Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Get out and ride!

Last night while making Chicken Parmesan for the kids, my son informed me that he had a flat tire on his bicycle.  He asked me if that meant that he had to buy a whole new tire or just the inner tube?  I decided I had enough time while my sauce simmered to educate him and his sister on the fine art of patching a bicycle tube.  Thank goodness they found it fascinating and were surprised how easy it was with the right tools.  They were so excited they both went for a ride on their bikes around the neighborhood while I finished up the chicken.  I have always loved bikes and cycling and hope to hand that passion on to my children because it holds a life time of benefits. Cycling with your kids is more than a good way of getting them out of the house and exercising – it turns even mundane trips such as the school run into quality time.  Fall is upon us, but there is still plenty of time to ride!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chicago is laying down the law on crib bumpers!

Its hard to know what to believe when it comes to our own health and the health of our children.  So Many studies, so many scary facts. "Did I assemble this correctly?", "Is this secure enough?", "Is this the best product for my child?", "is this safe for my child?".  These are just a few of the thousands of questions that run through every parents mind daily!  When asked for advice  I always suggest common sense, research, and the, "does it feel safe to you?" philosophy. The city of Chicago feels differently, and is going to make one decision for all parents in their jurisdiction.
Chicago became the first city in the U.S. to ban the sale of crib bumper pads last week. The City Council approved the ordinance, which was introduced after Chicago Tribune investigations suggested bumpers pose a suffocation risk to babies.
The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association maintains that crib bumper pads can help prevent injury when used correctly, and the ordinance which proposes to ban bumpers in the City of Chicago could bring unintended consequences if crib bumper pads are not made available to parents and caregivers.
The JPMA said that in 2011, it commissioned a third party review of previous studies of crib bumper pads. Based on the outcomes of the studies that were reviewed by Exponent, a leading engineering and scientific consulting firm providing solutions to complex technical problems, found that there were methodological problems that were apparent in the criteria used to select the incidents included for analysis and in the analytical treatment of other potential contributors. So they basically did not have enough evidence or data.
In March of 2011, Innovative Science Solutions (ISS) announced that a thorough review of published scientific studies performed for JPMA revealed no direct evaluation of a relationship between crib bumper pad use and infant death.
The Exponent study said that "Investigations into sleep environments of infants consistently fail to identify crib bumpers as a unique or separate source of serious injury or death to sleeping infants. Studies focusing efforts on evaluating sleep-related hazards generally, and crib bumpers explicitly, similarly do not find crib bumpers to be a significant risk."

"Based on the analysis completed by Exponent, the crib bumper pad ban in the City of Chicago is baseless and may be putting children at risk for further injuries due to unintended consequences and parents attempting to create makeshift items to replace bumper pads," said Michael Dwyer, JPMA executive director.

The state of Maryland is considering a similar proposal to ban the sale of bumpers.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rock n Roll without the headache!

Finally! Kids hearing protection!You now have a solution to providing hearing protection for children with sensitive hearing and kids that need hearing protection. The Banz hearing protectors effectively attenuate harmful loud noises without shutting out other ambient sounds. The earmuffs are easy to wear, with a low profile and no protruding parts that can catch on things. The wide, foam-filled cushions ensure that the set doesn't squeeze uncomfortably, and there is plenty of space for the ears inside the shells. Banz earmuffs have a comfy leather cover over the headband to ensure all over comfort!! The weight is also important to comfort; each ear muff weighs just 190 grams.

They are perfect for all sorts of activities including:
   - helping out to mow the yard or with workshop projects
   - going to sporting events, car races or air shows
   - water skiing, boating and other water sports
   - music concerts or band rehearsals
   - calming young children in noisy environments

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Healthy habits during pregnancy!

Have you or a girlfriend ever used pregnancy as an excuse to skip workouts or to overindulge because you’re “eating for 2?”  Pregnancy is the perfect time to start or continue a healthy lifestyle…no more excuses.  A nutritious diet, a low to moderate exercise regimen, and a rested state will help lead to a greater feeling of well-being for not only you, the mother, but also your growing child and family.  The habits you form now will affect generations to come.
When I was pregnant with my son 3 years ago, I had the nutrition part down.  A cold glass of milk coupled with a piece of fruit and steel cut oatmeal was my breakfast staple.  Lunch was always a hearty, protein rich salad with a side of fruit and wheat crackers.  My dinners were as equally balanced.  I religiously hydrated every hour and munched on snacks as needed (nuts, raw veggies, dried or fresh fruit, and an occasional brownie – my guilty pleasure).
Exercise was also a no brainer.  However, when fellow gym rats began questioning me and my protruding baby bump about my rigorous weight lifting routine and long runs on the treadmill, I figured I better do a little prenatal exercise research.  In the end, I didn’t want to harm my little being inside.  Some websites suggested I refrain from all abdominal work, another said to not lift objects greater than 30lbs, and others cautioned me to keep my heart rate under 140 beats per minute.  If this was all true, then my son and I were doomed!  Luckily however, I learned of a local pre- and postnatal program.  Each Stroller Strides/Fit4Baby instructor was nationally certified and based their workouts upon the rate of perceived exertion.  Not only did I receive a phenomenal interval based workout that combined cardiovascular and strength training, but I was given modifications for certain moves, kindly reminded to tone it down during tough sets, and made close friends with my 12 other competitors (all soon to be or new mamas).
Now, the resting part…hmmm…that is something I still struggle with to this day.  However, during my pregnancy state, I did take an hour out of my afternoon each day to read a book or do some reflective thinking.  Reducing my schedule and obligations, taking time for myself, and getting to bed early are some of my goals that are slowly becoming more achievable.
It’s truly up to you to determine where the line falls; just try to do what’s best for you and your baby’s health.  Eat nutrient dense foods, enroll in prenatal exercise (Yoga and Pilates are wonderful options as well), and get ample rest. 

Written by Sarah Johnson (Registered Nurse - predominant experience in labor and delivery and newborn nursery, AFAA Certified Group Exercise Instructor, Nationally Certified in Pre/Post Natal Fitness)  For more Information or to attend a class with Sarah click on the Stroller Strides logo below!

NOTE: This information is not intended to be a medical guideline for pregnant women. If you are pregnant, it is recommended that you consult your physician to determine a prenatal exercise program that is right for you.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

You and your kids will love this!

I often search the web for interesting things to blog about.  A cool new children's product, facts and information about parenting, or something that makes me laugh, usually catch my eye.  This morning I came across a fun and fascinating website called   I could not stop watching all the wonderful videos.

As the website states: There's just so much science, nature, music, arts, technology, storytelling and assorted good stuff out there that my kids (and maybe your kids) haven't seen. It's most likely not stuff that was made for them...
Off the grid-for-little-kids videos and other smart stuff collected by Rion Nakaya and her three year old co-curator.  
But we don't underestimate kids around here.
below is a video example of what you find.  Take a look and visit the site with your kids. 

Flottille (detail) from Etienne Cliquet on Vimeo.