5 Ways to Find the Safest Car Seat for Your Child

This is a guest post written by Lauren Dzuris. Lauren runs FindMyCarSeat.com, a website that helps soon-to-be parents find the right car seat for their child, while giving them tips and advice on everything from pregnancy to caring for your baby.

From the minute we find out that we’re pregnant, we want to protect our little one and give them everything they need. Whether we’re eating a more balanced diet, we’ve quit drinking or we buy the safest products on the market for them, we’re making a difference.

One item that you can’t go without and don’t want to be cheap with is a car seat. Car seats are what protects them in the car and keeps them safe from any possible accidents.

If you’re looking at car seats for the first time, you will realize there are plenty of them to choose from. They have all sorts of brands, features, styles, etc, although, what matters most is how safe they are. To make sure you’re buying a car seat that you feel good about, you may want to consider a few of these tips!

5 Ways to Find the Safest Car Seat for Your Child:

Safety ratings: To start, find a car seat that has great safety ratings. You will find that some seats meet U.S. safety standards while other even exceed them. So, go with what is safest and find a seat that will go above and beyond for your child.

Features: There are certain features in car seats that really help keep your child safe. Things like a 5-point harness, side impact protection (which shields from vehicle intrusion and contains your little one’s head and body), and the LATCH system are important to have.

Reviews: You will also find that reviews are extremely helpful. If you’re going to be paying a decent amount of money, and buy an item that is going to keep your child safe, you want something good. Anything with a 3.5 star rating or higher is very good. Anything less, you may have to question your purchase.

Avoid used: You should never buy a car seat that is used. This is because you don’t know the history of it, if it’s been in an accident before or if it’s expired. Car seats expire over time and can be damaged if in an accident. It is always better to be safe than sorry!

Requirements: Be sure to find a car seat that fits your child. You must find one that meets their weight, age and height requirements. If you go over or under, your child could be in danger.

Finding a car seat isn’t always easy. It takes some patience, some researching and some advice from others sometimes. Just be sure to consider a few of these tips and you’ll be off to a great start!

Thank you, Lauren! To learn more, please visit FindMyCarSeat.com.

*Image provided by The First Years True Fit Convertible Car Seat.*

Mom” at Tiny Green Mom is loving these link picks!

An Australian blog featuring planet-friendly options down under on Growing Up Green.

Gardening tips to get the entire family involved on Friend of the Farmer.

Sprout Wellness review on Fig+Sage.

Tiny Tongs for tiny fingers on Baby Gear Mom.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has offered Healthy Home Tips to protect you and your family from toxic chemical overload, especially at home. This illuminating article spells out the risks and implications clearly, in easy to understand terms, on why children are even more susceptible to toxic chemicals. It’s time to “green your cleaning routine” – starting with using common items such as lemons or Parsley Plus. Print the PDF version of their Healthy Home Tips guide here.

For more information, visit the Environmental Working Group.

In honor of mothers and daughters everywhere on Mother’s Day and the special bond that they share comes this beautiful poem by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer.

Portrait

From Dancing with My Daughter: Poems of Love, Wisdom, and Dreams by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer (Loyola Press)
Here we sit—two girls—
surrounded by all things pink.
I look at your fingers
so tiny!
kiss them,
caress them,
wonder
what all will fall
within their grasp.
Your eyes are wide
and merry,
as though you know
some delectable secret
and can’t wait until I
discover it, too.
But it is your skin
that captivates me.
So pure!
Fairly glistening
with unsullied newness of life.
My finger is a sponge
as I trace across your temple,
tickle across your tummy,
tease across your toes.
I soak up your
virgin essence
like a parched stem
sucking up summer rain.
Gorged on your glorious goodness,
drunk on your luminous glow,
I giggle,
you hiccup,
we bask
as here we sit—
two girls—
and the day
disappears.

To read more of Jayne Jaudon Ferrer’s poetry and to order her collection of books, visit her website.

*Company provided information, images and a sample for this post.*

For an up-to-the-minute list of the latest child safety recalls, visit Baby Center. “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom has found this to be a comprehensive resource, as it can be challenging to keep track of which products have recently been recalled. The latest? The CPSC has recalled Graco Drop-Side Cribs. There were 9 cribs in all that had been recalled due to suffocation and entrapment hazards. For more information on this and other recalls, click here.

Sunny days, balmy weather, popsicles, watermelon spitting contests – summer is almost here! As the weather continues to warm up, families are heading out of doors to hike, bike, swim, and play. For parents, that means it is time to educate youngsters on the importance of sun protection!

The W.S. Badger Company , known for their natural, organic line of skin care products and sunscreens, has compiled an informative list of sunscreen facts – a must-read for the whole family!

Click here to visit the website for their full list of facts.

*Company provided a sample and more information for this editorial.*

Coming soon! BABIES – all 4 of them, from around the world! Set to hit theaters Mother’s Day Weekend, this film offers a glimpse into the lives of 4 babies, from day 1 to day 365. Watch the official BABIES trailer here! This is one movie “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom cannot wait to see!

You can also visit the official site to download your free BABIES Day In A Life iPhone App, which boasts exciting features that allow you to capture pictures and videos of your own child, and then share them with friends and family in an interactive journal. Gotta love that!

