January 26, 2009

Sharing Bed With Infants A Bad Idea

The rate of accidental suffocation deaths among babies increased fourfold over the past two decades, according to a new study, despite a national campaign to encourage safe infant sleeping.

Authors of the study, which appears today in the journal Pediatrics, say the nationwide increase probably is the result of more thorough investigations and changes in how deaths are classified. Nevertheless, the researchers and local medical experts said the figures reflect a continuing problem and highlight concerns about whether babies should sleep in the same beds as their parents or siblings.

“These deaths are likely preventable,” said Carrie K. Shapiro-Mendoza, an epidemiologist at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and lead author of the study. “So this problem is ongoing, and we should not divert our attention. … We need an infusion of more efforts to make them reduce further.”

Researchers have long studied Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, a term that refers to infant deaths that cannot be explained after a medical investigation. Shapiro-Mendoza’s study sought to find out if a newer, more specific category of infant death – by strangulation or suffocation – was increasing.

Full story: Don’t share bed with infant, parents told

January 12, 2009

Know where your child is via GPS

For years, parents have been limited to traditional methods of keeping track of their children’s movements: standing in the playground, watching from the window, or asking them to phone home when they visit a friend’s house. But now anxious mothers and fathers are being offered a distinctly hi-tech method of monitoring their child’s every movement – tracking them by satellite.

Launched this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the Num8 watch from British company Lok8u is said to be the first tracking device specifically designed to help parents keep tabs on wayward offspring.

Full story

October 8, 2008

Annoy Your Teenager Without Being There

Ford has made parenting a little easier by introducing MyKey, a programmable ignition key for Ford automobiles that monitors teenage driving behavior. With MyKey in place, various driving habits that parents may consider unsafe, or merely obnoxious, can be curtailed.

It covers all the common parental complaints: The car’s speed cannot exceed 80mph. Radio volume is limited to 44 percent of maximum and, if seatbelts aren’t fastened, no sound will come from the speakers at all. Extra-careful and/or paranoid parents can place warning sounds at 45, 55, and 65mph, blasting a warning of potential reckless driving to the youthful driver.

Full story: MyKey Turns Your Ford Focus into Your Mom