Archive for November, 2011


Safe Toy Shopping Tips

Monday, November 28th, 2011

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, the holiday shopping season has officially begun.  While wish lists are being made, parents scramble to find toys that their child wants but also toys that are safe.  Yes, you can find both with a little savvy shopping.  While your kids will certainly try to tell you what toys to get, the experts at WebMD compiled some safe toy shopping tips with what you should avoid:

  1. Brightly painted toys (wood, plastic, and metal) made in Pacific Rim countries, because of lead paint dangers.  Parents may even want to shun brightly colored plastic toys made from molds, which have been a problem in previous years. Children mouthing the toys for extended periods can get lead poisoning, which can cause irreversible neurological damage.
  2. Ceramic or pottery toys manufactured outside the U.S. and Europe, because of lead dangers.  If children drink tea from a ceramic tea set, for example, the lead from the ceramic can leach into the tea.
  3. Many products from any countries outside the U.S. and Europe. Mexican pottery and candy, for example, have tested for high levels of lead.
  4. Soft vinyl toys can also contain toxins, including lead.
  5. Toys with small parts can pose a choking hazard for young children.  Government regulations specify that toys for children under age 3 cannot have parts less than 1 1/4 inches in diameter and 2 1/4 inches long.
  6. Pull toys with strings that are more than 12 inches in length, which can be a strangulation hazard for babies.
  7. Magnetic toys, which can be swallowed by young children.
  8. All jewelry, especially metal jewelry, for children of all ages.  Many jewelry pieces — even some marked “lead-free” — have contained dangerous levels of lead.
  9. Items that contain “phthalates,” or toxic chemicals, such as xylene, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, and benzene, which can cause health problems in children.
  10. Toys that are not age-appropriate. Toys intended for older children can harm younger ones.  Older children who play with toys intended for younger ones can be injured when, out of boredom, they seek unintended uses for the toys.

Experts also caution that parents should pay attention to warning labels, which mean the toy can be dangerous. At the same time, they shouldn’t be deceived by manufacturers’ labels, which are voluntary and not always factual. This includes labels that say “toxic-free” and “lead-free,” among others.

Tips for Safe and Healthy Holidays

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

The holidays can be a magical time for you and your family.  Parties, gifts, and food can be fun, but they can also create a great deal of stress.  Keeping your kids safe and healthy during the holidays will allow you to focus on all the joy and wonder this season has to offer.  (more…)

Nature and Nurture Work Together to Shape Brain

Friday, November 18th, 2011

One of the oldest debates in child development is nature versus nurture.  Is it genetics or the environment in which the child is raised that determines their personality? The scientific jury is still out, but as a parent you might say it’s a little bit of both- especially when watching your own child’s behavior. Your parental hunch may be right, as a new study found that it is a combination of both nature and nurture. (more…)

Routine Iron Fortification of Infant Formula Linked to Poorer Development

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Iron is a vital mineral requiring a delicate balance in the body.  While too little iron can cause developmental issue in infants, too much can also have adverse effects.  Many foods for infants and children are fortified with iron because many children in earlier decades were deficient.  But has all this fortification lead to kids getting too much iron? A new study found that in the case of infant formula, the answer may be yes. (more…)

Creating Healthy Holiday Treats for Kids

Friday, November 11th, 2011

There is nothing like the smell of goodies baking in the oven during the holidays.  Cooking with your kids can evoke your own childhood memories while in turn passing that memory onto your kids creating lasting traditions.  Some of those recipes, however, may not be as healthy as you eat now or may not be suitable for a child with food allergies. There’s no reason you can’t rework those recipes to keep all the fun and memories, so to get you started here is a guide to healthier holiday treats for kids: (more…)

Danish Research Suggests Dirt Prevents Allergy

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Theories have long swirled about causation of allergies and immune system development.  One of particular interest in the Hygiene Hypothesis- that lack of exposure to microorganisms in early childhood can increase the susceptibility of allergies by suppressing the natural development of the immune system.  In short, without exposure to bugs, our immune system can’t build up its defenses.  A new study found the answer to this quandary may be in the dirt. (more…)

Are Acid-Suppressing Drugs Prescribed Too Often in Infants?

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Just about every baby has an upset tummy, gas, indigestion, or spits up from time to time.  Yet when spitting up becomes more frequent, or is accompanied by irritability or unexplained crying, doctors often reach for their prescription pads.  When acid-suppressing drugs, used for treating gastrointestinal reflux disorder or GERD, are given to otherwise healthy infants a recent study may have doctors putting down their pens. (more…)

Why Rice?

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

A trip down the baby food and product isle these days can leave any mum feeling confused.  There are an overwhelming number of options, which is coupled by the overwhelming amount of conflicting information as to what to feed your baby.  It is clear, at Mum Mum’s we are partial to rice so it is about time to answer the burning question: why rice? (more…)

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