Archive for May, 2010

The baby is coming …Dr. Jeff Gardere educates young fathers to be on VH1 “Dad Camp”

According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute in New York, nationally, nearly one million young women under age 20 become pregnant each year. That means close to 2800 women get pregnant each day.

Where are the fathers?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 24 million children live apart from their biological fathers. That is 1 out of every 3 (33%) children in America. Nearly 2 in 3 (65%) African American children live in father-absent homes. Over 1 in 3 (34%) Hispanic children, and 1 in 4 (25%) white children live in father-absent homes.

Last year, President Obama challenged young men to step up as fathers, urging them to recognize that their “responsibility does not end at conception.”

VH1 and Dr. Jeff Gardere are coming to the rescue with their new show “Dad Camp.”

Dr. Jeff Gardere is a licensed psychologist and national relationship expert in New York City who prepares six young twenty-something young men for fatherhood in this VH1 eight-episode series.

Here the young fathers will face reality: A baby is on the way! Through parenting classes, personal challenges and powerful couple and group therapy, these young couples will learn about responsibility and the dedication, commitment and importance of selflessness that they must make to their children … because it’s the right thing to do and because fatherhood can be a positive and rewarding experience.

In each episode, Dr. Jeff offers intensive parenting lessons and challenges to prepare these young men for fatherhood. They’ll learn about parental nurturing, conquering their fears and commitment.

“Dad Camp’s” goal is to educate these young men and turn them into responsible fathers, when they’d much rather be out with their friends and other young women, spend time playing video games, drinking, using drugs, etc.

Dad Camp also addresses many of today’s societal issues, including the importance of male role models, absent fathers and the struggles of being a young parent.

The degree of risk to children of very young parents may be determined by the financial, social, and emotional stresses these families face. Yet, few participate in parenting education.

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Silly bandz banned by schools and could even be harmful to kids’ health according to doctors

Silly Bandz are the latest in a long list of kid-centric fads and have long been causing quite a distraction in schools across the country.

In case you don’t know what they are – they’re those stretchy, very colorful bracelets that school kids wear up their entire forearms.

The bandz are now contraband and blacklisted in schools in many states, including New York, Massachusetts, Florida and Texas.

Over 800 kids at a Raleigh, NC school were mandated to leave their bandz collections at home.

The bandz which retail for $5 per pack of 24 are causing a major distraction with kids playing with them and swapping and selling them during class. It’s been reported that when a bandz trade goes bad kids even get into arguments.

Kids trade them and try to out-do each other by seeing who can collect the most. In fact, the more a child wears, the higher their social status on the playground.

Kids deserve to have freedom of expression in what they wear but when it interferes with learning in the classroom, schools had to take a stand.

Additionally, both Dr. Manny and Dr. Gregory Simonian, chief of endovascular surgery and director of the Heart Vascular Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center, feel that whether it’s tight bracelets or a ring on your finger, anything that is constricting could cause vascular insufficiency—meaning the blood flow is being altered by some external force. In this case, it’s the new, hip rubber bracelets,” Simonian said.

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Congress working to ban drop-side cribs

According to the Associated Press, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is preparing legislation to ban the manufacture, sale and resale of all drop-side cribs, as well as ban them from day-care centers and hotels. Gillibrand hopes the legislation that will be introduced this week, will accelerate efforts for a ban, either via Congress or the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and draw concerns to parents who are using them drop-side cribs.

Senator Gillibrand is pushing this because 6-month-old Bobby Cirigliano of North Bellmore, NY died as a result of his drop-side crib. The side rail on his drop-side crib slid off the tracks and trapped his head and neck between the mattress and the malfunctioning side rail. His face pressed against the mattress. Sadly he suffocated.

Bobby was one of at least 32 infants and toddlers since 2000 who suffocated or were strangled in a drop-side crib, which has a side that moves up and down to allow parents to lift children from the cribs more easily than cribs with fixed sides. Drop-sides, which have been around for decades and used by many of today’s parents, are suspected in an additional 14 infant fatalities during that time.

CPSC which regulates cribs, has warned about the problem. Its chairman, Inez Tenenbaum, has pledged to ban the manufacture and sale of cribs by the end of the year with a new performance standard that would make fixed-side cribs mandatory. It could be several months into 2011 before becoming effective.

The industry has already started phasing out drop-sides and big retailers such as Babies R Us and Wal-Mart have taken them off sale floors. However with Internet, many of these cribs are still for sale online, giving cause for Congress to get involved.

Senator Giilbrand said “There’s a great urgency here. We have to make sure that no parent is unaware that drop-side cribs could kill their children. There still are thousands and thousands of children who are sleeping every night in drop-side cribs and we need to protect them.”

The Senator will outline her bill today in a news conference joined by Bobby Cirigliano’s parents and the family of 10-month-old Tyler Witte, who died in a drop-side crib in 1997.

More than 7 million of these cribs have been recalled in the past five years, often because screws, safety pegs or plastic tracking for the rail can come loose or break. The industry insists that babies are safe in drop-sides that haven’t been recalled.

The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, which represents over 90 percent of the crib industry, believes the cribs are safe when assembled and used properly, but you can’t gamble your child’s life when so many deaths have occurred from these cribs.

CPSC pledges to vote on a ban by year’s end. Both Nassau and Suffolk, on Long Island — have banned the sale of drop-sides.

Late last year, crib manufacturers were already moving in that direction when they voted to eliminate the drop-side design and instead opt for four fixed sides, but the standard is a voluntary one.

Despite the industry’s move to end production, there are plenty of new and used drop-side cribs for sale online. The Associated Press found drop-sides for purchase on websites for Sears, Kmart and Craigslist also had scores of used drop-side cribs for sale.

Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association
CPSC crib information
House Energy and Commerce Committee Hearing

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Long Island teens accused of plotting high school massacre

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Celebrating mothers who make a difference

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Landmark anti-bullying legislation is signed into law

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