companion Chewelry for special needs children in January, 2010. Since then the company and mom-founder have expanded their product range and added items for babies and toddlers. We thought it was worth another introduction to this company that emphasizes benefits for kids with sensory issues along with safety and environmental responsibility.

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A common thread for many mom entrepreneurs is the stories that have made our companies. This is mine. It’s the story of the HeartString Kid Companion. One little item that gives peace of mind to caregivers and a shot of confidence to special needs youth. Let me tell you how…

One day, with two growing children, I noticed that my daughter, with Tourette’s Syndrome Kids Companionand sensory issues, very much appreciated a clay heart pendant I had made for her teething sister. Maybe it should be noted that my university background is in health sciences, but I also am a jeweler (my creative side I guess). As I watched, it struck me that my 3 year old couldn’t chew and fidget discreetly while my nursing infant could tug and teeth to her hearts’ content. After a few comments from parents, phone calls to child healthcare professionals and fruitless product searches, I realized that other parents were looking for such accessories, especially for their special needs children.

This began our journey. It was 2006 and the road ahead would be long with many challenges we’d need to overcome. As a mother, I wanted to see my children happy. Part of having a happy special needs youth is having one that functions well at school, at play and especially, as best she can with her peers. With time, needing to belong to her peer group would become more and more important. That meant creating something that was chewable and tuggable while still being “cool” enough to blend in. Finally, we had a solution….a durable, colorful, non-toxic pendant that was safe to chew on…something that could help any child be him/herself, anytime, anywhere. We called it the HeartString Kid Companion.

Years of research and development went into making this a product we could truly be proud of, from finding materials for the design idea to testing prototypes and final parts. Since our products are developed for infant use, we wanted FDA approved, North American sourced/made and socially responsible materials. THAT was a tall order, but we did it! We have followed ASTM standards and have passed the new (and future) CPSIA 3rd party testing. We have our 3rd Party Certificate documenting the safety standards met. We even keep a record of all MSDS certificates from our suppliers.

In the end, we learned a lot. From injection molding, to lab testing, to exporting and distribution channels… logistics, FDA and marketing. Our business skills are becoming honed and our knowledge of the maternity/paternity and infant market is increasing daily. With the many legal and marketing loopholes we encounter, we see how important it is, that companies like ours press on with their values. (…that is a whole other story…)

Ultimately we had one goal in mind for the time-strapped parent: In a world of increasing uncertainty about children product safety, The Kid’s Companion would give parents peace of mind.

  • A custom breakaway clasp will release and can be re-attached with ease – a feature that guards against strangulation, even at play.
  • 18” or 20″ necklaces (lanyards) are made with durable and washable rayon/cotton that is dyed with safe non-toxic dyes.
  • Pendants all pass small parts test and are actually around 2” to eliminate any possibility of choking
  • Pendant and clasp materials are medical grade, BPA/phthalates free, Lead free, Latex free and Cadmium free.
  • Everything can be washed!! (Pendants are even dishwasher safe).

Even more important…we discovered a way to help a child whose special needs might easily set them apart… find a way to fit in. For my daughter…for other children…we are making a difference…

Healthful Hints

There are a number of different types of products to help your child overcome sensory issues. Often recommended by both parents and occupational therapists are the following:

Many children with sensory issues like to put things in their mouth. To keep them safe:

  • Check if the product complies with safety regulations for child care articles!
  • Avoid PVC and plastic items with enamel or paint. Especially those at economy stores.
  • Do not rely on retailers or manufacturers to meet voluntary standards, or even to comply with mandatory standards. Request Proof. Get informed. Supply chains notoriously have holes.
  • As with the Kid’s Companion, make sure the items are too large to be swallowed and can easily be sanitized (i.e. dishwasher safe or machine-washable).
  • Replace any damaged products before they break, tear or can become small parts.

As always, if you’re introducing something new to your child’s routine, check with your child’s pediatrician, therapist or teacher first.

