Your Baby at Twenty Four Weeks

Baby Product Recalls

This infant swing was recalled in 2007 by the CPSC.
The CPSC reported that this Rainforest Open Top Take-Along Swing was recalled in 2007 because an infant can shift to one side of the swing and become caught between the frame and seat, posing an entrapment hazard. Photo courtesy of the CPSC

Baby product recalls can affect all types of products, including cribs, strollers, and car seats.

And don't think you are immune because you bought an expensive model, as we saw in the December 2007 recall of the $770 Stokke Xplory baby strollers. Although these high-end strollers are made in Norway, the front wheels on recalled Stokke strollers were manufactured in China. It is these front wheels that prompted the recall, with over 250 reports of one of the front wheels falling off.

There are also regular recalls of cribs, play yards, car seats, high chairs, and toys.

Baby Product Recalls

How do you find out about recalls?

One of the best ways is to always return the product registration card that comes with all of the things you buy, including baby products and household products, so that the manufacturer can alert you when there is a recall.

Next, join the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recall notification list so that you can be alerted to recalls as soon as they are announced and in case the manufacturer doesn't contact you.

Other Recalls

Unfortunately, besides baby products and other household products, there are many other things that can recalled and which can harm your baby if you don't stop using them or get them fixed. These include baby food and formula, medications, vaccines, and even your car.

Unfortunately, all of these recalls are controlled by different federal agencies, which can make tracking them difficult. You can find and track them here though:

Storing Homemade Baby Food

Making your own homemade baby food gets a little bit of a bad rap because of all of the time that is supposed to be involved in preparing your baby's meals.

You don't always have to prepare baby food for each meal separately, though, which can save you a lot of time.

Instead, you can make enough servings for a few days or weeks at a time. Homemade baby food can safely be stored in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours and in the freezer for two to four weeks.

Storing Homemade Baby Food

The typical methods for storing homemade baby food include:

  • simply storing a few extra servings in the refrigerator and then using them within a day or two
  • place extra servings of homemade baby food in ice cube trays, cover, and place in the freezer. Once they are frozen, you can put the baby food cubes in labeled freezer bags for up to a month.
  • an alternative to ice cube trays is to place several rows, each made up of two tablespoons of your homemade baby food on a wax paper covered baking sheet and then freeze and move to labeled freezer bags.

Of course, if you have a little bit of extra time, and your baby is ready, you can prepare some of the same foods for your baby that the rest of the family is eating at meal time. For example, if it is time for a new vegetable and your family is having peas at dinner, you could put a few ounces of cooked peas (steamed, boiled, etc) in your food processor, blender, strainer, or baby food grinder, and make some homemade peas for your baby. You will also have to add some water to get them to a smooth consistency for your baby.

You can find many homemade baby food recipes, including combination meat dinners, that are great once your baby has already eaten a lot of the vegetables and fruits, and he is about 8 or 9 months old.

Infant Q&A - Acidic Baby Foods

Q. My baby has had a rash on her bottom since we have been feeding her more baby food. Is that a sign of a baby food allergy or is it just a diaper rash?

Without other symptoms, such as diarrhea, gas, or a full body rash, the type of rash you are describing is probably just a type of food intolerance.

Many infants can get a red rash on their bottom after eating acidic foods, including many fruits and fruit juices. These foods can make the baby's stool acidic, so even though it really isn't diarrhea, it can be more irritating to her bottom, causing the rash.

Fortunately, commercial baby foods and juices aren't usually made with some of the more acidic citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, and tangerines.

However, baby food made with certain other fruits and vegetables or with added citric acid are still likely to be acidic* and can include:

  • Apples
  • Apples & Blueberries
  • Apples & Cherries
  • Applesauce
  • Apricots with Pears & Apples
  • Banana & Orange Medley
  • Cinnamon Raisin Pears with Apples
  • Guava
  • Mangoes
  • Peaches
  • Peach Cobbler Dessert
  • Pears
  • Pears & Pineapple
  • Plums with Apples & Pears
  • Prunes
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes

You might try cutting back on some of these baby foods to see if it improves the rash. Keep in mind that you will likely not have to cut out these foods altogether; just feed them less often to your baby to make your baby's stools less acidic.

Bananas are not usually considered to be acidic, so a mixed baby food, such as the Gerber Banana & Orange Medley, Beech-Nut Apples & Blueberries, or Earth's Best Bananas, Peaches & Raspberries might make them more tolerable for your baby.

*Acidic foods usually have a pH of 4.6 or lower.

Staying Home from Day Care

A case of chicken pox will usually keep your child home from day care for about six days.
A case of chicken pox will usually keep your child home from day care for about six days. Photo © Jaren Wicklund

Whether or not your sick child is too sick for day care often gets parents confused.

