Tag Archives: baby

Resource for Choosing Child Care

from NAEYC.org

from NAEYC.org

In the past, I have offered these links for students wanting more information on choosing a child care:

www.childcareaware.org: Child Care Aware of America. They have great articles on choosing child care, and also a state-by-state list of: agencies that do referrals, child care licensing regulations, inspection reports, resources for children with special needs, and more. A fabulous resource!

www.childcare.org: This is Child Care Resources, based in Washington state. They have lots of good info on making the choice, but some of their info (like about their referral line) is only relevant for Washington residents.

I have given http://www.saferchild.org/caregiver.htm, but that URL no longer works. At http://www.saferchild.org/askthe/, you can find their Questions to Ask a Prospective Daycare. The questions are great in many ways, but I find the overall tone could be a little scary for new parents as it talks a fair amount about what can go wrong in child care.

I’m now adding this to my resources:

http://families.naeyc.org/ – The National Association for the Education of Young Children. They have great resources on choosing child care (see the infographic at the top of the post). I like that they divide off sections on quality care for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, because although you’re looking for many of the same things, there are also differences in what counts as quality child care for a 3 month old and a 3 year old. They also have a directory to search for NAEYC accredited child care centers and preschools.

And, for those who are using / will be using a family member to provide child care, here’s a couple good articles on setting clear expectations and resolving conflicts: Should you hire a family member for childcare, and When Family Members are your Child’s Caregiver.

Resources on Hazards in Pregnancy

substancesDuring pregnancy, some women worry a lot about the potential harms they might expose their developing baby to – medications, smoking, environmental pollutants, workplace hazards and more. Others feel like they’re continuously bombarded with messages that ‘nothing is safe’ and ‘you can’t do / eat/ drink anything you want to do / eat / drink because you’re pregnant.’

If parents look in the popular media, they see a wide range of information: some accurate and research-based but hard to read, some easy to read but not so accurate. It helps to have good resources to point expectant parents to. These are in order from the ones that I think are most broad / helpful to parents to those which are less broad or less helpful.

The Mother to Baby website from OTIS (Organization of Teratology Information Specialists) has a large collection of fact sheets on specific hazards that are research-based and consumer friendly (though not for a low reading level). Topics include medications, herbal products, infectious diseases, illicit substances, and maternal medical conditions. http://www.mothertobaby.org/otis-fact-sheets-s13037

The March of Dimes http://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/staying-safe.aspx is a very consumer friendly site with good summaries on lots of topics.

Center for Disease Control (CDC). Lots of helpful information and links on infectious diseases, medication, workplace hazards, and more. http://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy

LactMed – Drugs and Lactation Database. For info on medications and breastfeeding. “Information on the levels of such substances in breast milk and infant blood, and the possible adverse effects in the nursing infant. Suggested therapeutic alternatives to those drugs are provided.” http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/newtoxnet/lactmed.htm

FDA information for Expectant and New Parents. Info on food safety, breast pumps, ultrasounds, and more. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ByAudience/ForWomen/WomensHealthTopics/ucm117976.htm

The Environmental Working Group offers Consumer Guides on choosing healthier (for humans and the planet) products: pesticides in produce, cleaning products, cosmetics, genetically engineered foods, and lots more. http://www.ewg.org/consumer-guides

MotherRisk. The website includes a few fact sheets, plus links to research studies on medications, herbs, and infectious diseases. For Canadians, they offer phone hotlines for questions about medications exposures, nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, exercise in pregnancy, and HIV and pregnancy. http://www.motherisk.org/prof/index.jsp

Reproductive Health in the Workplace has info about workplace exposures and breastfeeding and on how not to take your workplace hazards home with you. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/repro/pregnancy.html

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Standards related to reproductive hazards in the workplace: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/reproductivehazards/standards.html

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists hotlines consumers can call with questions on particular hazardous substances: http://www2.epa.gov/home/epa-hotlines

Safety and International Travel: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

How Expectant Parents Can Help

Part of the reason there is limited information on the safety of substances during pregnancy is because of limited research on pregnant women. Expectant parents can volunteer to be in a pregnancy registry. These studies just collect information from pregnancy parents who take medications and vaccines, and collect information on the baby. Outcomes are compared to those of parents who did not take that medication during pregnancy.

Participating parents are NOT taking experimental drugs or anything they wouldn’t otherwise take!! These registries are an opportunity for parents who are already taking medication or need to take a medication to share their experience with researchers. It might especially appeal to parents who are frustrated at how little information is available to them about their meds. This helps them help others moving forward.

Participating would typically involve a few phone calls (or possibly even online surveys): one or two during pregnancy, and one after the birth. I

Learn more here: http://www.fda.gov/ScienceResearch/SpecialTopics/WomensHealthResearch/ucm251314.htm and here: http://www.pregnancystudies.org/participate-in-a-study/participate-in-a-study/

If you are a professional who would like to encourage your clients to participate in registries, there are outreach materials (brochures, etc.) available here: http://www.fda.gov/ScienceResearch/SpecialTopics/WomensHealthResearch/ucm256789.htm

photo credit: G. J. Charlet III via photopin cc