GB Travel Safe Sweepstakes #GBTravelSafe #IC #ad

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“I participated in a Blog Blast Activation on behalf of Influence Central for GB. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

 As a Mother I never stop worrying about my child’s safety. Even before they were born I was reading, researching, asking, questioning, and making decisions to keep them safe. Looking back one of the first, and most important, decisions my husband and I made was choosing a car seat. As first time parents that can be scary and overwhelming. Thanks to companies like GB, it is even easier to find the right car seat to keep your kids safe beginning with that first trip home.

GB has been manufacturing car seats for over 25 years and their innovation has taken safety to the next level with the new GB Asana35 AP featuring the FirmFit System.

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FirmFit Load Leg helps protect baby’s head, neck and spine in the event of a crash. This technology has been used in Europe for many years and we’re proud to be a pioneer in bringing it to the U.S. The FirmFit Load Leg is height adjustable and fits in most vehicles, even in the back seat center position.

TheFirmFit Arm helps achieve a better, tighter, hence SAFER, fit to the car with minimal effort by providing 20 lbs of additional force. The Firm Fit Arm will give you the confidence that your car seat is secure, every single time.

Adjusting harness straps can be nerve-wracking. (And easy to forget.) The FirmFit Harness takes the worry out. Simply pull the front strap to make the harness snug, and it conforms to the correct position on baby, every time. Harness and headrest move in harmony for constant Side Impact Protection, even as your baby grows.

GB Travel Sweepstakes post

To kick off the launch of the Asana35 AP and help promote car seat saftey GB is offering parents a chance to win one of THREE amazing prizes including the new GB Asana35 AP Car Seat. Have a Babies “R” Us registry? Earn extra entries by adding the GB Asana35 AP and providing us with your registry number!

GB Travel Safe Sweepstakes

Grand Prize
$500 Babies “R” Us Gift Card.

Second Prize
GB Asana35 AP Car Seat & GB Zuzu Stroller

Third Prize 
GB Asana35 AP Car Seat

Sweepstakes Winners
Each week, two Sweepstakes participants will be randomly selected to win a $50 Babies “R” Us Gift Card and one Sweepstakes participant will be randomly selected to win a $100 Babies “R” Us Gift Card.

 GB Website |  GB Pinterest  |  GB Facebook  |  GB Twitter  |  GB YouTube 

Toe Tourniquet Syndrome

When we announced our pregnancy with Parker tons of advice and tips came pouring in from family, friends, and even strangers. One of the most unusual pieces of advice I remember getting was to always check your infants toes and fingers (and for boys their penis) during every diaper change. If they ever become inconsolable even after you attempt the usual remedies to thoroughly check then as well. This advice came from a few 2+ moms in a Facebook group I had joined so I took it very seriously. After some quick research online I discovered that it was called toe tourniquet syndrome which is more common then you would think and can be very severe. It occurs when loose hairs or strings from sleepers wrap themselves around cutting off circulation.

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Having learned this, I am always careful to check during diaper changes and baths. My postpartum (PP) hair loss has been significant this time around with such long hair and I thought I was so careful to check Caity regularly. As some point in the previous day or so Rob and I had both missed it.

On Tuesday I had made an appointment for Caity to see the pediatrician to be treated for Thrush and receive the last 2 vaccines for her 2 month batch. She was in such a good mood, had been all day, so I was tickling and playing with her while I took her sleeper off. I looked down to tickle her feet and immediately recognized what I saw. I quickly yelled for the pediatrician as I examined her toe. The color still looked decent, not blue, but the hair(s) was wrapped around so tightly I could barely see it. The pediatrician started poking at it but it was clear he had no idea what he was doing. I didn’t handle the situation very well and was hysterical at that point. I texted Rob to come up (he was in the car with P). The next thing I knew the pediatrician had taken a pair of unsterilized scissors and she was bleeding. Rob came in at that point and we quickly decided to take her to the ER. Looking back I am so angry for how he handled the situation and we have since changed to another office.

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We dropped Parker off at a friends house and made our way to the ER. She had been so upset in the pediatricians office she quickly fell asleep in the car. The ER was busy but we were seen pretty quickly. The staff very sweet and although he had never seen a case like this before, he had heard of it. He was surprised to see her in such good spirits since infants are usually inconsolable. I was relieved she wasn’t in a lot of pain that still didn’t help with my guilt. With the help of 2 nurses the doctor tried for 45 minutes to get under the hair to cut it but not even a suture needle was small enough. He ended up injecting her with Lidocane to help with the pain so he could make a tiny incision on the side of her toe. He removed several small strands that were wrapped around. The damage was so deep it was extremely hard to see the base to guarantee it had all been removed. We took her home with instructions to wash it regularly and come back in if the color worsened.

