safety

working

For most women it will be perfectly safe to continue working during your pregnancy with no changes.  However, there are some jobs out there that are just not safe for pregnant women.  The job itself, or other environmental factors surrounding the job could be damaging to the baby growing inside of you.  Women in these unsafe jobs will need to request a change in position for the duration of their pregnancy or determine what can be done to make their job safe during their pregnancy.  It is important to remember that an employer cannot discriminate against you because of your pregnancy, meaning they cannot fire you or lower your pay simply because you are pregnant and asking for a temporary change in position.

Before you talk to your employer about your need to change jobs be sure to educate yourself on your rights and how you are protected under the law.  Do some research of your own and then talk to your human resources department.  Your employer may not be happy about your request to change jobs during your pregnancy but you need to do what is right and safe for you and your growing baby.

Jobs that are unsafe for pregnant women include:

  • Any job where you are working with hazardous chemicals such as pesticides, toxic cleaning solutions, lead, second hand smoke, etc.
  • Any position where you are doing heavy lifting.
  • Any position where you are exposed to radiation.
  • Any position where you are at risk of falling or being struck by heavy objects.
  • Any position that has you climbing a ladder or some other similar device.
  • Any position where you are exposed to large amount of germs that could cause serious illnesses.

Here are a few of the specific jobs that are unsafe for pregnant women:

  • Farming
  • Dry Cleaners
  • Factory work where there is chemical exposure, too much heavy lifting, or a risk for falls.
  • Print Shops
  • Craft shops that expose you to drying chemicals, paints, etc.
  • Highway worker
  • Toll Booth operators.
  • Construction
  • Certain Healthcare fields

Your employer is required to disclose all dangerous contaminants  in the workplace and to protect pregnant women from being exposed to dangerous contaminants.  If you feel your job is putting your pregnancy at risk talk to your employer, your human resources department, your doctor and anyone else you may be able to help you get into a temporary position in your company that is safe for you and your pregnancy.

For more information on workplace safety during pregnancy, what your rights as a pregnant employee are and what you can do to protect yourself during your pregnancy visit the follow government websites.

million baby crawl

Have you joined the Million Baby Crawl?  Maya joined today.

So, what is the Million Baby Crawl you might ask.  Well…

The Million Baby Crawl is being organized by Seventh Generation, creators of household products that are environmentally friendly and free of dangerous toxins, to support the Toxic Chemical Reform Act, a bill before Congress.  This bill will take quick action on eliminating the most dangerous chemicals from household products, require full disclosure of the health and environmental impact of all chemicals and support science to ensure products are safe for those most vulnerable, our babies.

By becoming part of the Million Baby Crawl you can help tell congress that you support this bill and want to see major changes in the household products market to ensure that the products we use everyday, those that our children are exposed to are safe.

Join the crawl today, make your voice heard.

As parents we want to do everything we can  to keep our children safe, it is a natural instinct.  Makirng sure your child is in the correct child safety seat when traveling in the car is one ways we as parents can help keep our children safe.  Child safety seats are designed specifically for certain ages, weights and heights; and when used correctly can (and likely will) save your child’s life.

It can be hard to keep track of all the specific rules surrounding child safety seats.  Rules like when your child can go from rear-facing to forward-facing, or when they can move to a booster seat, or when a child safety device is no longer needed.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed the 4 Steps for Kids campagin to help educate parents about child passenger safety and which child safety seats to use when.  If you ever have any questions about child passenger safety be sure to check out their website.

Here are the federal regulations regarding child safety seats in the United States.  Your state may have more specific rules so be sure to check with state officials in your area to make sure you are obeying the correct rules in your state.

INFANTS: Babies up to at least one year of age AND 20 pounds must be in a rear-facing child safety seat in the back seat.  For increased safety your child should remain rear-facing up to the weight and height limits for their child safety seat.  Be sure the read the manufacturer information booklet for the specifics on your child safety seat.

TODDLERS: Once your child outgrows their rear-facing seat they should begin to face forward in the backseat of the vehicle until they reach the weight and height limits for their carseat.  At minimum your child should remain in their carseat (with a 5 point harness) until age 4 and 40 lbs.  Many carseats have much higher weight limits on them, some as high as 65-80 lbs so read the information booklet that came with your seat.

CHILDREN: Once your child reaches the weight limits of their carseat and are at least 4 years of age they can move to a booster seat.  These seats are designed to give your child a boost so they can safely use the seatbelts in your vehicle.  Your child should continue to use a booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4′ 9″ tall.  The safest place for your child remains the backseat.

Choosing the correct safety seat for your child is only part of the equation, you also need to make sure it is installed correctly.  Most manufacturers provide very detailed instructions.  To be sure you have installed the seat correctly you can take it to an inspection site (most fire departments have inspectors on site) to have the seat installtion inspected.

It is always better and safer to err on the side of caution.  If your child is still within the height and weight restrictions for their seat then keep them in it.  Just because your child is 4 years old doesn’t mean they have to move to a booster seat, they are safer in their carseat so leave them there if you can.

