Archive for the 'Gear' Category

Car Seats have Expiration Dates

Did you know that car seats have an expiration date on them?  You may want to check that date, and have your car seat inspected.

And, just like milk and eggs, car seats can expire. The date can be found on the back of the seat.

Inspector Ashley Marchese says there are a couple of reasons why manufacturers put expiration dates on their car seats.

One is the effect that heat can have on the plastic.

“There could be a breakdown to the plastic that you don’t know,” said Ashley Marchese. That can affect the stability and durability of the seat.

Second, car seats continue to evolve.

There is no research that connects the dots between expired car seats and injuries, but the trauma program director at All Children’s Hospital says anything that affects a car seat’s performance could be dangerous.

If you can’t find the expiration date on the car seat, call the manufacturer with the model number.

Toy Fair

There will be a Toy Fair in Dubai on 13-15 of May. I have not received the timing of the event, or prices, but when I know, I will post them here.

Consumer Report of Infant Rear Facing Car Seats.

CNN has a story about Consumer Reports’ newest study regarding Infant Rear Facing Car Seats (here they have recommendations on how to better to keep your child safe in a car seat.)Â You may want to take a look at their study, if your child is using one of these seats…

The magazine crash-tested 12 infant-seat brands and found that 10 didn’t provide adequate protection.

The car seats have already passed the federal government crash tests, which are conducted from the front at 30 miles per hour.

Consumer Reports, however, tested the seats with the same standards the government uses in testing vehicles – for front crashes at 35 miles per hour and for side crashes at 38 miles per hour.

At those higher speeds, Consumer Reports found, rear-facing infant seats flew off their bases or twisted violently upon impact, in one case hurling the dummy 30 feet from the car.

One seat, the Evenflo Discovery, didn’t even meet federal standards, according to the magazine, which said it is seeking a federal recall of the seat.

Don Mays, senior director of product safety and consumer science for Consumer Reports, doesn’t think the federal standards go far enough. “Some of the same manufactuers sell the same seats in Europe that perform better [in tests] than in the U.S.” he said.

The 12 models represented the most popular seats on the market, said Mays.

Only the Baby Trend Flex-Loc and the Graco SnugRide with EPS performed well in the magazine’s tests.

The seat bases were attached to the car by safety belts or a series of belts, known as LATCH attachements, that hook to metal anchors in the car. LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children.

The Chicco KeyFit, Compass I410, Evenflo Embrace, and Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP functioned well as long as the seat had a tight fit from the vehicle’s safety belts rather than the LATCH system, according to Mays. The seats evaluated were all rear-facing carriers that snap into a base.

The magazine notes that any car seat is better than no car seat at all.

Consumer Reports suggests securing the infant car-seat in the center-rear position of the vehicle’s back seat.

The report also urges consumers to send registration cards to manufacturers when they buy a new seat so they can be notified in the event of a recall.

Finally consumers can go to the Web site to find a free car-seat inspection station.

Consumer Reports, which is published by the non-profit advocacy organization Consumers Union, will run the story in its February issue.

Mother Baby and Child Show in Dubai

The other day I went to the Mother Baby and Child show in Dubai. I went with a mother with two children, and we went on Friday late afternoon. After going to the show last year, I was looking forward to the show this year. There is so much you can learn from the show, and you can find some of the latest products here in the UAE.

There were a couple of problems with this year visit. We went on a weekend, late afternoon, when every one else was trying to go. The reason for this is also that they had Barney there doing shows, and every child wanted to see Barney, including one of the kids with us. So looking back if you are going to add Barney or any other character then you need to add more space. At 17:30 I got in line to get our tickets, at 17:45 they said that they would not give out any more tickets until 18:30. The ticket center was just a few feet away from the door, and to say the least it was a mess. At 18:15 I went back to get in line for tickets, and at around 19:00 I finally got our tickets.

After getting the tickets I had to almost fight to not get knocked over and to get to the door (yes one door to enter the show), this was carrying one child while the mother pushed the baby in the stroller. After about 20 minutes of going nowhere, we decided that we should just leave and come back the next day.

