Monday, September 24, 2018
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When my son was seven or eight, he came home from a friend’s house, disappeared and was very, very quiet. Karen and Richard Carpenter, 08/01/1972 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Anyone who has a young child knows that prolonged periods of quiet, if they’re not sleeping, is a danger sign. I went to find him to see what was going on. As soon as he opened his mouth, I smelled something awful. It turned out that a friend had dared him to take a bite of a deodorizer disk that his Mom used in the toilet. Why he did it, I’ll never know. But, the next thing we did was call the poison control center. They... (Read More ...)

Eric Carle’s first children’s illustrated book was Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?. Christie Black, Miss Virginia reads the book, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” to third-grade classes Friday at Fort Belvoir Elementary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Still a childhood favorite, Carle’s illustrations were paired with the story written by Bill Martin, Junior. It became a best-seller. Carle followed it by writing and illustrating 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo in 1968 and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, published on June 3, 1969. His distinctive, water-color-looking art is actually collages,... (Read More ...)

Whatever Happened to Mercurachrome? Do you remember that orange liquid your Mom used to put on a scrape if you fell down? Puddle of the element mercury. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It was mercury that made Mercurochrome (merbromin) and Merthiolate (thiomersal) the anti-bacterial agents our Moms used to keep scrapes from getting infected. After having been discovered for its anti-bacterial property at Johns Hopkins University in 1918, on October 19, 1998, Mercurachrome was moved from the Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) list to Untested by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), because of concerns... (Read More ...)

How Many Shots Do Kids Get Now? Now that it is the middle of the flu season, it might be well for grandparents to be aware of the shots their grandchildren get routinely and why. The list of CDC-recommended shots for preventable diseases has expanded from when our children were young. Shots start at 2 months. Most are finished by the age of 18. Rotavirus Diptheria, pertussis, tetanus (DTaP) Haemophilus influenza type b (HIB) Pneumococcal Polio Influenza Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) Varicella (chicken pox) Hepatitis A Meningococcus Human papillomavirus When our children were young, it was four: DPT MMR Smallpox Polio What... (Read More ...)

When Did We Find Out Mercury Was Dangerous? Mercury Thermometers (Photo credit: Wikipedia) When did they stop making thermometers with mercury in them? What is quicksilver? Should we get our mercury fillings removed? Is it true you could poison someone by leaving mercury in their car? What are the signs of mercury poisoning? What do fluorescent lamps have to do with mercury? When Did They Stop Making Thermometers with Mercury in Them? At the end of February, 2011, the National Institute of Standards and Technology  (NIST) stopped calibrating mercury thermometers, a service they had provided for... (Read More ...)

Baby Pacifier? When should you offer a pacifier? A pacifier (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Do baby pacifiers hurt a child’s teeth later on? Does using a baby pacifier interfere with breast-feeding? How long should you let a baby use a pacifier? What do you do when the pacifier falls out of a baby’s mouth in the middle of the night? Is pacifier use related to SIDS? Do babies who use pacifiers get more ear infections? What Does the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Recommend? I watched the new mother and the grandmother with her first grandchild as though they were acting out a comedy skit as... (Read More ...)

What Is the Minimum Age A Child Should Be to Sit in the Front Seat? Quick! Child safety seat image indicating the various parts (Photo credit: Wikipedia) At what age can a child safely travel in the front seat, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)? I would have said two. The correct answer is 13. Dr. Amanda Soong, pediatrician, professor and mother of two, recently conducted a survey of grandparents to see how close they could get to recommendations from AAP on child safety and nutrition. As reported in, they mostly flunked the survey. This was the fifteenth question. Dr.... (Read More ...)

Walkers Are Good Toys to Help Babies Learn to Walk. True or False? I told my son that I had saved his baby walker for his daughter. Baby in walker. 1905 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) “You mean the death trap?” he asked me. Apparently things had changed since he was young. I took it to the dump the next day. In this mistaken belief, I am not alone among grandparents. Dr. Amanda Soong, pediatrician, professor and mother of two under four, recently conducted a survey. She asked 49 grandparents 15 questions related to recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Many of them are primary... (Read More ...)

“White” table grapes (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Which of the Following Foods Is Safe for 18-Month-Old Children to Eat? Have you ever had a child or grandchild choke on a piece of food? What if there were some place you could go where all the troublesome foods for 18-month-olds were listed? There is. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has looked at this issue and given us guidelines. In a recent survey of 49 grandparents conducted by Dr. Amanda Soong, pediatrician, professor and mother who wanted to help educate grandparents, she asked this question. She shared the results at AAP’s... (Read More ...)

Which of the Following Toys Are Safe for 18-Month-Old Children? You may be surprised. Baby Thomas playing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Only 37% of the 49 grandparents who answered this question in a recent survey reported on at got it right. Dr. Amanda Soong, pediatrician, professor and mother of two, asked grandparents in three grandparenting support groups, many of them primary caregivers, 15 questions to see how close they could come to the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations. They largely flunked the test. Although grandparents have experience and instincts and love,... (Read More ...)