Archive for October, 2008
My preschooler and I have completely different worries when it comes to public toilets.
He worries about automatic flushers (which by the way, covering a sensor with a paper towel or post-it-note can help). I worry about germs, unlike my preschooler: “Germs, what germs? I can’t see them, mom.”
Here’s a classy, eco-friendly and purse (or diaper bag) compatible compromise:
Green Treehouse moms and dads, it’s your turn. What have you done to help your preschooler overcome public bathroom anxieties?
Please share your tips and advice here! We’d love to hear from you–and our reader parents and caregivers will surely appreciate your ideas. I know I will.
If you’re a brand new parent or an expectant mama, it’s probably hard to imagine right now that someday you’ll find yourself packing away baby gear. But, that bittersweet day will come. I know. Just weeks after my third child was born, I was already packing away her tiniest onesies and last week I gave away her exersaucer to another family. Why can’t they stay tiny for longer?
When the time comes to move baby gear out of your house, go green! Recycle that gear at one of these…
3 Eco-Smart Baby Gear Sites:
1. BabyEarth. Eco-friendly baby retailer, BabyEarth, offers the BabyEarthRENEW program that is a hassle-free baby gear recycling program.
2. Hand-Me-Downs. “A new classifieds site for moms where you can buy, sell, give away or donate your new or ‘gently used’ baby gear.”
3. Freecycle. This site is “all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills,” and offers listings by regions.
What could be cuter than your little one wearing this adorable “angel wings” sweater, made of 100% eco-friendly, soft alpaca wool, in Grandma’s holiday photo?
October 21, 2008: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (”CPSC”) has announced a major recall of drop side cribs, manufactured by Delta Enterprise Corp. The recall involves over a million drop side cribs, with date codes ranging from 1995 through December 2005 and one crib model (4624) made in 2007. It also involves Delta drop side cribs manufactured prior to 2006, but sold through 2007, that use “Crib Trigger Lock with Spring Peg” drop side hardware design.
The recall involves all Delta cribs manufactured in Taiwan or Indonesia, with the “Crib Trigger Lock with Safety Peg” drop side hardware design. These model numbers and country of origin can be located on the mattress support board label: 4320, 4340, 4500, 4520, 4530, 4532, 4540, 4542, 4550, 4551, 4580, 4600, 4620, 4624 (production dates 01/06 thru 11/07), 4640, 4660, 4720, 4735, 4742, 4750 (production dates 01/95 thru 12/00), 4760, 4770, 4780, 4790, 4820, 4840, 4850, 4860, 4880, 4890, 4892, 4900, 4910, 4920, 4925-2, 4925-6, 4930, 4940, 4943, 4944, 4947, 4948, 4949, 4950, 4958, 4963, 4968, 4969, 4980.
The recall involves all Delta drop side cribs manufactured prior to 2006 that use “Crib Trigger Lock with Spring Peg” drop side hardware design. The recalled model numbers and country of origin include: 4340, 4343, 4520, 4600, 4620, 4624, 4625, 4629, 4660, 4665, 4720, 4750, 4751, 4850, 4855, 4857, 4880, 4920, 4925-2, 4925-2B, 4925-6, 4980, and 8605. The model number, country of origin and manufacture dates are located on top of the mattress support board. The recalled cribs have Delta’s name and address on the mattress support boards and Delta’s logo on the teether rail.
Missing safety pegs are one issue. According to CPSC, “Failure to use or install safety pegs can cause an entrapment and suffocation risk to infants and toddlers.” Specifically, “When the safety pegs in the base of each leg of the crib are missing from the lower track, the crib locks can disengage and detach if lowered below the peg hole, creating a hazardous gap. This gap can lead to the entrapment and suffocation of an infant or toddler.”
Spring pegs are another safety issue. According to CPSC, “The crib’s drop side can detach when the spring peg is not engaged, which can cause an entrapment and suffocation risk to infants and toddlers.”
Consumers are advised to immediately discontinue use of cribs involved in the recall until they contact Delta and receive a free kit to fix the safety issues. To read more about the Delta drop side crib recalls, click here and here.
Green Treehouse Editor’s Note: Given the extensive span of this recall (back to 1995), parents and caregivers planning to use a secondhand or previously used crib (e.g. purchased at a garage sale or online, such as at Craigslist) should be sure to investigate whether the crib has been recalled before putting it into use.
A Green Treehouse reader recently wrote to us and asked for a little do-it-yourself (DIY) cleaning supplies advice. To our writer, thank you for reading and asking your question! We’ve trolled the Internet and pulled together some great links to help you create your own non-toxic, eco-friendly, baby-approved household cleaners. If we’ve missed any good links, be sure to let us know.
Why DIY non-toxic cleaning products?
There are many reasons for making your own cleaning supplies. Beyond the happy planet and health aspects, DIY cleaners can save money and they can be easy to make from ingredients commonly found at home. Plus, there’s nothing quite like the piece of mind that comes from knowing what’s in a product–especially one that you’re using in an environment shared with baby.
What about manufactured cleaners? Are they baby safe?
It depends. Today, parents interested in eco-friendly, baby safe cleaning products can find effective, yummy natural scented (or scent free), and reasonably priced non-toxic cleaners on the market. But, not all cleaning supplies are eco-friendly or baby (or even parent) safe. Look for natural ingredients and mom-approved labels like:
* Seventh Generation
* Begley’s Best
* Sun & Earth
* Mrs. Meyer’s
Where can I find *recipes* for making my own cleaners?
