Thursday, September 30, 2010

List of Recalled Toys and Infant & Children's Products from the US Consumer Product Safety Commssion

This huge list of recalled items mostly includes toys that have already injured or killed children. It is frightening to see how large it is and to realize that there are many more toys and items of children's jewelry out there with hazards that have not been discovered yet!

US Consumer Product Safety Commission List of Recalled Children's Toys

Switch to using traditional Montessori style equipment at home and avoid needing to follow these recalls! A lot of material for the early years, you can make at home by yourself.

This list contains non-toy items for infants and children!

Check our earlier blog posts for ideas or check out our Montessori House teaching guides for Infants and Toddlers.

In Case You Missed This: Contaminated Similac Infant Formula Recall

Earlier in the week, Similac recalled infant formula due to bug contamination.

Here is Similac's page to see if your formula is on the list of contaminated formula.

For parents overseas, note that this formula was also sold overseas including the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

Infant Sleep Positioners: Danger STOP Using Them (Recall Notice)

After 12 deaths over 13 years, the the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are warning parents and child care providers to:

* STOP using sleep positioners. Using a positioner to hold an infant on his or her back or side for sleep is dangerous and unnecessary.

* NEVER put pillows, infant sleep positioners, comforters, or quilts under a baby or in a crib.

* ALWAYS place an infant on his or her back at night and during nap time. To reduce the risk of SIDS, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends placing infants to sleep on their backs and not their sides.

The American Academy of Pediatrics does NOT support the use of any sleep positioner to prevent SIDS.

Note that it took a lot of deaths over many years to prompt this warning. We suggest that you not adopt new and trendy products for your infant. There are a number of tried and true materials such as the Montessori bed on the floor -- well, it's hard to mess that up -- and using a mat or towel to give your infant lots of "stomach time". Of course, these methods don't leave much for manufacturers to sell, so you will see lots of pressure and advertising for new things. Do not give in! Your infant does not need this stuff and, in the worst case scenario, it can kill him or her. That's a pretty big downside!

If you are using the Montessori method for raising your infant, you will already have not purchased anything like this.

Read more about our traditional Montessori methods for raising infants and toddlers

Fisher-Price: 10 million defective tricycles, toys and high chairs

Wow, 10 million defective tricycles, children's toys, infant toys, and high chairs have been recalled after a number of children got injured.

On the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website, there are descriptions and pictures:
Pictures of the recalled Fisher-Price tricycles
Pictures of recalled toys.
Pictures of recalled high chairs
Pictures of recalled infant toys (choking)

In the New York Times online today, Fisher-Price Recalls 10 Million Items Over Safety Concerns, by the AP:

"In the recall of about seven million Fisher-Price Trikes and Tough Trikes toddler tricycles, the agency is aware of 10 reports of children being hurt. Six of them required medical attention.

The tricycles — some of which feature popular characters like Dora the Explorer and Barbie — have a protruding plastic ignition key near the seat that children can strike, sit on or fall on, leading to injuries that the commission said can include genital bleeding.

Fisher-Price is also recalling more than a million Healthy Care, Easy Clean and Close to Me High Chairs, after 14 reports of problems. Seven children required stitches, the commission said.

The pegs on the back of the high chairs can be used to store the tray, but children can fall on them, causing cuts and other injuries."

In addition, the article names some other products:

Over "... 2.8 million Baby Playzone Crawl and Cruise Playground toys, Baby Playzone Crawl and Slide Arcade toys, Baby Gymtastics Play Wall toys, Ocean Wonders Kick & Crawl Aquarium toys, 1-2-3 Tetherball toys and Bat and Score Goal toys. The valve of the inflatable ball on the toys can come off and pose a choking hazard to children, product safety agency said. The agency said there were more than 50 reports of the valves coming off.

About 100,000 Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies Stand ‘n Play Rampway toys. The wheels on the purple and green cars can come off, posing a choking hazard."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Infants and Toddlers: No Television and Computer Use!

There is no disputing the fact that children under the age of two should not be sitting in front of a screen.

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement about media and children in 1999 in which they stated:

"Pediatricians should urge parents to avoid television viewing for children under the age of 2 years. Although certain television programs may be promoted to this age group, research on early brain development shows that babies and toddlers have a critical need for direct interactions with parents and other significant caregivers (eg, child care providers) for healthy brain growth and the development of appropriate social, emotional, and cognitive skills. Therefore, exposing such young children to television programs should be discouraged."

- American Academy of Pediatrics

Everyone has heard how educational DVDs are supposed to enhance a child's vocabulary and language facilities. But that is only if you do not interact with your child properly. If a child has no other stimulus, perhaps a DVD is the only way that he or she will hear any vocabulary and have any type of stimulation, but this certainly does not apply to our readers and parents.

Learn more about infant and toddler health and education using the Montessori method.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

American Montessori Society (AMS) Living Legend Award: Nominating Chandra Fernando

We are posting this to try to get everyone together to nominate a dear friend and former teacher, Chandra Fernando, for the AMS Annual Living Legacy Award in recognition for her more than 50 years of service to Montessori, AMS and most importantly, children all over the world.

The deadline is October 1, 2010!

To join us in nominating Chandra Fernando for this award, go to the website:
American Montessori Society's Living Legacy page

Please pass this along to any former students from teacher training, former Montessori students, friends or colleagues who might have missed our emails.

If you have enjoyed our Montessori material, please join us in nominating this amazing teacher!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Montessori Equipment for Infants: Before Grasping -- Great DIY Idea

I liked this use of the scarf with fringes because it is simple to set up and requires purchasing nothing!

Your infant can lie on his or her bed, Moses basket, or a rug on the floor.

Make sure that the fringes of the scarf will not shed and cause a choking hazard.

Montessori Equipment for Infants: Mobiles for Grasping

This is a fabulous mobile because your infant can pull on the ring to make it move and make sounds.

If someone has these for sale, let us know! Send a comment that includes your website and we'll post it.

More about Montessori and Infants in our curriculum albums here.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Infants: Gobbi Mobiles -- Great Video

This mobile is a beautiful example of the grasping and batting practice that infants need. If you take the Montessori course for this age group, it is required homework. Not too hard to make, but this one came out really well!

The idea behind the mobile is that you hang it within reach of your child, so that he or she can watch it, track it visually, and gain hand-eye coordination by batting at it in an attempt to grasp the tantalizing balls.

This video is from Goosedesigns on Etsy. I just went to her store to try to order a mobile at the last minute, and she's busy, so I will have to shop in advance next time. Got the ring and strap from her for a gift and it was a lovely set.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Medicating Young Children for Mood Disorders: Discussion

Child’s Ordeal Shows Risks of Psychosis Drugs for Young by Duff Wilson of the New York Times discusses the trend towards medicating young children has been disturbing to many of us in the Montessori community.

This article provides an insightful medical discussion that addresses many of the issues that we found troubling:

"But many doctors say prescribing them for younger and younger children may pose grave risks to development of both their fast-growing brains and their bodies. Doctors can legally prescribe them for off-label use, including in preschoolers, even though research has not shown them to be safe or effective for children. Boys are far more likely to be medicated than girls.

Dr. Ben Vitiello, chief of child and adolescent treatment and preventive research at the National Institute of Mental Health, says conditions in young children are extremely difficult to diagnose properly because of their emotional variability. “This is a recent phenomenon, in large part driven by the misperception that these agents are safe and well tolerated,” he said."

Well-worth reading and sharing.