BuddyTag

Last updated on August 31st, 2015 at 12:05 am

My BuddyTagIt was a cold winter night when my six-year-old Bethanie got separated from my family at Six Flags over Texas. We have a tradition of going to Six Flags before Christmas to see the holiday lights and Christmas musicals, drink hot coco and go on the fun rides. It was getting close to the parks closing hours, so we stopped by a gift shop on the way out. My wife thought I was watching Bethanie, and I thought she had her. It was not until we got to the parks’ exit we both realized our youngest one was not with us. We had to fight through the crowd trying to exit and were lucky that we found her back at the gift shop. She was holding the store clerk’s hand with tears rolling down her face. Even though it was only about 10 minutes, it definitely felt like a worst nightmare, and so many horrible possibilities came across my mind.

That same night I searched the Internet for a product that I could use to track my children whenever they are out with me. But everything online was GPS or cellular tracking products. They are expensive, over $150 per piece. Worst yet, there are monthly service charges, averaging about $10 per month. It just so happened that I was working on a Bluetooth product for my company and realized that I could use this unique technology to make a child safety product that is cost effective, has no monthly fees, and easy to use; hence, BuddyTag!

BuddyTag is truly simple to use, and we designed each wristband with kids in mind- there are over 5 color combinations! Each BuddyTag set comes with a Bluetooth tag that fits into a custom designed wristband, and a free app that you can download onto your iPhone (4S or newer) or Samsung phone (Galaxy S3, S4, Note2 and Note3 with Android 4.3). There are many unique capabilities, but there are four that you should really know about.

The one we hear most about from parents is the Out of Range alert. When your child wanders out of your pre-set proximity, our app will sound an alarm and vibrate your phone to alert you. When you get the alert, you want to quickly get your child back within your sight. The maximum distance varies depending on which phone you have and also your surroundings (open space vs. a house with many walls). With my iPhone 5S, my daughter’s BuddyTag can work up to about 80 feet at a playground. My sister has a Samsung Note3, and her phone can track a BuddyTag up to about 120 feet. Our app also has a customization setting that allows you customize the range.

My BuddyTag - colors for kids

I personally find the Panic Button the most useful with my two daughters! When they are out shopping with me, I am always nervous about letting them use a public restroom because I don’t know who is in there and what’s going on inside. If my daughters ever felt threatened in any way, they are taught to scream and quickly press the Panic Button on their BuddyTag . My phone will alert me, so I can quickly take actions to help them.

Speaking of which, whether you have one child or a Brady Bunch, you can connect all their BuddyTags  to your phone and even enter each child’s name so you know which BuddyTag is who. This way you can track all your children on the same app. Not to worry though – you are the ONLY person who can track your child’s BuddyTag. Once it is connected to your device, no one else can see it. If you want to pass your child’s BuddyTag to your spouse, you simply disconnect it from your device and let your spouse connect to it with theirs. We wanted simple – but safety was key!

If you and your child do get separated, the Personal ID tag will help reunite your lost child with you. Our silicone wristband has a white sticker for your name and phone number, while the Velcro and terrycloth wristbands have a personal ID insert. If your child doesn’t have your cell phone number memorized this feature is very important.

If you are a working parent with a babysitter taking your child out for daily activities, the Email with Last Seen Location is extremely useful. Before leaving your kids, download the BuddyTag app onto your babysitter’s phone. If the child wanders out of the Bluetooth signal range from the babysitter, our app alerts the babysitter that the child is out of range and also sends an email to two additional designated persons with the date, time and the Google map location of where they got separated. When you receive the email, you can quickly call your babysitter to make sure your child is safe and sound.

My engineering team and I spent over a year optimizing our app and refining our BuddyTag design. Based on our customers’ feedback, we made sure to address any concerns about easy removal of the wristbands. Our patent pending silicone wristband is reinforced with Mylar and fastened with a custom designed coin screw. Once you use a coin to fasten the wristband on your child, it’s actually pretty difficult to remove it. Alternatively, if you want something that is easier to put on and take off, our Velcro and terrycloth wristbands would be perfect. If having something around their wrist bothers your child, you can loop the Velcro wristband around one of the belt loops or simply remove the Bluetooth tag and place it in one of your child’s pockets.

