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Southwest Airlines Kicks Off a Mother and Toddler From Flight

by Amanda on November 3, 2009
category: 1 – 3 year (toddler),In the news,Travel

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES 737 Last week Southwest Airlines escorted a mother and her 2 year old son off a flight to San Jose, CA, because he was screaming “Go Plane Go!” and “I want Daddy!” according the Associated Press. The crew was concerned that the passengers could not hear the safety briefing to abide within FAA guidelines. The mother, Pamela Root, assured the attendants that her son would be quiet after take off and that she had planned to feed him while in the air. Southwest Airlines has since apologized to the mother, refunded her money, and gave her a $300 dollar voucher for a future flight.

I first heard about this story from a Facebook status of a friend that was applauding Southwest Airlines. Many of the comments of the status were in full agreement with the decision. As a mother of a toddler I was initially flabbergasted and angry.

I understand that the crew had a real concern with the safety announcements, but I really wonder how loud was the child. I read that the crew made offers of juice and colors to calm the boy down.

Some days are better than others when I go out shopping with my toddler. I know when to call it quits and try again at another time. Perhaps this was one of this instances where you just need to try again later, even if you are inconvenienced. Or do you just get through it? Thankfully the mother didn’t have to make a connecting flight or miss any major events.

I am glad that Southwest Airlines apologized, because this could have a set a bad precedent for future flights with kids. It would not be good if any flight attendant could remove families at their discretion for small matters. I wonder what would have happened if this took place in another country?  Cathay Pacific very kind and understanding when I flew with a 7 month old baby. The flight from Los Angeles to Hong Kong had several children, but everyone seemed to recognized it was just a fact of life and got through with the flight.

This incident on Southwest Airlines ended up not being a huge deal. The mother flew out the next day which I can only assume to have been a much easier flight, since she and her child did not get kicked off again. I hope it doesn’t happen again to another family. Otherwise, those of us traveling with toddlers may be in for some trouble!

Do you have any traveling stories with toddlers? What would you have done in that situation? Did the attendants make the right decision?

More on traveling with children:

Baby Einstein DVD Upgrade/Moneyback Guarantee

by Amanda on October 23, 2009
category: Fun time & Toys,In the news

dvd The folks at Baby Einstein are exchanging or returning Baby Einstein DVDs, because their marketing used false claims that they will make your baby smarter.

You can mail in your DVD in exchange for a book, CD, or discount on a Little Einstein product at a Disney Store. OR you can get a refund of $15.99 for each DVD.

Here is a link for all the information about the Baby Einstein DVD exchange or refund.

What do you think of the Baby Einstein DVDs?

I don’t think I ever believed that they would make my baby smarter, because the DVDs were just going out of style when my babies were born. At the time I had my kids a lot of parents were already questioning the “smarter” claim. Neither of my children were interested in the videos whenever I played them. I have friends that have played them a lot. The videos are fine for entertaining.

Friday Links

by Amanda on September 25, 2009
category: Carousel Links,In the news

Hi Ya’ll! I have been battling the flu the last few days, so I haven’t been able to get a proper post written. In the mean time I hope you enjoy these few links:

* A woman gave birth to a 19 pound baby this week in Indonesia!

* Julia Grovenburg is expecting two babies that were conceived 2.5 weeks apart!

* Melodie and Melissa answered my question about pumping breastmilk on Breastfeeding Moms Unite.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

by Amanda on August 2, 2009
category: Feeding,In the news

wbw August 1 – 7 is World Breastfeeding Week. The main purpose of WBW is promote breastfeeding in emergency situations worldwide.  An emergency can happen anytime and anywhere. They want to inform mothers, breastfeeding advocates, communities, health professionals, governments, aid agencies, donors, and the media on how they can actively support breastfeeding before and during an emergency.

WHY WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK 2009?