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I didn’t sleep much that night and checked over her toe and every feeding. By morning there was no change and I asked Rob to take off of class that day so we could take her to the Pediatric ER. I knew it would take awhile to heal but I was expecting a little improvement and since the ER doctor had never seen this, I was hoping for a more reassuring assessment from someone who had. Luckily we were able to drop P off again and headed to the Pediatric ER that was a little farther away. I was immediately impressed. It’s neat to see all of the little difference between the two facilities. The staff was exceptional and we were seen quickly. The doctor that saw us had seen several cases before. She looked Caity over and was pretty confident that it had all been removed. We left with the same instructions to keep it clean and a close eye out for a change in color.

On the way home I asked Rob to stop by my hair salon so I could get my hair chopped off. I knew it wouldn’t ensure this didn’t happen again but I thought it would be better than nothing. I do miss my long hair but this is so much easier to take care of, quicker to wash, and the PP hair loss isn’t as noticeable.

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I took a few pictures over the last week to show the difference as her toe has healed. The swelling didn’t start going down until day 4 and by day 6 we were able to start seeing the base where the hair was wrapped. The night it happened I put up a PSA on my Facebook and a few mom groups I belong to. I received a lot of feedback from parents who were unaware so I decided to write our story down and share some information the doctors and nurses gave me.

How It Happens:
During the first few months postpartum women lose a lot of hair. Infants also spend most of their time dressed in footed sleepers. In both cases it is common for lose hairs and strings to make contact with infants during diaper changes and bath time. Hair is very thin and strong and had the ability to stretch when wet and tighten was it dries. The wrapping occurs by repetitive movement when the appendage is in a confined area such as an infant wearing a sleeper who loves to kick their feet. As the hair tightens the limb can become swollen and circulation cut off.

What To Look Out For:
If your infant is irritable or inconsolable it’s a good idea to inspect especially if the usual remedies such as a diaper change or feeding doesn’t work. If you notice an appendage swollen it may also been an indication something is wrong. Often time the hair/string wiggles into the natural bends of the finger or toe hiding it early on making it easier to miss.

How To Avoid It:
Check your infants fingers, toes, and penis at every diaper change. After bath look over your infant for any stray hairs. All footed sleepers and socks should be washed inside out and checked regularly for loose hairs or strings.

What To Do:
In mild cases or when the hair/string is wrapped around multiple toes you maybe able to simply cut the hair. In more severe cases you may need thin scissors or tweezers to get under the hair. If you are having a difficult time, the toe is losing color, or the child in inconsolable you may want to call your pediatrician. If it is after hours it is worth a trip to Urgent Care or the ER. If there is an option to see or go to a facility with a pediatrician I highly recommend that. They are more likely to have seen it before and be able to treat it quicker.

In some cases the pediatrician or doctor may use ointment to dissolve the hair/thread. For more serious cases they may need to numb the area or  immobilize the child in order to use scissors, scalpel or other tools to attempt to remove the hair/string. Antibiotics maybe prescribed to prevent infection and in serious cases the recommendation to consult a specialist maybe given to assess loss of function. 

Additional Articles:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1964618/
http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/hidden-hairs-can-strangle-babys-tiny-toes-doc-warns-f829933
http://www.sw.org/misc/health/Hair%20Tourniquet%20Syndrome.html

This whole situation has been a quite emotional for me. Although Caity is fine and it wasn’t really a big deal, I still felt incredibly guilty and responsible. As a parent I want to protect my child from everything. Although that is impossible to do, I am grateful for blogs, online moms groups, medical professionals, and Google to help keep me informed of as much as possible. I am curious to hear if you have experienced a situation like this or know someone who has. 

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Lovable Labels: KID Bands! {Review}

While preparing for Disney the thought of having a toddler in tow made me a little anxious. With so many people around and the constant distractions that could happen I really wanted to have a few products and procedures in place. I know, typical Mom worrying about everything… I just knew I would be able to enjoy myself a little more if I prepared. I mentioned the Skip Hop Zoo Safety Harness and taking a photo of Parker each day in my Disney With A Toddler Post
In addition, I really wanted something that Parker could wear each day that would have his name and our contact information. Since I am a Love Bug Ambassador for Lovable Labels, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to partner together and review their KID Bands!

