What do Rock ‘n Play and socks have in common? They’ve both been recalled this year. Predicting what’s up next:

child product recall

Whenever we look at the child product recall lists from The Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC), it never fails to amaze us that even big brand names crop up in product recalls for children. Ironically, most are not new-fangled products. Bouncer seats, high chairs, rattles, and bicycle helmets are often amongst the recalls. We figure after decades of baby product manufacturing, designers and production managers would understand what constitutes a potential hazard for kids.

We urge you to scrutinize the kid merchandise in your house and identify the potential hazards before your child ends up as the reason a product is on the CPSC list. In fact, you might have already missed a recall on your older products. According to kidsindanger.org, child product recalls occur a couple of times a week, but when a baby product is recalled, only 10-30 percent are ever retrieved. Because recalls occur AFTER injury or death occurs, it is better if parents assess the safety of child products before a recall.

Here are some common reasons for recalls:

Products fail to adhere to the American Academy of Pediatrics safe sleep guidelines. We know parents of crying young infants are often desperate to get some sleep themselves, but many sleep products are not studied. If it seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t. Infants are not ready developmentally to sleep through the night, so any product that promises to help your infant sleep through the night is, by definition, problematic. An example is the Rock ‘n Play sleeper which was recently recalled. The soft squishy inclined cradles clearly did not adhere to the safe sleep guidelines, but often we heard a parent say, ”But that’s the only place they will sleep.” Unfortunately, this recall does not undo the deaths of the 32 reported babies who died in the sleeper. In the wake of the recall, other companies who make similar sleepers are also recalling their products.

We cringe every time a family tells us they are using a new fangled piece of wrap-around-baby sleep gear or sleeping contraption, because
most involve soft surfaces (not advised), inclined surfaces (not advised) or things-in-the-crib-other-than-your-baby (also not advised). Continue Reading


Your mother was right! Health tips from mom

mom health advice
Do you ever wonder if some of the health advice your mom gave you growing up was actually correct?

On this Mother’s Day, we credit those moms who really do know a thing or two about child health.

1- Give your child chicken soup when she is sick.
There is merit to chicken soup. Children need to drink extra fluids when they are sick. Fevers, coughs, diarrhea, vomiting, and infections all can contribute to dehydration. Chicken soup is a great tasting fluid, has electrolytes (salt), and the vegetables that you cook in it leak all of their vitamins into the soup. Basically this is homemade “smart water” heated up. An added bonus: the chicken gives kids protein they need to fight infection.

If your child does not like chicken soup, you can hydrate them with water, apple juice, or milk (yes, kids can drink milk even if they have a cough or a fever).

2-Wear your gloves.
Moms do know how to dress kids for cold weather. Gloves are important because fingertips are at risk for frostbite. So are noses, but you can’t put gloves on that appendage.

3- Give honey for a cough.
We have written about this before- honey beats out placebo and even cough medicine in a few studies of parents’ perception of children’s sleep when sick with a cough. You can put it into tea, warm or cold milk, or give it straight off a spoon. Just be sure to brush their teeth afterward. And we remind you to NOT give honey to babies younger than one year of age because of concern for infant botulism.

4- Get some Vitamin D.
While we advise sunscreen for when your kids play outside, she is right that vitamin D , which comes from sun exposure and certain foods, is important. It not only contributes to bone health, but also modulates the immune system. Just focus on providing vitamin D-containing foods rather than tanning sessions. Continue Reading


Talk to your teen


Take time to talk to your teenDo you wonder if any communication actually occurs when you talk to your teen? We invite you to read this post for some coaching on how to talk to your teen in ways that they will find palatable.

Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD

©2019 Two Peds in a Pod®


Tylenol or Advil?

a spoonful of sugar

A spoonful of sugar or a spoonful of stevia?

What’s better to give my child, Tylenol or Advil? Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen?

We really shouldn’t be using brand names, but this question comes up often, and just like Kleenex or Band-aid or Post-it, we more often hear parents refer to the brand names than the  generic names.

Tylenol is a brand name for acetaminophen. Sometimes on medicine labels it is listed as APAP.

Motrin and Advil are brand names for ibuprofen.

Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are the SAME in these two effects:

Both treat pain.
Both lower fever.

Here is how acetaminophen and ibuprofen are DIFFERENT: Continue Reading


Toddler meal ideas

Time to start finger foods! Toddler meal ideas

Having trouble figuring out what to feed your toddler? Read our post for easy, healthy, and economical toddler meal ideas, featuring finger food suggestions. Spoiler alert: you can stay out of the “baby and toddler food aisle” of your local food market!

Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD
©2019 Two Peds in a Pod®


Update on Gardasil vaccine: yes, it is safe and effective

“Should I give my kid the Gardasil® vaccine?” Friends and relatives, as well as our patients’ parents, continue to ask us this question.

Our answer is always: “Yes.”

Gardasil® vaccine is the current HPV vaccine on the United States market. The vaccine prevents cancer-causing strains of human papillomavirus from infecting a person’s body. HPV cancers include cervical cancer in women, penile cancers in men, and cancers of the mouth and throat in everyone. The vaccine also protects against genital warts. Continue Reading


Another measles outbreak: recognize measles in your child

recognize measles

A typical measles rash, courtesy of the public health library, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

It saddens us that we need to post about how to recognize measles, but the recent measles outbreaks in the United States force parents to be vigilant for a disease that was nearly eradicated in this country.

Both an increase in international travel and a decrease in parents vaccinating their kids is thought to be responsible for the increase in measles cases.

Measles typically starts out looking like a really bad cold
Continue Reading