While we were leaving I spoke to some one that was in charge of the planning the show, she said, “We never expected this big of a turn out.” That may have been the case, but it was dangerous for all the children, and a lot of stands that were near the stage, you could not even get close to those stands. After we spoke to the lady (sorry I did not get her name) we got in at a side door. If it had not been for that I would not have went in. Once we were in it was not too bad, unless you where near the stage. Of course the 4 year-old just had to see Barney, so we were at the stage for most of the time. All in all it took use four hours to get tickets, get in, see Barney, and then to see about four stands.

I have to say that I like the show, even though I did not get to see that much, and that I had my toes stepped on all night. The UAE needs more shows like this, but it needs to be arranged different. Keep children activities in one large area, and keep it moving. The stands that are for the parents and industry professionals should be in a different area, so that they can move around. Maybe have an area where children can play while parents are looking around. It is hard to try to get 30 strollers down one aisle and that does not include the other adults trying to get around. I will be at the next show just to see how much they have improve.

Just so you know they are planning the next show in Abu Dhabi May 30-June 2 2007. I will let you know the details as we get them. There is not much on the their website Mother Baby and Child.

Car Seat “Cot Death” Warning?

A new warning for parents, do not leave your child in there car seat, unattended while you are not driving. It seems that when babies sleep, in the car seat when not in the car, it can cause “Cot Death’. The car seat is for the car, and your babies neck is not strong enough to hold it’s head up, while sitting up. If the babies head or chin drops, your baby can stop breathing.

Many parents use the car seat to let the child sleep, but the study says the best way for the baby to sleep is to lay flat, or “modifying car safety seats so a baby’s head does not flop forward could help avoid the risk”. This way the head does not drop, and stops the baby from breathing. One thing to remember this was a small study, but it is something to think about.
Read more about this study at BBC Health.

Problems arise because reflexes that keep the baby’s head upright and their breathing normal are still developing.

The British Medical Journal study authors say modifying car safety seats so a baby’s head does not flop forward could help avoid the risk.

As well as being used for car transport the seats are often used to carry babies around outside and in the home.

But allowing a baby to fall asleep restrained in a relatively upright position could be lethal, the New Zealand researchers warn.

They looked at nine babies who were referred to the Auckland Cot Monitoring Service between July 1999 and December 2000 after an apparently life-threatening event.

EmiratesBaby Store, Car Seat Shade

Today I was working on EmiratesBaby Store at, and came across this neat little thing. How many times have you gone to put your child in their car seat, and it was too hot for you to touch? Well this little car seat cover looks like it is really easy to use, would work wonderful here in the heat. Some items you can not get shipped here, but if you have an Aramex’s Shop and Ship, you can order from Amazon.
This is what Amazon says about the Car Seat Shade

Product Description
Did you know that temperatures in a closed car on a hot day can exceed over 140 degrees? Now, protect your child’s sensitive skin from hot car seats with this easy-to-use car seat shade. When you and baby leave the car, just place this reflective cover over baby’s car seat and when you return the car seat will remain comfortable even on the hottest days (at least 40 degrees cooler than the car’s interior!). Fits all infant and toddler seats and can fold easily for compact storage. Traveling with baby can now be safer and more comfortable.

Pkolino fun furniture for Children- Gulf News

Today in the Gulf News they have a small snippet about a company in the US that has made children’s furniture fun for children and is still functional with adult furniture. In this snippet they showcase the Klick, at desk and seat for children that can click together that then make a cube.

You can find more information on the Klick and other items that my help your child play, but still fit in your style of your home. Check for more ideas of play and other furniture for your child and their play.

Age Appropriate Toys

The American Academy of Pediatrics has a wonderful website that has loads of information on child development, and with the lastest information that will help your child. They have a wonderful section on Age Approitate Toys for your child.


Keep in mind that the most educational toy is one that fosters the interaction of an adult with a child in supportive, unconditional play. Toys are never substitutes for the attention of devoted caregivers.

1 Provide children with safe, affordable toys that are developmentally appropriate. Include toys that help promote learning and growth in all areas of development. Avoid toys that discourage children from using their imaginations. Social/emotional and cognitive skills are developed and enhanced as children use play to work out real-life problems.

2. Make a thoughtful selection of toys and remember that a good toy does not have to be trendy or expensive.

3. Use books and magazines to play and read together.

4. Be skeptical of educational or developmental claims made by advertisers, especially product claims of intellectual enhancement.