You may have a day care that wants to keep kids home for every cough or green runny nose. But on the other hand, there are parents who give their kids who wake up with fever a dose of Tylenol or Motrin and then ship them to day care.

It is hopefully obvious that the guidelines that work best for everyone are somewhere in between these two extremes. Consult with your daycare center directly, since many have their own policies.

In general, your baby should stay home from day care if he:

  • has a fever
  • has a rash and fever
  • is fussy and irritable and is going to require constant attention
  • has a constant cough or difficulty breathing
  • has an infection causing vomiting two or more times in 24 hours
  • has bloody diarrhea or diarrhea that is leaking out of his diaper
  • has a specific illness that is known to be contagious, such as whooping cough, hepatitis A, E. coli, salmonella, shigella, tuberculosis, etc., and keep him home until he is no longer contagious

Your child does not usually have to stay home from day care if he has a simple cold, even if he has a cough and green or yellow runny nose, especially if there is no fever and he is acting well. That is good news for most parents, since cold symptoms commonly last 10 to 14 days and the average child can get 5 to 6 colds a year.

Your child should be excluded for common childhood illnesses when they have:

  • mouth sores and drooling
  • pink eye with discharge, impetigo, or strep throat, until treated with antibiotics for 24 hours
  • head lice or scabies, until after the first treatment
  • chicken pox until six days after the rash started or until the rash is all crusted over

You usually don't need to stay home from day care for other common conditions, such as if your child has a rash without fever, warts, or ringworm.

High Tech Parenting

A rear view camera is a great safety device for your car can help to prevent back over incidents.
You can clearly see a child on a scooter in the rear view camera, although the rear view mirror looks clear. Photo © Vincent Iannelli, MD

The phrase high-tech usually means gadgets, especially when you relate it to parenting. That doesn't have to simply mean the latest toys, though, and can refer to some practical tools that can make life with your baby easier and hopefully safer.

Rear View Backup Camera

Each year, thousands of children are injured and several hundred are killed in backover accidents, sometimes in the family's own driveway. Especially in a large SUV or minivan, your vehicle can have such a large blind spot, that it becomes impossible to see a small child that is directly behind you.

One of the most important ways to prevent rollover injuries is to simply make sure that your kids aren't around your car when you back up. A safety device for your car can offer added protection against backover accidents. They include backup sensors that alarm when something is behind your car and/or a backup video camera that will let you see behind you as you back up.

Baby Monitors

An audio or video baby monitor is usually the first high-tech parenting tool that people get. While they can be a great way to keep an eye on your baby when she is sleeping in her nursery, they can have some significant problems, including poor range and interference.

Interference is an increasing problem, as you likely already have other high-tech gadgets in your home. You may notice problems between your baby monitor and your 900MHz or 2.4GHz cordless phone, WiFi home network, other wireless devices, other baby monitors, and even your neighbor's gadgets.

If you buy a baby monitor, try to get one that is on a different frequency from your other wireless gadgets.

Vaccine Shortages

Make an appointment to get your baby caught up on any vaccines he may have missed during a shortage.
Be sure to make an appointment with your pediatrician as soon as possible to get your baby caught up on any vaccines he may have missed during any vaccine shortages. Photo © Vincent Iannelli, MD

Shortages of vaccines that your baby should receive occur from time to time.

These sometimes occur when a vaccine is first introduced, such as happened with Prevnar and RotaTeq. A manufacturing issue can also cause some vaccine shortages, which has lead to some of the flu shortages in recent years and a shortage in the Hib vaccine in late 2007.

Fortunately, most vaccine shortages are brief and have not lead to any disease outbreaks.

It can be important to remember if your child missed a vaccine though because of a shortage, so that you can get the vaccine once it becomes available.

If your child misses a vaccine, you might:

  • ask if you can be put on a reminder or recall list, so that you will be called when the vaccine becomes available again. This can often be automated if your pediatrician submits your child's immunizations to a centralized, computerized immunization registry.
  • bring your child's immunization record to all doctor visits until his shots are up-to-date.
  • in a prolonged shortage, ask your pediatrician's office if they can order the vaccine from another manufacturer. For example, even though Merck's Pediatric VAQTA hepatitis A vaccine is on back order, that doesn't mean that GlaxoSmithKline's supply of their hepatitis A vaccine, Pediatric Havrix, is not available.
  • review the CDC website to review the latest information on vaccine shortages.
View Article Sources
  • National Ag Safety Database. Food Storage for Safety and Quality.
  • FDA/Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition. Approximate pH of Foods and Food products.