  • Children are the most vulnerable in emergencies – child mortality can soar from 2 to 70 times higher than average due to diarrhea, respiratory illness and malnutrition.
  • Breastfeeding is a life saving intervention and protection is greatest for the youngest infants. Even in non-emergency settings, non-breastfed babies under 2 months of age are six times more likely to die.
  • Emergencies can happen anywhere in the world. Emergencies destroy what is ‘normal,’ leaving caregivers struggling to cope and infants vulnerable to disease and death.
  • During emergencies, mothers need active support to continue or re-establish breastfeeding.
  • Emergency preparedness is vital. Supporting breastfeeding in non-emergency settings will strengthen mothers’ capacity to cope in an emergency.

In every country around the world breastfeeding needs to be supported and promoted, especially areas where clean water is limited and government conflicts can create national emergencies. Infant mortality rates in time of crisis can be dramatically decreased if a baby who was breastfed can still be breastfeed. “Breastmilk is the one safe and secure source of food for babies, instantly available, providing active protection against illness and keeping an infant warm and close to his/her mother. During the first three months of conflict in Guinea-Bissau in 1998, the death rate amongst 9–20 month old non-breastfed children was six times higher than amongst the children of the same age-group who were breastfed. Even women who are HIV positive can still breastfeed.

“Once an emergency strikes, simple measures can make all the difference in the world to a mother caught up in it. Ensure  that mothers are secure, have priority access to food for the family, water, shelter, and when necessary, safe places to breastfeed (with privacy, where culturally required).”

When Katrina hit New Orleans access to clean water was limited, but mothers who breastfed could still breastfeed their infants. Then they were evacuated to shelters where breastfeeding may have been frowned upon, because it isn’t widely culturally acceptable here in the United States. I wonder if there were comfortable places made for women to nurse. I know I feel more comfortable nursing in private another room or using a nursing cover.

So what can you do to help promote breastfeeding in an emergency?

Be Prepared

  • Exclusively breastfeed your baby until s/he is 6 months of age.  Continue to breastfeed your baby to 2 years or beyond.
  • Encourage your local mother support group(s) to discuss emergency preparedness. For example, plan ways that the group could staff a safe place for mothers and provide mother-to-mother support to breastfeeding if large numbers of people are made homeless.
  • Make contact with local emergency authorities and community groups and tell them about IFE.

During an Emergency

  • Continue to practice optimal breastfeeding.
  • Offer support to other mothers who are having difficulties or to mothers of newborns in an emergency.
  • Consider wet nursing if needs are identified, e.g. orphans, very ill mothers.
  • Help organise safe places for mothers with mother-to-mother support for breastfeeding.

Support from Afar

  • Identify agencies that support breastfeeding in emergencies and fundraise for them.

*All the information in this blog post is from World Breastfeeding Week’s Action Folder. I would highly recommend downloading it and reading it.

How are you going to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week? I am going to keep nursing my 5 month old!

You can ad a twibbon to your twitter profile pic to show your support. http://twibbon.com/join/World-Breastfeeding-Week

How Long Should You Keep Your Child in a Rear Facing Car Seat?

carseat Should you keep your child in a rear facing car seat past the minimum requirement? The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that “children should face the rear of the vehicle until they are at least 1 year of age and weigh at least 20 lb to decrease the risk of cervical spine injury in the event of a crash.”

Last month the British Medical Journal published an article stating that  “rear facing seats are safer than forward facing seats for children under 4 years old.” So parents should keep young children in rear facing seats as long as possible. The report goes on to say that “excessive stretching or even transection of the spinal cord can result if a child is involved in a head-on crash while in a forward facing car seat.”

Car-safety.org explains that “rear-facing car seats spread frontal crash forces over the whole area of a child’s back, head and neck; they also prevent the head from snapping relative to the body in a frontal crash.”

In an article for ABC News Sharon Munns, injury prevention coordinator at the Mayo Clinic Trauma Center in Rochester, Minn. explains the benefits in more detail,  “The rear harness works in a way that allows the head, neck, and spine to move all straight up and down, so the body moves with the restraint of the seat, preventing crash-related injuries,” she said. “In a front-facing seating, all of the body weight is going forward on the harness, which can cause injury to the head, neck and spine for children under 35 pounds. There are documents of spinal cord injuries because of children facing frontward at such an early age.”

(more…)

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