*This is not a paid advertorial. All thoughts are expressly written by Tiny Green Mom.*

For an up-to-the-minute list of the latest child safety recalls, visit Baby Center. “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom has found this to be a comprehensive resource, as it can be challenging to keep track of which products have recently been recalled. Here are the latest 5 below! For more information, visit the full list here.

Childrens Hooded Sweatshirts

Childrens Snowsuits and Coats

Babies and Childrens Sweatshirts and Jackets

Childrens Bauer and Nike Hockey Sticks

1 Million Baby Slings Recalled

Today’s illuminating article is written by health professional, Marissa Oachs, the 2nd in the series featured on Tiny Green Mom. Marissa offers an engaging commentary on what mothers need to know to make informed choices on common baby products. Another HUGE thanks to Marissa for providing this article for Tiny Green Mom’s readers! Please visit Marissa’s blog for more information: http://the-hardest-job-on-earth.blogspot.com/.

What Every Mother Should Know…About the Products We Use on Our Children

So…last time I focused on the air our children are breathing in. This time I am going to focus on the products we use on our children, such as lotions, body wash, shampoo, massage oil, etc.

Our children are the most precious gifts in the world ever given to us and it is up to us to keep them safe and healthy! There are a lot of things we have to worry about as mothers, but we shouldn’t let what we put on their skin be one of them!

To help you understand the rest of this article, let’s start with listing the significant offenders that you should look for in the ingredients of your baby products:

Parabens (Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben): These are used as preservatives in many of the baby products – lotions, washes, wipes, etc. They can cause allergic reactions, are irritating to skin/eyes, and have been shown to be harmful to human sperm. They are also a concern for reproductive problems and breast cancer. They are readily absorbed through the skin and have been detected in breast tissue and tumors.

1,4-dioxane: is harmful even in trace amounts. It is a byproduct of a chemical processing technique called ethoxylation used to make petroleum based cosmetic ingredients gentler to the skin.

Formaldehyde: this is a probable human carcinogen and is associated with gene damage, mutations, and developmental problems.

Benzethonium Chloride: This is used in some baby wipes and is highly TOXIC. Ingesting even a small amount may cause vomiting, collapse, convulsions, coma, or death

Benzyl Alcohol: moderately toxic if inhaled or absorbed through skin contact. It is a moderate skin and eye irritant and larger exposures can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory distress, and even death. It is found in some baby lotions and diaper rash cream.

PEGs: Polyethylene glycols should not be used on damaged skin due to concerns over kidney toxicity. It is also associated with cancer of the blood and lymph systems. PEGs are found in cleaning products and lotions.

Colorings: FD&C Yellow #5 is an allergen and has been associated with hyperactivity in children. It is added to some bubble baths and baby washes.

Fragrance: this is a catch all term that manufacturers can use without listing specific ingredients. Phthalates are often ingredients in fragrances. These include chemicals that are suspected carcinogens and hormone disruptors.

Here are some other ingredients of concern to keep an eye out for – talc, triethanolamine and cocamide DEA, Isopropanol, 2-phenoyxyethanol, glycerin, linoleic acid, cholecalciferol, 1,4-dioxane and triclosan.

Chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, and sodium lauryl sulfate, have turned up in shampoos, lotions, and body washes. These products may also contain harmful chemical by-products such as 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde, which the EPA classifies as probably carcinogens!

Here is another example – in a recent study involving infants and toddlers, 81% had signs of phthalates in their wet diapers after having had some type of personal care product applied to their skin. Some experts suggest that phthlates, which is also used as softeners in plastic toys and have recently been banned from children’s toys by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, can potentially have negative impacts on the respiratory system, liver, and kidneys!

Also, keep in mind while you read all these facts – a baby’s skin is five times thinner than an adults’, making it even easier for them to absorb all these harmful products! Plus, babies have a greater ratio of skin surface to body weight, so they have a harder time flushing the chemicals out of their systems!

It really hits home to me that this is serious when I see that other countries have banned them out of their products: Formaldehyde is banned from personal care products in Japan and Sweden and the European Union bans 1,4-dioxane from their personal care products at any level and have recalled products that contain the chemical. If other countries can do it, why aren’t we??!!

Here are some quick tips to fight these companies who are killing our children one bath at a time?

  1. Start to be choosy about what products you use. Read the labels on all the baby products you have in the house right now.
  2. Avoid or throw any products away that have any of the ingredients listed above.
  3. Simplify: Select products with fewer ingredients and no sythetic fragrance or dyes, and use fewer products overall
  4. Tell manufacturers that safety is important to you – write major companies that do include these harmful ingredients and tell them that safety for your children is important to you!
  5. Take action: Tell Congress you want safe cosmetics for babies, adults, and everyone in between.
  6. Buy the healthy alternatives. They may sometimes be a little more expensive, but keep in mind you will save money down the road by saving money in health and hospital bills

Marissa has listed some of her favorite alternative brands for different baby products below (some of which have also been featured on Tiny Green Mom!

  • Baby bath/wash: Shaklee, California Baby, Avalon Organics, Yes to Carrots
  • Baby oil/lotion/diaper rash ointment: Shaklee, Earth Mama Angel Baby
  • Baby shampoo/conditioner: Shaklee, Yes to Carrots, Aubrey Organics
  • Diapers: Earth’s Best, Seventh Generation, Tushies
  • Baby Wipes: Tushies, Seventh Generation, Earth’s Best

Please, for the safety of your children, the rest of your family, and the earth we live on, read the labels and choose wisely.