KID Bands! are perfect when out in large crowds like the pool, zoo or an amusement park. They are single-use, adjustable, water resistant, and tear proof. I keep our pack in the diaper bag so that they are always handy when I feel like he should be wearing one.

A set of KID Bands! comes in a pack of 34 and you can choose from 10 different designs for $19.95. Lovable Labels can even work with a school or daycare to customize the bands with your school color or logo.

Allergy Alert Labels provide a clear warning to others about your child’s allergy or allergies. They are perfect for kids’ lunch boxes, drink bottles, containers, etc. Allergy Alert labels can even be temporarily used on backpacks or clothing when your kids go on field trips, to a friend’s party or when travelling anywhere they may be at risk.
Medical Wristbands are great for children with medical conditions like allergies, asthma, epilepsy and diabetes. Unlike medical bracelets that have only enough room for approximately 30 characters, there is enough space on our card inserts to list your child’s medical condition, any medications they are taking, two emergency contacts, and other information specific to them. This information is accessible immediately when an emergency arises. The outside of our Medical Wristband features the internationally recognized Medical Emblem and the phrase “Vital ID Inside” so that if an emergency arises, medical personnel will know to look there for important information.

Baby Proofing Our Home

We started to baby proof the house when P started crawling around 11 1/2 months. Over the last few months we have let him explore freely, took notes, and then researched the best products to keep those trouble areas safe.

Our general philosophy is to let P explore and teach him along the way what he can and cannot touch. At the same time though, safety is our top priority. We also need to be confident in a safe play space for him when we have things to accomplish around the house. Not everything can wait until naptime or bedtime. Hey, some days I just want to be able to pee in peace without hearing, “upa upa upa”.

Here are some areas we focused on and the products we used.

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A  |  B  |  C  |  D  |  E  |  F  |  G  |  H  |  I  |  J  |  K  |  L  |  M  |  N

baby gate

We have three very different sets of stairs in our house which made it difficult to find one gate to fit each. We ended up needing to get a few different kinds to meet each need. It keeps P on his toes because the lock on each one is different.

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Since his play area is gated in with the North States Superyard Play Yard we didn’t need to worry about the bottom of the first set of stairs. Occasionally I will let him roam the first floor so I just open the play yard up so it blocks the stairs. I absolutely love this gate and it even made our Top 60 Products For The First Year list.

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North States Supergate Expandable Swing Gate

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This is one of my favorite gates. It keeps P confined to the family room where his play kitchen is. It’s a good change of scenery for him and he likes playing with it while I am cooking or cleaning. It also keeps him out of the kitchen and away from danger while we are cooking.

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Summer Infant Deluxe Top of Stairs Gate w/ Dual Banister Kit  |  Kidco Safeway Safety Gate

Since we had a banister/wall and banister/banister situation for the second set of stairs, we found two different gates. Both open completely and are out of the way when we are not using them. The bottom gets closed when P is playing in the family room. The top gets closed when I am doing things in the bedrooms and P is roaming the third floor.

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Safety First Lift Lock & Swing Gate

This gate/stairs lead up to my craft room. For some reason P really loves climbing this set of stairs so I am glad we went ahead and put a gate up. The pads on the left keep the gate from damaging our freshly painted walls. It also opens out of the way when we are not using it.

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Safety First Wooden Security Gate

I have to say, this gate is a real PITA to get up but it is super convenient for travel or to move around the house. We sometimes put it at the top of the first set of stairs when we let P roam the second floor. We just put a mark on the rigid part to indicate which bar it should be set for which location.

UPDATE: In February 2014 we learned the hard way that a tension gate should NEVER be used at the top of stairs. You can read more about Parker’s Boo Boo #1 here.

Secure Furniture

You can thank my genius husband for this next one. I know they make products that are specifically to secure furniture to the wall but you can buy a 10′ roll of Plastic Pipe Strap on Amazon for $5.24 (Prime).

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We have secured all bookcases and shelving units around the house. We have also secured P’s dresser and changing table in his nursery.

Head & Fingers

These are inevitable, especially with a boy (so I am told) so I decided to watch P closely to see what were our trouble areas. Turns out the bathtub spout and doors were HUGE read flags.

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Skip Hop Spout Bath Cover

P loves the bath and is pretty brave with moving, slipping and splashing around. He is fascinated with the spout and this has prevented several possible incidents. I also like how playful it is and looks pretty adorable on the spout.

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Safety 1st Door Slam Stopper

I will often let P roam the third floor while I tidy up, organize, put clothes away or get dressed. He loves moving from one room to another closing the door (and sometimes locking it). We have these beauties on every door and they are fantastic! When we want the door closed, we just place it on the door knob so they are always close at hand.

