Twitter Party Every Expectant Mother Should Attend – Cord Blood Banking – Insurance for the Future

Did you know that over the past 20 years, through more than 20,000 transplants, cord blood stem cells have been proven effective in treating many life-threatening diseases, such as leukemia and other cancers and blood and immune disorders?  And, tremendous progress is being made in the research of using cord blood in exciting new areas like brain injury.

Many OB/GYNs tell patients that there is no need to bank cord blood if there is no history of a hereditary disease in the family – WRONG! Learn the real facts!

When: Thursday May 26th, 2011 from 9pm – 10pm EST

Where: On Twitter! Follow Me @safetymom and #CordBlood411

Why attend?  Learn possible life saving information for your baby.  Great prize giveaways including my new book “Honey, I Lost the Baby in the Produce Aisle, The Safety Mom’s Guide to Childproofing your Life” for all that RSVP and participate in the conversation.

RSVP – To be entered to win a prize, simply RSVP by posting a comment below including your Twitter handle.  We will pick the names of the winner(s) by using Random Number Generators against the confirmed list of RSVPs.  If your number is chosen and you post a comment during the party, you win!

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Backyard Safety Tips

Now that schools are letting out soon, kids are going to be playing in the backyard more than ever. So, now is a great time to look around your backyard and make sure it is safe. My babyproofing company, Safety Mom Solutions includes a review of the backyard area as part of the home consultation. However, for those of you that are past the stage that you need to a professional babyproofer, or are a do-it yourselfer, below are great tips to help keep everyone safe.

• The plastic and metal on slides and swings can get extremely hot in high temperatures causing serious burns. It is the same rule as with bath water, test it! If the play area is not in a shady area, look into installing a shade covering.
• As part of your spring lawn clean-up be sure have your trees checked. Rotting or dead trees can fall and cause serious injury. Especially make sure any trees that are close to the swing set are healthy and pruned.
• Clear the area of large sticks as kids love to play with them and can hurt others or themselves.
• Be sure everyone, including your pets stay off the lawn following lawn treatments, for the time period recommended by the manufacturer. Read the labels and safety warnings.
• Children need to be dressed properly. No flip-flops or open toed shoes when climbing or swinging. And, never let them wear loose clothing or anything with drawstrings that could get caught in the equipment resulting in strangulation.
• Make sure that there is still 6 to 9 inches of wood chips or other protection underneath the playground equipment. If not, call your local tree company, many times they are willing to give chips away if you pick them up. Also, check all connections and bolts to make sure nothing came loose.
• Check your fence to see if any damage has occurred during the winter. Be sure to fix areas that can be an escape route and make sure the locks still work properly.
• Keep all yard tools and lawn materials, like fertilizer and seed in a shed with a lock.
• Make sure your grill is not too close to the house. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, the grill should be at least 10 feet away from the house.
• Bees love to make hives in wooden play sets and in outside lamp fixtures. Check these areas frequently. If you find a hive, call a professional!
• Check your pool fence and make sure it has a child proof lock. Door alarms that chime when someone has left the house are a great layer of additional safety. There are also pool motion detectors that will alert you when someone or thing falls in the pool. Make sure the drain suction is working properly and has a cover that is up to code. Also, make sure that the pool treatments are done correctly, too much chlorine can cause skin irritations, eye irritation, and both short and longer-term respiratory problems.

Have a safe and fun summer!
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Enter Hershey’s Kisses Share Sweet Moments of Family Fun Promotion

I won the “Coolest Mom of the Year” award a few weeks ago when I took them down to New York City for a night of playing games and eating Hershey®’s Kisses® Chocolates. My daughters and I played a game of Twister with a new “twist” – whenever someone landed on red, they got a Hershey®’s Kisses® Chocolate. We also got to check out one of Hasbro’s newest Family Game Night game, RATUKI, which is quickly becoming a family favorite.