5. Seek the pediatrician’s advice in distinguishing between safe and unsafe toys (see resource list).
Remember that some toys promote violence or negative social, racial, or gender stereotypes. These toys are not recommended for children.

6. Limit video game and computer game use. Total screen time, including television and computer use, should be less than 1 to 2 hours per day. Children younger than 5 years should play with computer or video games only if they are developmentally appropriate, and they should be accompanied by the parent or caregiver.

7. For a list of appropriate and safe toys, see the Goodson and Bronson resource Which Toy for Which Child, available by order or online.

Toys can provide a bridge for a child’s interactions with parents or other caregivers. Although toys should never be used as a substitute for loving, unconditional attention from parents and other caregivers, toys can enhance these interactions. When adults participate in the play of children, learning is enhanced. Parents are able to observe the skills their child currently has and also help expand those skills. For example, if an 18-month-old who is starting to enter the world of pretend play is building a tower with blocks, a parent can introduce the idea that the blocks can also become a garage for the cars or a house for the stuffed animals. A child’s self-esteem and level of mastery are also enhanced when adults participate in play. Toys can facilitate the development of relationships as parent and child share in the mutual joy and delight of new discoveries. has a list of age appropriate toys.

Newborn to 1 year

Choose toys that will appeal to a baby’s sight, hearing and touch. Examples include:
Large blocks
Rattles Pots and pans
Soft, washable animals, dolls or balls
Bright, moveable objects that are out of the infant’s reach
Busy boards
Floating bath toys
Squeeze toys
1 to 2 years old

Children of this age are quite curious. Toys for this age group should be safe and able to withstand a toddler’s manipulation. Examples include:
Cloth or plastic books with large pictures
Kiddy cars
Musical tops
Nesting blocks
Push-and-pull toys (without long cords)
Stacking toys
Toy telephones
2 to 5 years old

Children this age like toys that imitate the activities of parents and older siblings. Examples include:
Books (short stories or action stories)
Blackboard and chalk
Building blocks
Crayons, non-toxic paints, clay
Hammer and bench
Housekeeping toys
Tape recorders
Puzzles with large pieces
Dress-up clothes
Transportation toys (tricycles, cars and wagons)
Outdoor toys (sandbox, slides, swings and playhouse)
5 to 9 years old

Children this age enjoy toys that promote skill development and creativity. Examples include:
Sewing kits with blunt scissors
Card games
Doctor and nurse kits
Hand puppets
Crafts Paper dolls
Jump ropes
Roller skates
Sports equipment
Table-top games

10 to 14 years old

Children this age often have hobbies and they enjoy toys with scientific activities. Examples include:
Computer games
Sewing, needlework, knitting
Microscopes, telescopes
Sports equipment (basketball and soccer nets)
Table-top and board games
Hobby collections (dolls, model cars, miniatures)

Justkidding opens in Dubai

Emirates Today has a story about a new shop that has open in Dubai, Justkidding. It seems that this shop can be that one place where you can find something special for your little one, that birthday gift, or maybe that special baby gift. From the article it seems that this place has just about anything that your little one might need. They even have a parents corner where you can get that much needed coffee. If you have been to this shop let us know what you thought of it.

For more information you can call Justkidding at 04 341 3922.

How to buy a baby cot

The Gulf News Friday addition has a wonderful How To on buying a cot for your baby. Shamma Buhary gives some wonderful tips on buying that special cot for your little one.

The size of the cot should depend on what room you will be using it in, the size of the room, and just how long you are planning on having your little one sleep in it. The shape will also depend on how big your room is, and if you want that fancy shape cot. The cots can come in many different materials and picking the right one, will depend on if you plan on using this cot for more than one child, if you would rather have the natural look or if you go for the plastic look. Some cots are even made of MDF. Some things to look for when buying a durable cot, check that the joints, the wheels, the sides, locks, the adjustable sides, to make sure they all work smoothly. Also make sure the cot does not wobble. Shamma also suggests that you should look for a good second hand cot, if it is not worn out. If the cot has been used short-term and if it is in a good condition then, this could be a good bargain. She says to check the classified section in the newspaper.

I could not find the story online, but you can read the scan copy here.