In today’s edition of toys that can hurt you, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Step2 are recalling 56,000 Sand & Water Transportation Station toys, like the one pictured, in the U.S. and another 7,700 in Canada. The light blue plastic wheels on the train cars can come off, which poses a potential choking hazard for small children. Trains with grey wheels are OK. Please don’t ask about the chartreuse or magenta wheels, because we don’t know.
The toys were sold at Target and other stores for $49-$59, and Step2 is offering to replace the train cars. Need more details? Get ‘em here.
OK, let’s get this straight. Fresh veggies, good. Veggie toys, not so much.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Land of Nod toymakers just recalled 2,100 “Play With Your Veggies” toys (pictured) because the asparagus can cut you. Ahem. There’s a metal wire inside the asparagus spears, and the pointy bits can tear skin. The radish, onion and fellow vegetables are not implicated in the recall. Need more info? Get it here.
Really disturbing story in the latest issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics – seems the number of ER visits by young athletes with concussions has gone through the roof. And experts are theorizing that it’s not just because parents and coaches are more aware of the dangers of head injuries, but because the intensity and aggression in competitive youth sports has soared too.
Emergency room visits for 14- to 19-year-olds with concussions has tripled in the last decade — from 7,000 in 1997, to 22,000 in 2007. And younger kids, ages 8-13, went from 3,800 to 8,000.
And that awareness stuff is troubling too. Yes, parents, coaches and players are more aware of concussions – but, say the study’s authors, their concerns seem to center around how soon the kids can get back on the field, rather than the long-term impact of having one’s brain matter sloshed against the sides of the skull.
Every pregnant mom wants the best for her baby, but how much weight gain is “normal”? My colleague, Jessica Yadegaran, explores that topic in this morning’s Oakland Tribune and Contra Costa Times, and says: bottom line, “normal” depends on the mom. How much weight gain is appropriate depends on whether you’re slim, average or overweight to begin with. Ditto on the workouts. That said, the the American Congress of Obstetricans and Gynecologists recommends an average gain of 25 to 37 pounds during pregnancy. But if mom was carrying excess weight when she got pregnant, the guideline drops to 15 to 26 pounds. But it all depends on the woman – and her doctor. Read more about the whys and hows here, then tell us, how much weight did you gain with your babies?
You guys reading about the Southwest Airlines fracas? CNN and USA Today are reporting that a mother slapped her crying 13-month-old baby across the face during a mid-flight incident that had the dad yelling at his wife to stop screaming, and neighboring passengers frantically pushing their call buttons. Adding to the agitation, the baby had a black eye, which the parents later said was from a dog bite incident a few days before. A Southwest flight attendant intervened and calm was restored … until they got to the gate in Albuquerque anyway.
The flight was met at the gate by airport police and medical personnel, who took statements from the flight attendant, a witness and the parents – the mother says the baby kicked her and wouldn’t stop screaming, so she “popped her” but “didn’t do anything wrong,” and only reacted after the baby kicked her. The parents were not charged and the family continued on to another flight.
Interesting story in the New York Times on Monday about a dramatic drop in circumcision rates in the U.S. According to a CDC researcher who spoke at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna last month, just 32.5% of the baby boys born in U.S. hospitals in 2009 were circumcised, compared with 56% in 2006, and two-thirds in the ’80s and ’90s. (CDC is investigating the data further, but the numbers are based on statistics from Pennsylvania’s SDI Health, which analyzes health care figures. These numbers do not include, for example, Jewish ritual circumcisions conducted outside hospitals.)
Circumcision is an issue that has sent pediatricians swinging this way and that. The current position by the American Academy of Pediatrics is neutral, and it’s a procedure that’s not covered by several state Medicaid programs. But the World Health Organization began advocating circumcision in 2007 as “an important intervention to reduce the risk of heterosexually acquired H.I.V.” And the new AAP guidelines, due out in 2011, are expected to back away from the neutral stance and lean more toward encouragement of the procedure.
Still, nothing’s clear on this issue. Circumcision doesn’t seem to protect gay men, and even the studies in Africa, which found that the procedure seemed to lower the risk of infection for heterosexual men involved with HIV-positive women, did not find it beneficial the other way round.
Fisher-Price and the federal consumer safety folks just recalled 96,000 of these Little People Play ‘n Go Campsite toys. The plastic doll can break apart at the waist, exposing small parts that can pose a choking hazard. The problem seems confined to the Sonya Lee dolly in this set, not the tent or other play pieces, so if you’ve got one of these, remove the doll and contact Fisher-Price for a new one. Perhaps Barbie and Ken would like to go camping instead…
In the good old days, we played outside in the street or at a neighborhood park till the cows came home … or rather, till our moms hollered, “Bedtime!” But these days, that kind of unstructured, outdoor play is rapidly evaporating. KaBOOM, the nonprofit playground advocates, has been working with communities to build playgrounds, esp in low-income neighborhoods, where kids are 20-60% more likely to be obese. (The playgrounds are community efforts, with kids helping with the designs. Needless to say, kids want slides, swings and clubhouses, but they’ve also asked for dinosaur fossils and … a shark. Love it!)
That said, there are other ways to get kids outdoors and playing, and parents can help. KaBOOM suggests hosting a neighborhood Play Day, scouting out neighborhood play areas, and opting for a little free, retro fun – hula hoops, fort building and hopscotch.
The federal consumer safety folks and Baby Matters just issued a recall for 30,000 Nap Nanny Recliners in the wake of the death of a 4-month-old girl from Michigan. The baby was napping in the recliner, which had been placed inside her crib – which you are not supposed to do. The recliner is supposed to be used on the floor only. In this case, the baby was still in the harness, but had fallen out and become caught between the Nap Nanny and the crib bumper. The photograph above shows a re-enactment of the tragic accident. This is the second such crib incident – but there have been 22 other cases of babies hanging or falling out of the Nap Nanny, despite being buckled in.
If you have a Nap Nanny, stop using it immediately and visit www.napnanny.com/recall for information on the harness issue. And bear in mind that any product of this type, whether it’s a recliner, a baby seat or whatever, should be used on the floor - not atop a table or countertop, where falling out could lead to serious injury; nor in a crib or playpen, where the child risks entrapment or suffocation.
The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission just recalled 45,000 of these cheap Karino Baby Pacifiers, sold for 25 cents each, because they violate pretty much every safety standard for pacifiers. The nipple separates from the base, the handle is too long, the mouth guard too small and there are no air holes on the mouth guard. The only thing one can say in favor of these things is that they don’t seem to have been dipped in lead paint or cadmium. If you think you have one, look for the word “Kariño” on the handle side of the mouth guard, and “Mygra” on the handle. And here’s another bizarre thing. The nipple, says the CPSC, is filled with corn syrup. Um, is that normal?