Like all technology and safety products, BuddyTag is not meant to replace proper parental supervision. It is best to use BuddyTag in conjunction with the healthful hints below. I sincerely hope BuddyTag brings you a peace of mind as it has for me!

Editor’s Note:  If you want to see BuddyTag in action, it will be featured on the TODAY show on Monday, March 10, 2014.  Look for it on your local NBC station.

HEALTHFUL HINTS:

Before you visit a theme park or go shopping with your child, develop a game plan on how to find each other if you get separated. Keep it simple because your child will not remember too many things when in panic.

  1. Stay Where You Are. Don’t panic, just stay where you are at. Don’t try to wander around and look for mom and dad. It’s easier for mom and dad to trace our way back to find you than you trying to find us.
  2. Ask for Help, But Don’t “Go” with Strangers. You can ask for help from adults, but first look for police officers, security guards, store clerks or theme park workers wearing uniforms and nametags. If you don’t see any uniformed personnel, you look for other kids holding hands with their moms. Ask one of the moms for help, but don’t go with them. When I was at Disney World with my children during Thanksgiving, the first thing we did when we got to the park is to teach my children recognizing park employees. Most theme park employees wear colorful polo shirts and khaki pants, and they all usually have nametags on.
  3. Carry Personal ID Information. My younger daughter is 7 years old now, but I still make her carry personal ID information with her. I am concerned that she might not remember my cell phone number when she is in panic. It doesn’t have to be a BuddyTag, but simply a piece of paper with your name and phone number will work.

If you have children younger than 4 years old, you should also make sure they know your full name. Many young children know their parents only as mommy and daddy. It is crucial to teach them to yell out your full name when lost.

Baby Silk

Last updated on August 31st, 2015 at 12:47 am

Editor’s Note: we first introduced you to Baby Silk in December of 2009. With all the new products they’ve developed since then, we thought now might be a perfect time to re-introduce them to you. Also, this gives you the chance to meet the MD Moms 2014 Charity of the Year: UCPlay. **************************************************************************************************************************

Hi, we’re Dr. Diane Truong and Dr. JJ Levenstein, pediatricians and founders of MD Moms, makers of Baby Silk, the first personal care line for babies developed by pediatrician-moms. As pediatricians and moms, we’ve cared for thousands of children for nearly a quarter of a century. Baby Silk LineIt’s no surprise that during this time we’ve fielded hundreds of questions from concerned parents about common skin conditions and the safety and efficacy of the products available to treat them. One of the most common questions asked in our practices was, “How do I treat my baby’s cradle cap?” Cradle cap, for those unfamiliar, is a greasy, flaky rash that develops on the scalps of many newborns in the first few months of life. As parents ourselves, we couldn’t find any baby products on the market for our own children with ingredients that made sense (i.e., there were plenty of oily emulsions out there, but none with specific keratolytic or exfoliating ingredients). Our solution? To make one ourselves. But we didn’t stop at cradle cap. Because parents also asked about how to treat skin conditions such as diaper rash and dry skin, we created a full line of skincare solutions for babies.

Building MD Moms from the ground up meant we’d need to make sacrifices, but we believed strongly enough in our vision that it was more than worth the investment. With the help of a consultant, feedback from our own patients and a veteran cosmetics formulator from a respected research and development laboratory, our Baby Silk line—inspired by our Gentle Scalp Rub—was born in 2006. In our early stages, we borrowed against all of our assets (college fund, savings, and our home and retirement accounts) so that we could fund the first couple of years of MD Moms until we started to see an increase in sales. Personal time was spent traveling, arranging promotional events and taking part in weekend meetings and special projects. And when we weren’t treating our patients, we spent many late nights rebottling, repacking and shipping thousands of promos.

