Toddler Health  &  Safety

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    Most of us know of the many health and economic reasons to breastfeed for mothers and babies. We are told regularly that “breast is best,” and although there continues to be debate about the degree that not breastfeeding results in health problems for an individual dyad in a Western society, we acknowledge that whether one does it or not, breastfeeding is definitely a healthy choice. However, most mothers who continue to breastfeed beyond a year, especially those who continue to nurse at night, face backlash from an unexpected source: the dentist.

    Many families face a dentist who is adamant that they give up breastfeeding or give up night feeds due to the higher risk of cavities despite the other benefits to the families that breastfeeding may confer. What are parents to do? Give up breastfeeding or accept the risk? Or can families have their breast milk and drink it too?

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    Summer may be synonymous with pool parties and backyard bashes, but a heartbreaking story out of Columbus, Ohio today reminds us that it's not all fun in the sun. While attending an outdoor birthday party this weekend, a 4-year-old girl drowned in a pool while the guests were singing "Happy Birthday."

    While everyone focused their attention on the birthday festivities, police say Sinaia Moore fell into the backyard in-ground pool, where she was later found by her family.

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    Every year, thousands of kids under the age of 5 are hospitalized for burn injuries. Some of these incidents permanently disfigure children or even kill them. A common source of these types of accidents? The stove. "Parents should always use back burners on the stove when possible," says Kimberlee Mitchell, child safety expert and founder of Boo Boo Busters. "Additionally, they should install stove knob covers, so children can't turn on the stove."

    But stoves are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to childproofing the kitchen. Here's how to make the heart of the house as safe as possible for young children.

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    Scary fact alert: Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among kids ages 1 to 4 years old, and it takes only a few inches of water. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, bathtubs are the second most common place young children drown (the first is pools).

    The safest thing you can do? "Never leave your baby alone in the bathroom, not even for a second," says Kimberlee Mitchell, Child Safety Expert & Founder of Boo Boo Busters, Inc. "Lock all bathrooms off -- with a door knob lock  -- to keep children from getting in there alone." (If you have an older home with smaller door knobs that don't typically fit door knob locks, a hook and eye lock on the outside is okay too.)

    Obviously, there will be times when your child is in the bathroom with you (those days of showering or peeing in private are over, mom), so make sure you've child-proofed from floor to ceiling. Here's how.

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    Child safety gates are pretty high on parents' "childproofing" to-do lists. They're super handy in keeping the children off the stairs, out of rooms, and away from dangerous objects. But they do have their dangers. Boy do they have dangers! A new study released in this month's issue of Academic Pediatrics shows that baby-gate related injuries have quadrupled since 1990.

    According to researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, when used incorrectly, the gates can lead to some very serious injuries.

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    More and more parents in the United States are choosing not to vaccinate their children for religious, philosophical, health and other reasons. Anti-vaxxers, as they're called, run the gamut across the political and geographical spectrum. Overall, more than 10 percent of parents are either delaying when their children are vaccinated or not getting the shots at all.

    The decision of whether or not to vaccinate your child is a personal one, but make it a well-informed one. Ask questions. Do your research. Talk to your pediatrician. Your decision affects not only your child, but the people around them (at school, at church, on the playground, at the grocery store, and so on). Understanding the risks of not vaccinating your child is an important part of the decision-making process.

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    Prepare to get goosebumps all over. In a scenario plucked straight out of a horror film, one Texas family tucked their 2-year-old boy in his crib for the night and retreated to their own bedroom on the first floor, confident that he would be safe and secure until breakfast time. Imagine their horror when they woke up the next day, checked the video footage from a surveillance camera they had set up in their son's nursery, and discovered that an intruder had broken into their home and had spent a full five minutes creepily entering and exiting the toddler's room and hovering over his crib to stare at him. And mom and dad slept through the whole thing!

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    When we post pictures of our kids on Facebook we tend to get a bunch of likes and some comments on how adorable our kids look. But when Tara Taylor posted this cute photo of her 3-year-old daughter Rylee she got much more than that. She got a diagnosis from two friends who advised her to have Rylee's eyes checked out because they were concerned about the glow in her left eye.

    Thankfully Tara took the advice because when she saw a doctor, Rylee was diagnosed with a rare disorder that could have made her blind.

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    Even if you don't consider yourself a helicopter parent, this news story may make you want to keep a closer eye on your toddler at the park. Police say a 2-year-old was hurt by razor blades glued to playground equipment. I can't even believe I just wrote that sentence. Someone out there is that sick -- sick enough to try and hurt tiny, defenseless children at the playground. But there it is. Here's what we know so far about this incident.

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    Ever gotten some really crazy, unsolicited advice about how to care for your child's eczema? People say a lot of dumb things when they are actually trying to be helpful. As the old saying goes, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." Well, so is the road to a mom hating you. Check out the 7 things you should NEVER say to a mom of a kid with eczema.

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