The event was to kick off the Hershey’s Kisses Share Sweet Moments of Family Fun instant-win promotion. Hershey’s has partnered with Hasbro and is giving families the chance to win thousands of prizes including a $10,000 family-room makeover. Now through June 15, 2011, consumers can visit www.kissesfamilygamenight.com to enter the online sweepstakes where they are eligible to instantly win prizes. Upon entry, participants receive a “CONGRATULATIONS! You are a WINNER” or “SORRY! You have not won a prize” message. Each time an entrant plays, they will receive one entry into the Grand Prize drawing with one lucky player receiving a variety of Hasbro games and $10,000, which may be used towards a family-room makeover. In addition, 360 winners will receive the first prize of a Hasbro Family Game Night game, 360 second prize winners will receive a Hasbro Family Game Night card game, and 1,440 third prize winners will receive a coupon good for one free 12 oz. bag of Hershey’s Kisses Brand Milk Chocolates.

While online, visitors also have the chance to play an exclusive online version of RATUKI. Players build piles of cards from “1” to “5” with the goal of being the first to slam a “5” on the top of the deck, shout “RATUKI!” and be awarded all the cards.

For more information and to enter the Hershey’s Kisses and Hasbro Family Game Night Share Sweet Moments of Family Fun instant-win promotion, visit www.kissesfamilygamenight.com.

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National Cyber Safety Awareness Day

Today is National Cyber Safety Awareness Day. A few years ago, this day would be unheard of but unfotunately, cyber-bullying has become one of the greatest dangers effecting our kids. And, it’s not just teens. One of the largest growing poplulations on the Internet is 2 – 4 year olds. As our young children gain more exposure online, the threats also will increase.

According to social media monitoring company,TrueCare, cyber bullying affects nearly 1 out of 2 children in America today. To help combat this epidemic, TrueCare offers parents an online monitoring service that will alert a parent to inappropriate content or harassment that is occuring. Sadly, bullying is not the only issue. It is estimated that over 5,000,000 predators surf the Internet and 77% of the targets for these predators were age 14 or older. Another 22% were users ages 10-13.

Whether it’s limited understanding of what kids are doing online or the denial of how serious the problem is, many parents have no idea what’s going on in their child’s life online. According to TrueCare, over 81% of parents don’t monitor their child’s online activities. Our kids are living online and if we are going to protect them we need to be there as well. According to I-Safe.org 58% of kids either bullied or harassed online have not told their parents. This unnerving statistic drives home the importance of our role as parents and caregivers to be pro-active, talk to our children and take note of changes in their activities and personality.

Let’s all take a stand and say NO to cyber bullying. Don’t let your child become another victim in this new reality.

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Best Books for Babies Releases List for 2011

Best books for babies has just come out with their annual list of the best books for infants through 18 months of age. A panel of librarians, child development experts, and academics reviews outstanding books, published in the United States each year, and judges them on elements such as clear, bright illustrations, age-appropriate subjects, and interactive capabilities.

What makes a “Best Book for Babies?” According to the selection committee, age appropriate subject matter with uncluttered illustrations weigh heavily in the making the top ten. Also, easy physical manipulation and durability are also qualities sought by the committee. Text, illustration and design for an infant audience as well as cultural authenticity combine to provide a rich listening and learning environment for the very youngest listener.

The committee once counted Fred Rogers among its critiquing members and today the company he began, The Fred Rogers Company, proudly supports Best Books for Babies along with The School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC)

Here is the “Best Books for Babies 2011.” All books were published in 2010 and are listed alphabetically along with comments from the selection committee. For more information visit http://www.bestbooksforbabies.org:

1. Baby Baby Baby! Marilyn Janovitz, Jabberwocky – A loving family catalogs all the fun things their smiling baby can do—from clapping and crawling to splashing in the tub and kissing good night.

2. Dancing Feet Lindsey Craig, Illustrated by Marc Brown, Knopf Books for Young Readers – Textured collage illustrations show a variety of animals stomping, creeping and clapping their way through this rhyming action tale.

3. Fiesta Babies Carmen Tafolla, Illustrated by Amy Cordova, Candlewick – Bold colors amplify the festive fun in this rhyming story about babies and toddlers enjoying a neighborhood celebration.

4. Hip Hop Catherine Hnatov, Star Bright Books – High contrast black and white images alternate with simple, brightly colored pictures of familiar animals, highlighting their typical sounds and movements.

5. I Like Fruit Lorena Siminovich, Templar – Unusual textures and vivid colors combine to create clear pictures of tasty treats in this sturdy board book.

6. One Pup’s Up Marsha Wilson Chall, Illustrated by Henry Cole, Margaret K. McElderry – Feisty puppies tumble and frolic across the pages of this charming picture book that features energetic, upbeat descriptions and enjoyable word play.

