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Baby Security Blog

Infant Care Specialist

  • Link found between size of foetuses and development of asthma

    A research team from the University of Aberdeen has found that there is a link between the size of a foetus and later development of asthma. In a paper published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, they described how babies who were 10 per cent shorter than the average size at the 10-week stage of foetal development were five times as likely to develop the condition.

    The study, which involved 1,500 pregnant women, also found links with the development of eczema and hayfever. Foetuses were measured at the 10- and 20-week stages and then a follow-up was carried out when the children were 10.

    Dr Steve Turner, clinical senior lecturer at the University of Aberdeen’s department of child health, who led the study, said:

    “Our main finding was that the shortest foetuses in the first trimester were at increased risk for persistent wheeze whereas the longest babies had better lung function at 10 years.

    “We also found that changes in the expected growth rate were associated with altered risk for eczema and hayfever. In other words, initial foetal size and subsequent growth trajectory are important to respiratory and allergic outcomes in childhood.”

    Often, children will grow out of asthma, but in the meantime, there are measures which can be taken, including the use of dehumidifiers and air purifiers. Many of these devices will operate very quietly and as they filter airborne particles - including pollen, dust, house dust mite waste and pet dander, all of which can be allergens – your child will be able to sleep more easily and will be less likely to suffer an asthma attack.

  • Ensuring your baby is safe in the bathroom

    The bathroom is potentially a very dangerous room for a baby, but if you take a few steps, you can make it far safer.

    First of all, remove all sharp implements from the room. Razors, scissors and the like can either be stored in your bedroom or secured in a locked cupboard where your child cannot reach them. The same applies for medication and cosmetics and even for mouthwash, which is high in alcohol.

    Other than that, safety will largely revolve around bathing your baby. If you set your hot water heater no higher than 48 degrees Celsius, this will minimise the chance that your baby could be scalded by hot water, but even so, it is worth investing in a bath thermometer. Floating bath thermometers that double as rubber ducks or similar can be found, which mean they can be left in the bath for fun as well. It is also worth running cold water first when running a bath as this also reduces the risk of scalding.

    Non-slip bath mats are very useful as they prevent your child from sliding and a bath ring or bath seat serves a similar purpose, as does a bath support. These products will allow your baby to lie unsupported in the water, meaning you have both hands at your disposal. However, it is important to note that a baby should never be left unsupervised in the bath. Such products are merely aids.

  • South Australia cracks down on unsafe cots

    The actions of the South Australia state government have emphasised the importance of buying cots that meet health and safety standards. The state’s consumer affairs minister, Gail Gago, has ordered an audit of all cots available for sale in response to the fact that 18 children have died in cot-related incidents in South Australia since 2000.

    Gago said:

    "When I first saw that figure of 18 deaths, I was astounded. I thought it must have been a national figure but it's not."

    The message was backed up by SIDS and Kids acting state manager, Maurissa Ailion, who said that parents should always ensure that cots and mattresses met safety standards.

    "A lot of the time it is about not knowing, and not knowing what questions should be asked."

    All new cots sold in the UK should conform to BSEN716. This assures you that the cot is deep enough and that the bars are the correct distance apart. Furthermore, the cot will not have decorative cut-outs or steps, which can pose a danger.

    If you have doubts about a second-hand cot that you have inherited, it is far better to buy a replacement. Even if the second-hand cot does meet today’s safety standards, without knowing that for definite you will lack the benefit of complete peace of mind.

  • Protecting babies from mosquito bites

    Summer brings with it pros and cons. A beautiful, clear day draws us out of the house and we may opt to spend some time relaxing by a lake or reservoir, or perhaps we might take a walk by a river or along a canal.

    However, there are 30 different kinds of mosquito in the UK and they are often found around water. A mosquito bite can be hugely irritating for an adult, but it is even more so for a baby. Children do not understand that scratching the bite will further irritate the skin, so in this case prevention is better than cure.

    Tecnimed produce a number of products designed to ward off these pesky little insects. Their Mosquito-Click product makes use of short electrical impulses to tackle mosquitos and horseflies, but the effects are completely harmless to people. Furthermore, these devices to not require an energy source and are estimated to last for 3,000 to 5,000 ‘bites’.

    The products are small and therefore portable, meaning you can easily take them with you if you go out for the day and can even take them with you if you go on holiday.

    There is also a Tecnimed product called the Baby Friend that combines this anti-mosquito technology with a night light, making it perfect for looking after young children.

  • Most dangers in the home can be addressed with ease

    Around 2.5m children are injured or killed in their own homes every year, according to Consumer Product Safety Commission research. When you have a child of your own, you see your environment in a different way and can appreciate how that astonishing figure might come about.

    Almost everything around you suddenly seems to pose a threat. Kitchen appliances, windows, power sockets - even doors could prove hazardous to a small child. Fortunately, there are many products available that can help minimise risk.

    Kitchen cupboards and appliances can be secured through the use of child safety locks, meaning your child cannot access anything you wish to keep from them. You can also get cooker guards which will prevent them from turning knobs or pulling hot pans onto themselves.

    Windows can also be childproofed with window locks, even when they are open, meaning there is no chance your child could get through a gap. Single or double wall socket units can be enclosed completely with wall socket enclosures, or plug-in socket covers can be inserted into individual outlets so that the threat is removed.