With all the stories filling the evening news about internet safety, cyberbullying, and sexting, parents are understandably worried about what their own children are doing on the internet and how they can keep them safe.  In fact, the recent news stories on cyberbullying and teens using cellphones to send sexual images of themselves are great ways to get the conversation started with your teens.  Talking to your teens about internet use and safety are keys to helping your child make the right decisions when it comes to their own internet use.  Open communication leads to successful teen parenting, and dealing with internet safety is no exception.

So, how can you help your teens make the right decisions about their internet use to help ensure their safety?  Here are a few quick tips:

  • Keep the computer in an open area where you can walk by at any time.  Instead of having the computer in your child’s bedroom consider setting up a family office in an open area of your home, or share your own office with your teen.
  • Set limits on how often your teen can use the computer.  Exceptions may need to be made if your child has a large school project they are working on, of course you’ll need to talk about this before hand.
  • Talk to your child openly about email use and social networking sites.  Set a rule that you can look at your child’s email or social networking site page at anytime.  Don’t sneak in to do ask them to pull it up in front of you and look at it together.
  • If you notice your child has done a good job of setting up a website or a social networking site page tell them.  It is just as important to tell our children when they are doing something right as it is to tell them when they have done something wrong.
  • Set up the proper firewall and virus protections, spam blockers and pop-up blockers.  This will help the whole family, especially if your teen is downloading videos or music from online sources.
  • Talk to your teen about what types of sites it is appropriate for them to be using and set guidelines on what sites are completely off limits.
  • Talk to your teen about what type of information it is OK and not OK to share online.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate.

You can’t keep your teen off the internet and you can’t be there to monitor their every move.  By talking with your teen open and honestly about their internet use you can give your teen the tools he or she needs to make the right decision about their internet use.

Do you have teens?  What sort of restrictions and guidelines have you set up regarding internet use?  What have you found works best with your teen?

Here is an excellent site for more information on teens and internet safety.

When our daughter turned a year old we made the big purchase of a new convertible car seat for her.  I had done a lot of research (I’m a little obsessed with researching baby gear!) so I pretty much knew I wanted a Britax.  We took her over to our local Babies R Us to try out the different models to see which one suited us and her best.  We settled on the Britax Marathon as it offered all the padding she would want, plus all the features we were looking for.  After some careful online searching I found it for a great price and ordered it.  It arrived about a week before her birthday.  We tried it out inside first to see what she thought of it and to make sure the straps were in the right spot before we installed it in the car.  As you can see it was a big hit!

Loving her new Britax seat.

Loving her new Britax seat.

A few of the features I particularly liked in the Britax Marathon were the HUGS shoulder pads that keep the straps from rubbing on her neck, the LATCH connector system, the multiple recline positions (especially since our daughter is still rear-facing), and that the harness was supposed to be easy to adjust.  What ultimately lead to our purchase of the Britax Marathon was Britax’s unmet safety, but all the extra features were an added bonus.

We installed the seat in the rear-facing position as our daughter was not yet 20lbs (still isn’t actually).  The recommendation is that a child remain rear-facing until they are at least 20lbs and one year of age (although extended rear-facing is highly recommended).  Our daughter will remain rear-facing until she reaches the seat weight/height limits for rear-facing.

My husband did the honors of installing the seat.  He was already pretty familiar with how the LATCH system works from installing our infant seat previously, so the installation went pretty smoothly.  The manual that comes with the seat has great directions and illustrations for installing the seat with or without the LATCH system.  I just have to add that I love the LATCH system, it makes installing any car seat so much easier!

The seat does come with a Versa-Tether, which is supposed to be used (according to Britax’s recommendations) at all times.  However, unless you have floor connectors for the Versa-Tether (which we did not) it has to go around the top of the seat so it can attached to the anchors behind the rear head-rests, and would make it very difficult to get the child in and out of the seat.  We opted not to use the Versa-Tether for this reason.  However, if you do have the floor connectors, I would definitely use the system for the added safety.  After the seat was installed we felt it was secure enough that we were OK not using the Versa-Tether.  I will go ahead and use it when we finally turn the seat around to the forward-facing position.

The harness adjustment turned out not to be as easy as I had originally thought now that the seat is installed in the car.  I have had to adjust the straps once since we installed the seat and it probably took me about 20 minutes.  I am hoping that next time will be a little easier now that I am familiar with the set up.  I found the straps were very hard to get out of the clip, especially since I didn’t have much room to work with.  Perhaps now that I have manipulated the straps a bit they’ll be a little more pliable next time.

One of my favorite features of this car seat is the velcro used to hold the harness out of the way when you are getting your child in and out of the seat.  It is one of the things I always complained about with our infant seat (Chicco Cortina Travel System).  it was always such a pain to have to fish the straps out from under her.  With the velcro on the straps and on the seat side you just undo the straps, stick them to the sides of the seat and you’re all set.  Putting her in the seat is a breeze.  I love not having to fish the straps out from under her any more, and she does too!

I don’t think there is really anything I don’t like about this seat, other than I wish it was a little easier to adjust the harness height.  The Britax seats are a little pricier than the other options on the market, but as with everything in life you have to pay a little extra for the added safety and the name.  I am happy with our purchase and our daughter is safe and comfy in her Britax seat.

If you’re in the market for a Britax Marathon, Amazon has their Britax Marathon Convertible Car Seat
on sale right now.