Thanks to mommy (and daddy) bloggers, here are some links to DIY cleaning product recipes. Please write to us and share your favorite formula!
To Make Your Own Glass Cleaner:
To Make Your Own All-Purpose Cleaner:
Check out this recipe (Greeniacs) that calls for 1/8 cup of borax and 1 quart of hot water.
- To Make Your Own Tile Cleaner:
Get squeezin’ lemons. Just half kidding there. According to Greeniacs, “Cut a lemon in half. Dip the lemon half in borax and use the lemon to scrub the tile. Rinse surface with warm water after scrubbed.” Sounds super easy, doesn’t it?
For other cleaning recipes or reasons to go green at home check out these eco-friendly links:
Sustain Lane’s How to Make Your Own Household Cleaners
5 Ways Moms Can Save the Planet
Eco-Friendly Household Cleaners
This year, for the first time ever, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (”CDC”) recommends that all children between 6 months and 18 years old receive flu shots.
According to the CDC, flu shots are safe and effective against the flu, which typically manifests as respiratory symptoms, malaise, cough, aches and fever. Behind the idea of universal vaccination of children is to protect the high-risk population including newborns and the elderly. That’s what my doctor was getting at when she recently suggested that I get a flu shot, “not so much for you, but to protect your baby.”
Is the Flu Shot Safe for Children
But safety is the big question. Is the flu shot safe for children? In the past, parents have expressed concerns about the use of perservative, specifically thimerosal (a form of mercury), in flu vaccines. Others have worried that the vaccines would further contribute to the creation of toxic chemical soup in their children’s bodies.
Each year, more than 30,000 deaths are attributed to the flu, including roughly 1,200 deaths in children. For many pediatricians and parents, those numbers speak loud enough, making it easier to decide whether to vaccinate. While weighing the safety of flu vaccines is one best left to parents and their pediatricians, here are some interesting links for reading on the subject–click to see what other “mommy” and “daddy” bloggers have to say about flu vaccines:
Go Green with Vaccines (Chicago Moms Blog)
Parents should have choice NOT to vaccinate (R.T.Cave)
To Vaccinate, or Not to Vaccinate — Why Is This a Question? (Chicago Moms Blog)
To Vaccinate or Not
If you’re pregnant and encounter the “nesting” bug (a.k.a. nesting instinct), it’s probably a safe bet that you’ll wind up in the kitchen, cleaning like mad, at some point as you prep for baby. To prepare for baby, whether or not the nesting instinct kicks in, here’s what you need to “nest green” in the kitchen.
Green Supply Essentials
1. Organic Glass & Surface Cleaner
2. Baby & Mom Friendly All purpose cleaner
3. Floor or Tile Cleaner
4. Non-toxic stove cleaner, such as a citrus based product–better yet, make your own baking soda paste and vinegar cleaner.
5. Sponges or Utility Towels, like those by Loofah-Art (a Green Treehouse fav!) (Oh, by the way, keep in mind that reuseable, long-lasting sponges, especially plant-based sponges, get a thumbs up in the eco-friendly department)
What to Clean: A ‘Nest Green’ Kitchen Guide
1. The Refrigerator. Weed out the refrigerator, tossing out anything that is no longer safe to consume. Wipe down (or scrub!) shelves, produce or deli bins /crispers, butter compartments, and door shelves. Move on to the freezer. Finish with exterior wipe, don’t forget the handle and top (which tends to collect dust!)
2. The Stove. Clean burners, drip pans, stove top, knobs, stove window, and oven. Of course, wait for the stove to cool if necessary before cleaning!
3. Cabinets. Wipe down cabinets, inside and out. Declutter and organize shelves. Recycle or donate any items you no longer need. Don’t overlook the top surfaces of tall cabinets–oh, the dust you will find!
4. The Dishwasher. Wipe down the outside of the dishwasher. Sprinkle baking powder inside the dishwasher and apply a short rinse to remove any unpleasant odor.
5. The Microwave. Wipe down inside (including turn table) and out. To help remove food splatters, heat a cup of water in the microwave–stuck food often comes off easier.
6. Countertops. Use a food-safe cleaner, non-toxic counter cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, or soapy water to scrub down counters. Also wipe down any small appliances (e.g., toaster) or kitchen gadgets.
7. Floors. Scrub, scrub, scrub away! Wipe down mop boards and clean under appliances.
In the past year, there has been much talk about giving cold and cough medicines to young children. The latest word on the topic is NO. Parents are now advised not to give over-the-counter (OTC) cold remedies to children under 4. Instead, doctors advise parents to give little ones fluids and love, and to steer clear of giving children antihistamines to help them sleep.
Hey, Parents: What’s your reaction to this latest baby no, no news? Green Treehouse readers want to know what you think. Weigh in below by leaving a comment.
My mom let the cat out of the bag! My little one is getting an itty bitty rocking chair for Christmas. The rocker will be a hit. I know it. Kids absolutely love “just my size” furniture. Don’t believe me? Check out this fabulous eco-friendly Hiya Rocker by Spot On Square, and watch them fall in love. They’ll instantly gravitate to it!
Just imagine the squeals of delight you’ll hear on Christmas Day, when your child finds the Hiya Rocker under the tree. Spot on Square has done it right.
The Hiya Rocker is constructed with eco-consciousness in mind. With eco-friendly paint, recycled/ reclaimed/ sustainable materials, simple design, and quality construction, Spot On Square proves it produces products true to its mission: sustainability, safety and purity in design.