7. Pocketful of Posies Salley Mayor, Houghton Mifflin – Mavor uses intricate needlework to create whimsical, detailed illustrations for a wide variety of rhymes, making this an appealing collection for families even if they already own one (or more) Mother Goose collections.

8. Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy Denise Fleming, Henry Holt and Co. – Distinctive illustrations in warm, rich colors accompany rhythmic, repetitive words designed to lull listeners into sweet sleep.

9. Switching on the Moon Compiled by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters Illustrated by G. Brian Karas Candlewick – Perfect for sharing at bedtime, the beautifully illustrated poems in this collection are sure to become family favorites.

10. Tuck Me In! Dean Hacohen, Illustrated by Sherry Scharschmidt Candlewick Beach Lane Books – Young listeners can participate in this soothing bed-time ritual, turning decorated half-pages to cozily cover a cast of baby animals.

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Cord Blood Banking – Insurance for the Future; What Every Parent Must Know

You have all the information on how to decorate the nursery.

You have read all the information and reviews on what gear to buy.

What info has your OB/GYN provided you regarding banking your baby’s cord blood?

Many OB/GYNs will tell their patients that unless there is a hereditary disease in the family, it is not necessary to bank their baby’s cord blood.

But, did you know that over the past 20 years, through more than 20,000 transplants, cord blood stem cells have been proven effective in treating many diseases. In fact, cord blood stem cells have been used to treat many life-threatening diseases, such as leukemia and other cancers and blood and immune disorders. And, tremendous progress is being made in the research of using cord blood in exciting new areas like brain injury.

Join us for this very important twitter party to discuss the benefits of cord blood banking.

When: Thursday, May 26th 9 – 10pm ET
Hosted by: @safetymom
Hashtag: #CordBlood411
Great information & prizes!

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Filed under Child Safety, Cord Blood Banking, Twitter Party

A Mother’s Day Tribute to All My Fellow Imperfect Mothers

I remember growing up celebrating Mother’s Day and honoring this incredible woman that is my mom. In my eyes as a young girl she could do no wrong. She had her act together – she worked but she was home by the time I got home from school and was always available to play with me, make me dinner and cuddle with me. She’s the most positive person I know and everyone always turns to her for advice.

Then there’s me.

I never knew how inept I could feel until I had kids. What makes any of us think that after our baby is born we’ll magically know how to change diapers, get her to sleep, burp her or figure out why she’s crying for three hours straight? Motherhood is seriously an example of “winging it.” Don’t get me wrong – I try to be Super Mom. I make cookies on snow days, braid my daughter’s hair while folding a load of laundry and check homework while I cook dinner. But somehow I always feel like I come up short. I’ve always said that if I could be half the mother my mom is I’d be happy. But every day I question myself – am I instilling self-confidence in my daughter, am I doing everything I can to get my special needs’ son the services he needs?

As The Safety Mom, a lot of my girlfriends call me with child safety questions and even child rearing questions. We all think someone else is doing it better than us or has the answers. I try to help but there’s that little nagging voice in the back of my head, am I really a good mom?
Maybe it’s all in the eyes of the beholder. My kids tell me on a daily basis that I’m the best mom in the universe (and that’s not even followed up by a request for ice cream or to stay up an extra hour!)

I don’t want the Mother’s Day card extolling my virtues as this perfect mother, it’s too much pressure trying to live up to that illusion. In fact, I’m learning to embrace my imperfections. And you know what? When I stop trying to be perfect I have more fun! And then my kids have more fun. And, in the long run, isn’t that what it’s really about, our kids being happy not because of all the things we give them but the feelings we give them?

So, here’s my commitment this Mother’s Day:

  • I’ll give up trying to bake cupcakes. I’m not good at it and the store bought are just as good
  • I’ll be selfish every now and then and do something just for me. A happy mommy is a happy family
  • I won’t compare myself to the mom down the street who seems to have it all together. I’m sure there are some imperfections she struggles with as well
  • I’ll ease up on the petty things. If my son wants to wear the same shirt to school two days in a row does it really matter?
  • I won’t judge another mom on her choices. They’re her choices and she’s doing the best she can as well.

To all the other imperfect mom’s out there – Happy Mother’s Day!

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