Monday, November 21, 2011

Baby-conscious Retrofits Hit Home For New Parents

Most parents fear too much TV will harm their children. But they couldn't have predicted how the idiot box is injuring offspring all over the country. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a federal regulatory board, children climbing on shelves and tables seriously injure themselves 8,000 to 10,000 times per year. And one specific type of injury—TV collapses—is on the rise. Kids furniture is often small and bottom-heavy so toddlers can't do much damage. But modern televisions are completely front-heavy—tough, heavy screens mounted to flimsy plastic stands—and very easy to tip.

Hidden dangers and accidents keep parents up at night and, thankfully, are easily preventable. Parenting publications have examined certain simple retrofits that can help protect the modern home. These are not your old plastic socket covers and sink-cabinet pull-latches. A few DIY additions can give you peace of mind that, no matter what your baby gets into, they get out of it ok.

Tie Back The TV: Most modern TVs can be mounted or fastened to keep it from tipping. Others can be placed in an entertainment center, behind closed doors. One thing parents should never do is place their new flat screen on a low, free-standing table that a toddler can climb onto.

Think Like A 2-Year-Old: Babies are very tactile in their explorations. They want to touch everything. And no room in the house has more soft things than the bedrooms. According to the owners of Safe And Sound Babyproofing, a Calgary-based retrofit service, most parents buy expensive baby furniture, shake it a bit to find its stability and think it is ok. But if you think like a 2-year-old, the best way to reach high places is to stand on the bottom drawer of any dresser. Most dressers, when put up against this test, will tip over. Checking your baby furniture before you buy against these safety concerns will save you many headaches in the future.

Mind The Blinds: A surprising number of children are strangled each year by mini-blinds, Safe and Sound reports. Children play with them, get them wrapped around their necks and choke. One simple fix is to install a cable wrapping hook that lets you tie back your blind cables when they are in use. This 50-cent piece of plastic can save you tons of worry down the line.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Buying a Play Kitchen May Help Your Child's Development
If your child comes home with an imaginary friend or wants to pretend he's in a fantasy world, it's probably not a good idea to discourage it. Children have had pretend friends and played kitchen for a long time and this may help their growth. According to numerous studies, imaginative and pretend play aid in the cognitive development of children. These children are more adept at functioning in a social setting and conceptualizing complex ideas. There are multiple reasons for this.
Pretend play allows children to play with one another and act out in a role. This encourages children to engage in social interaction and learn how to act with others. It creates empathy within the children because these children who are playing pretend are acting like someone else. They are putting themselves in someone else's shoes, which may help them accept differences in others. One WSJ article chronicling a few studies on early childhood development stated how those with autism don't usually pretend play and were less able to function in a social setting. Researchers are figuring whether there is a connection here.
Moreover, educational toys like a play kitchen help your children make sense of reality. It's hard for children to understand how things work. A play kitchen allows the child to become an active participant. He or she can run wild with his or her imagination and pretend it's a real life kitchen with ingredients and cooking pans. Once the child uses his pretend kitchen enough, he will be able to apply what he experienced to what he sees in a real kitchen. Toys that support pretend play and imagination are beneficial tools to foster this growth.