Because safety is our top priority, each of our products undergoes strict clinical testing and exceeds industry guidelines for safety. We use the latest medical data to ensure that each is effective, gentle and safe for infants. We further validate our products’ gentleness and safety by performing RIPT (repeat insult patch testing on sensitive subjects) to assure that our products are least likely to irritate baby’s skin. All of our products rated “0” on a 1-5 scale (perfect, hypoallergenic, non-irritating score) in the first round of testing. Additionally, we enlist a chemist and Pharm D Safety Assessor to review the chemical specifications and toxicological profiles of our ingredients to ensure that they are safe and fulfill the needs of our young consumers. And with the needs of our little patients in mind, we’re continually working to enhance and improve upon our line.

We know we’ve accomplished our mission when we hear from parents who were elated to find us after unsuccessfully searching for solutions to their little ones’ skin conditions. Also, our company has made it possible for us to raise awareness of the UCPlay Project, our children’s Charity of the Year for 2014, which brings brings creative, sensory and highly interactive performing arts programming into public schools for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. We’re fortunate to be able to address children’s needs—whether it’s through charity or our Baby Silk line—and will continue to look for ways to improve the health and lives of children.

HEALTHFUL HINTS 

Q: Aside from using Gentle Scalp Rub, what else can I do to treat my baby’s cradle cap?

A: Cradle cap is best treated by removing the crusts and flakes on baby’s scalp with an oil-based shampoo. Shampoos with an oily base essentially soften the greasy scales, and separate the scales from the baby’s hair. When combined with a gentle exfoliator, like salicylic acid (a derivative of aspirin), the flakes will be easier to rub or comb off the baby’s scalp.

Q: Are there different types of sunscreen?

A: Yes. A variety of sunscreens exist to provide protection from sun exposure: chemical sunscreens, physical sunscreens, or a combination of both.

Chemical sunscreens absorb UV radiation on the skin, then disperse this energy into harmless rays. They are made from active ingredients like octyl methoxycinnamate, octyl salicylate, octocrylene, and oxybenzone (which provide UVB protection) or avobenzone (which provides UVA protection). Chemical sunscreens require 20 minutes to activate, and ideally should be applied in 2 coats 20-30 minutes apart, before going outside.

Physical sunscreens (containing titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide) are not absorbed into the skin, but rather sit on its surface and reflect, scatter and block UVA and UVB rays. These ingredients are less irritating, in general, and are immediately active upon application. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Dermatology advocate their use in children, and even in infants under the age of 6 months if direct sun exposure cannot be avoided.

Some sunscreens combine both chemical and physical agents in order to provide broad spectrum protection. Our sunscreen uses only physical agents to provide both UVA and UVB protection.

Q: How can I prevent diaper rash on my baby?

A: The best way to prevent diaper rash is to keep your baby’s bottom clean and dry at all times. Since this is not always possible, using a barrier cream to keep baby’s skin from coming into direct contact with irritants in a dirty diaper will help.

Q: Why is my baby’s skin dry?

A: A newborn’s skin dries out almost immediately after birth, as baby transitions from the moist environment of the womb to his or her new environment in the outside world. Within the first 2-3 weeks of life, a newborn’s skin will typically flake and shed, regardless of what a parent does. After that point, if your baby’s skin continues to feel dry, regular application of a moisturizer can make a difference.

easidream

Last updated on August 31st, 2015 at 12:48 am

Editor’s Note: we first ran this post in July of 2009 not long after easidream’s creation. It will officially be available to purchase this summer so we thought we’d take this opportunity to share it with you again.