Cabinets & Drawers

Even though we don’t let P into the kitchen much, it does happen throughout the week so we wanted to cover our basis with the most important things. In the end, we proofed anything that had sharp or delicate items such as the Pyrex cabinet and cleaning supplies (more on that below).

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Dreambaby Safety Latches

We used a few of these in the kitchen for cabinets with sharp appliances or fragile items. We also used them under all the sinks where cleaning supplies are. I am about ready to also use them on my nightstand drawers because that is P’s favorite thing to get into. They are pretty easy to install and are pretty sturdy.

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Safety 1st Stove Knob Covers | Dream Baby Swivel Appliance Latch

To be honest, I wouldn’t have thought about the oven being a danger zone unless I had seen these items pop up when I searched baby proofing on Amazon. While P hasn’t shone much interest in the stove, he has gone over a few times and these prevented me from needing to rush over to stop him. The Safety 1st Stove Knob Covers are great to keep his hands off and still convenient enough that I am not bothered by them when I am cooking. I almost don’t even notice anymore.

I ended up purchasing the Dream Baby Swivel Appliance Latch on a whim. I hadn’t planned on getting something but it was inexpensive so I decided to go for it. Even though it only got 3 stars on Amazon, I am actually really impressed with it. It even held tight when I opened the oven by mistake with it still locked. P will come over the try to open and pretty much gives up when he feels some resistance. That may change as he gets older but for now, it is serving it’s purpose.

Outlet Covers

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Safety 1st Swivel Outlet Cover | Mommy’s Helper Safe Plate Electrical Outlet Covers Standard

Since we painted the inside of our house and changed out all of the outlet and switch covers, I figured we might as well go ahead and replace them all with child proof ones. We ended up getting two different kinds. The Safety 1st Swivel Outlet Cover  is harder for P to figure out with a swivel motion. The downfall is that large plugs won’t fit with the indented outlet. We primarily used these in high traffic areas, especially in locations like P’s playroom where he is unsupervised from time to time. The Mommy’s Helper Safe Plate Electrical Outlet Covers Standard is a little easier to maneuver with a left and right motion. These outlets are flat and will work with any type of plug so we used them in areas where we plug things in more often. We didn’t intend originally to have two different kids but I am really glad it worked out that way!This is probably one of the areas I was most concerned about. I have read so many scary stories of kids dying from ingesting cleaning products and dishwasher pods. I wanted to find cleaning products that were effective but wouldn’t pose a life threatening situation if ingested. Believe it or not, I found them.

Cleaning Products

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I did a mini-series over at My Crafting Attic back in April about Spring Cleaning. I shared recipes I had found for a window and all purpose cleaner made from a few simple ingredients. I also shared a very simple recipe for garbage disposal pods. I love making my own cleaning agents because I know 100% what they are made up of. Most importantly, if ingested, the ingredients would pose no permanent or life threatening harm.

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We certainly don’t have everything covered in our home and are learning more everyday. For the time being what we have done seems to be working but it will continue to evolve as P gets older and our family expands. My biggest piece of advice is to read reviews but don’t be afraid to try something. What didn’t work for one family maybe the perfect fit for yours. I also think it helped a ton to sit back and watch P for a little while to help identify danger zones. There were some we hadn’t even though of that he picked out. There were also areas we thought would be trouble and P has shown no interest in them!

What have been your favorite baby proofing products? What advice would you give new parents who are starting the baby proofing process?

Sponsored: Get a head start on head lice this back-to-school season – Visit ExpertAdviceOnLice.com

The below content is sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur’s Headfirst! Expert Advice on Lice campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
It’s almost that time again! The back to school season is just around the corner, and with that comes preparing for a new teacher, a new classroom and a new year.
One thing that parents may not prepare for is … head lice! The truth of the matter is, head lice are common and can happen to any child. An estimated 6 to 12 million infestations occur each year in the U.S., which means many parents are likely to experience firsthand how lice can impact their children, families or friends.
Unfortunately, head lice are common in elementary schools – about one out of every 100 elementary school children becomes infested. Many parents may not know where to turn for accurate information.


It’s important to remember the most common way to spread head lice is head-to-head contact. Thinking ahead with things like checking with parents before slumber parties to find out if anyone recently had lice, or teaching your child to avoid sharing brushes or hats is a good start.

So if you are trying to get rid of head lice, or a parent who always likes to be prepared, visit Headfirst! Expert Advice on Lice for more information.