    Even doors pose a risk because children can have their fingers trapped in the gap near the hinges. Door hinge protectors are cheap and easy to fit and address this issue. Whatever the danger, there is almost certainly a product out there that will combat it, so take a look online and hopefully that figure of 2.5m children injured each year can be substantially reduced.

  • Ensuring kitchen safety when you have a baby in the house

    There are several aspects to kitchen safety when you have a baby in your home and the first is the storage of items.

    You will probably want most, if not all, of your cupboards to be lockable for a start. Dangerous items should be secured using childproof cupboard locks, while other units might only demand child safety catches, which are easy for adults to open, but difficult for small children. The most dangerous items should also be stored out of reach for added security. More simply, a child safety gate can exclude a baby from the kitchen completely.

    When cooking, always keep items away from edges so that your child cannot inadvertently pull something onto themselves. Placemats and tablecloths should be avoided for this reason as they provide something that can be grabbed hold of. Use the rings at the back of your hob and turn handles away from the worktop edge too.

    Appliance safety catches are similar to cupboard locks and mean your microwave, dishwasher and other devices cannot be opened. Knob guards will keep children from inadvertently switching on equipment and are therefore extremely useful.

    Overall, kitchen safety is mostly about being sensible and about having the right products to babyproof the room as well as you can. As ever, vigilance and common sense are paramount.

  • Sun cream alone does not offer enough protection to your baby

    People are increasingly well-educated about the dangers of too much sun exposure, but many of us do not realise that it is even more important to protect babies as their skin is so much thinner and more sensitive than ours.

    Many parents believe that if they use sun cream on their child, they will be fully protected, but that is not the case. Sun cream only goes so far. Sun cream must be of a sufficiently high factor and applied properly, but even then there is a risk and further precautions must be taken.

    Up until six months, babies should be kept out of the sun completely and UV travel tents are ideal for this as they effectively block the sun’s rays. Older children, as well as wearing sun cream, should remain in the shade wherever possible, particularly in the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest. It is quite possible to burn even on cloudy days and it needn’t be hot for there to be a danger either. This is a popular misconception. Cool, clear days during the summer months are when children are most at risk.

    The easiest way to gauge the strength of the sun is through the use of a UV meter. These affordable devices can determine the strength of the sun and will also remind you when it is time to apply more sun cream as an added benefit.

  • Why buy a fetal Doppler?

    A Doppler is an ultrasound handheld device that allows you to monitor the heartbeat of your unborn child. It gets its name through its use of the Doppler effect to produce an audible heartbeat.

    A fetal Doppler lets the parents know that their unborn child is well and it can therefore allay a lot of unnecessary anxiety. Almost every mother experiences moments of doubt where they imagine the worst. A fetal Doppler quickly helps put these thoughts out of your mind by providing valuable information that will combat your fears.

    This is not insignificant, because besides being good for the mother, her being in a relaxed state is also good for the baby as it promotes good health.

    A Doppler should not be considered infallible, however. While it can be a quick and easy way of easing anxiety, if you cannot detect any sounds, this does not necessarily mean that there is a problem. Because of the way that Dopplers work, the sound you hear can be dependent on the position of the baby. Often, if you test again later, you will pick something up because the baby will have moved in the meantime. When serious doubts remain, it is always advisable to consult your GP.

  • Window guards and locks provide parents with peace of mind

    When attempting to babyproof your home, you may wonder what to do about windows. In the summer, it is desirable to have windows open or at least ajar in order to allow for a pleasant breeze, but this brings problems when there is a baby in the room as they could try and climb through the gap.

    Window guards provide a solid barrier and are suitable for children up to five years of age. With a window guard in place, you need not fear your child might find their way onto a window ledge, putting themself in danger.

    Available in a range of sizes, window guards can also be custom made to fit awkwardly shaped windows. They come in different colours too, so no matter what your décor, you should be able to find window guards that complement the look of the room, rather than detracting from it.

    For even simpler window safety, you can get childproof window locks. Affordable and easy to fit, these devices can be installed vertically, horizontally or even at an angle on wood and uPVC windows. They allow you to lock the window when it is closed, but also when it is open just a crack, meaning you can ensure air flow safe in the knowledge that your baby is in no danger.

  • Travel cots offer flexibility when you are away from home

    New parents can often find themselves virtually housebound. The sheer logistics of transporting everything your baby needs can sometimes deter people from having even a day out.

    Fortunately, there are products available that can make your life easier. Chief among these are travel cots. A travel cot is a lightweight alternative in which your baby can sleep comfortably and which should also take away concerns that they might not settle at someone else’s house.

    All travel cots are easy to assemble, but for maximum convenience, pop-up travel cots are available. These fold down to a small size, but once expanded offer a comfortable place for your baby to rest. Some also come with built-in mosquito nets and even sun screens that will effectively block UV rays. This allows you to take your baby outside on sunny days without fear of harming their sensitive skin.

    It is especially important to get out and about when you have a baby. This is not just for you own sake, but for the baby’s too. Young children can become accustomed to new surroundings and different people in this way. It is a great way of getting them used to relatives who might need to look after them at some point.

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