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Hello, I’m Lynda, mum to six lovable and lively children and inventor of easidream®

When my sixth child, Bradley was born, he cried constantly and it was a nightly struggle to settle him to sleep…a struggle that went on until he was two and a half years old! I tried everything to soothe him off to sleep, but I discovered that the most reliable way was to lean over the cot sides and create a ‘rocking cot’ motion by moving the mattress up and down. Having scoured shops and the internet for any product that would replicate this movement (and relieve my backache!), I realised that there was nothing suitable out there, so I went on to take the ‘massive step’ of developing a product of my own – easidream® crib

Easidream cribFor the next few years I researched the problem as deeply as possible, canvassing valuable input from sleep experts, university departments and medical professionals like midwives, child psychologists and paediatricians. I also consulted with the baby care industry and product design teams and, of course, surveyed many parents with young babies. At last, after a 7-year gestation easidream® was born!

The finished product has been meticulously designed and researched. I considered it was essential for easidream® to undergo proper scientific trials to validate its efficiency… it was no good just me saying it worked, I needed to be 100% sure that it did! I embarked on a year long period of research in conjunction with University of Brighton medical experts, which involved testing both the moving platform and the soothing sounds on a wide selection of babies. These studies not only revealed just how effective easidream® was at promoting healthy sleep patterns, but also showed that it encourages parents to adopt safe sleep practices.

The findings revealed:

  • Average crying time on easidream® was reduced from 18 minutes to less than 1 minute
  • All of the babies that took part in the trials remained happily settled on their backs; great news in respect of SIDS
  • Time to settle to sleep in some cases was reduced by up to 95%

We all know that when a new baby arrives, uninterrupted sleep is rare and we have to adapt to shorter, broken nights and savour every moment of sleep we can catch. But although we think our bodies are coping with just a few ‘catnaps’ a night, continuous lack of sleep eventually catches up on us all; it’s vitally important that we understand just how crucial sleep is to the whole family’s well being… not just for healthy child development, but also for the general health and well being of everyone in the household. Did you know that it has been proven that well rested children develop faster, are healthier and have fewer behavioural problems? With adults, lack of sleep has been proven to affect both memory and cognitive skills…. What more can I say? I was determined to invent a product that would not only help soothe particularly fractious babies, but also promote the formation of a healthy sleep pattern, so both babies and parents could benefit from a good night’s rest.

easidream® actually assists in encouraging the formation of a healthy sleep pattern plus it encourages babies to self settle on their back in the cot, which is great news in the fight against SIDS. It also solves the problem of sleep deprivation for the whole family by rewarding them with those valuable hours of sleep they so richly deserve. End result: happy, healthier babies and happy, healthier parents!

HEALTHFUL HINTS:

1.   Putting babies to sleep

  • Make sure you place your baby with their feet at the foot of the cot (but not touching the end of the cot) , to reduce the likelihood of the baby wriggling down and becoming overheated underneath any cot bedding, which may end up over the baby’s head. Overheating has been shown to greatly increase the likelihood of a SIDS related incident occurring.
  • Also, remove soft toys from the cot, as they too could increase your baby’s temperature to an unsafe level. This is why ewan, our dream sheep, is secured to the cot bars and not positioned directly in line with your baby’s head, just in case he becomes detached – although this is extremely unlikely! (Some of our website shots are at an angle that may look like ewan is close to the head, but I can assure you he’s not!)
  • Always ensure your baby is placed to sleep on their back; again this is incredibly important in reducing the likelihood of a SIDS incident occurring. (The beauty of easidream® is that it has been proven to actually help baby’s settle to sleep on their backs and so parents are more likely to follow the recommended safe sleep guidelines.)
  • While all of this is consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines for Safe Sleeping , each baby is unique. Always remember to ask your doctor what’s best for your baby’s sleep.

2.   If they wake up or refuse to sleep:

  • …it is extremely important that you go and check your baby to determine the reason why. We have spent a great deal of time researching this particular area and having consulted medical professionals, and it is why we decided against having an automatic sound activated feature or a remote control that would “restart” the soother. As this is such a vulnerable age group, we consider it vitally important that parents return to their baby to remedy any problem – dirty nappy, thirsty, hungry etc. For healthy, happy sleep times we believe that interaction with your baby is vital and we strongly encourage this practise.