Are you ready for Child Passenger Safety Week?

As parents and caregivers, we try to do everything within our power to protect our children. We take them to the doctor for check-ups. We make them hold our hand in a parking lot, and look both ways before they cross the street.

September 13 – 19 is Child Passenger Safety Week. It’s when we focus on protecting our children from the leading cause of death for infants and children under the age of 13: car accidents. It’s time to focus on the proper way to restrain child passengers in our vehicles. And before you click the next item in your digital life, assuming that you know all you need to about the proper use of car seats, take a look at this:

Know if your child is in the right seat


Most estimates say that 80 to 90 percent of people are doing something with their car seat that they shouldn’t be, or not doing something that they should be. So in case you’re not one of the people in the top ring, Child Passenger Safety Week is a great time to have your child’s car seat checked. Safe Kids Macomb County is having the following check-up events, with no appointment necessary.

  • September 12; 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Walter Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills
  • September 19; 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Babies R Us on Hall Road in Sterling Heights

In addition, many AAA offices, as well as the Macomb and Oakland County Health Departments offer car seat safety checks by appointment. Call your local offices for more information.

There is no substitute for having a complete car seat safety inspection by a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. However here a few quick reminders to help you keep the child passengers in your life safe until you can get to a check-up event.

1. Never use a car seat that is recalled, expired or was involved in a car accident. Those seats are unsafe and should be destroyed. If you aren’t the original owner of your car seat, and you don’t know its history, don’t use the seat.

2. Do not use extra add-on products in, on or around your car seat. Mirrors, toys, strap covers and other products haven’t been crash safety tested, and take away from the safety of the seat.

3. Always use the proper seat for your child’s height, weight and developmental level. Check the manufacturer’s height and weight limits on the seat for specifics. Use the infographic below for guidance.

Chart showing which seat is right for each age


4. Install your car seat using either lower anchors or a seat belt, but never both. To determine which method is best for your seat and vehicle, always read both your car seat and vehicle manuals.

5. As colder weather approaches, remember to avoid placing your child in a coat or snowsuit in their car seat. Car seat straps should always fit snugly, without excess material between the child and the seat, or the child and the straps. Younger children can stay warm with a blanket over their harness once they’re secured, and older children can wear their jackets backward over their harness or seat belt.

On behalf of the Beaumont Parenting Program, I want to wish you a Happy Child Passenger Safety Week, and wish you safe travels.

– Nicole Capozello, Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST), Beaumont Parenting Program, Beaumont Children’s Hospital

Keeping Busy: Sources You Can Use to Find Out Where the Cool Kids Hang Out

Little boy and girl "driving" big trucks

My twins at a local “touch a truck” event I found on Metro Parent.
My son “drove” a SMART bus and my daughter “drove” a Zamboni!

My kids aren’t old enough to say, “Moooom! I’m booooored!” but I’m certainly to the point where I say, “If we don’t do something, I’m going to go insane!”

To help channel their buckets full of energy and save my mind, I’ve amassed a treasure trove of “things to do” resources that I can call on in times of need. Because I love you all, I’ll share, but you have to share your sources, too!

  • MetroParent’s events calendar has tons of events and happenings broken down by county. You need to create a free account to see some of the pages on the site, but they do send a handy weekly “here’s what’s going on email.”
  • Find your local Macaroni Kid. This is an awesome resource for things happening in your neighborhood and community. Bigger calendars don’t always cover library events or programs, but this one does. Subscribe to their email to get a weekly update with calendar and also like them on Facebook. Don’t forget to look at the Macaroni Kid for cities near you, too. If you’re willing to drive 15 minutes, you’ll open the door to all kinds of fun.
  • Subscribe to your local public television station’s calendars and updates. Detroit Public Television has a special section just for your shorties. We met Barney, Super Why and The Cat in the Hat by checking out DPTV emails.
  • Bookmark the Michigan Activity Pass page. Click on the site, enter your ZIP code, and see which museums and attractions offer free or discounted rates through the MAPS program. Just by entering my ZIP code, the search returned 64 entries. Not a bad start!
  • Check out the calendar and tips at It’s just another source for finding something to do!
  • Also, do a little research and find local mommy bloggers, such as Detroit Moms Blog. These groups usually do “best parks” round-ups, listings of local fireworks shows and more.

So there you have it: my list of resources to help me keep the kids involved and experiencing new things. What are your resources and tricks?

– Rebecca Calappi, Publications Coordinator at Beaumont Health and adoptive parent of multiples

Announcing the 2015 Beaumont Royal Oak Baby Fair

Two purple rubber ducks

All expecting and new parents are invited to join us for a festival-style event celebrating birth and babies!

Beaumont Royal Oak,
3601 W 13 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, MI 48073

Saturday, April 18, 2015
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Highlights include:

  • Mini classes on many interesting topics including:
    • Comfort measures in labor
    • Breastfeeding basics
    • Relief of choking in babies and children
    • Homemade baby food
    • Infant massage
    • Baby basics
    • Car seat safety
    • Happiest Baby on the Block
  • Information about Beaumont’s Parenting Program and the Prenatal & Family Education Department
  • Pregnancy, birth and baby-related vendors including mom and baby boutique items, infant photography, age-appropriate toys, natural and healthy foods, and many others
  • Door prizes
  • Refreshments
  • Mom-to-Mom Chat with Danielle Karmanos, on behalf of the Karmanos Center for Natural Birth
  • The opportunity to learn about Beaumont’s birth centers

This event is free to the public and doesn’t require registration. Grandparents, families and friends are also welcome and encouraged to attend with expecting or new parents.

For more information, please visit the Beaumont Baby Fairs webpage.

You can also share your favorite baby resources with others – post to Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram with #myBeaumontBaby to join Beaumont’s pinboard. The pinboard is full of great resources from other parents and the experts at Beaumont Children’s Hospital and features everything from inspirational quotes and birth plan ideas to photos of favorite baby foods and baby shower themes.

100,000 Families: A Milestone to Celebrate!

Woman with interacting with 2 babies

Shout it from the mountain tops! Put on your party hats! Break out in dance! Rejoice in song! This week, the Parenting Program celebrates providing support and education to over 100,000 families! Woo! Woo!

A Bit of History

The Beaumont Parenting Program began 34 years ago as a research project with Michigan State University. With a focus on community outreach and primary prevention, this free program was designed to provide a safe environment where new parents could share, learn and grow together. Central to the project: matching experienced, trained parent volunteers with new parents to help educate and mentor them.

Ever-Growing, Ever-Changing

Since its inception in 1980, Beaumont’s Parenting Program continues to grow in scope and size. What began as a small “neighborhood” project, with only a handful of volunteers, has grown into a program with over 300 dedicated volunteers who provide support and education to more than 5,000 families annually. As market trends shift and family’s needs change, our program continues to evolve finding new and innovative ways to meet the needs of the community. Some recent highlights include:

  • In 2008 we became the first hospital in southeast Michigan, among only a handful of hospitals in the nation, to develop a comprehensive program focused on postpartum adjustments and depression.
  • In 2009 the Parenting Program developed Beaumont’s first consumer Facebook fan page that now has a following of close to 2,000 fans.
  • In 2010 we launched Beaumont’s first consumer blog for new parents. In the first two months, we had over 4,000 viewers and now we have a fan base that reaches out to over 91 countries.
  • In 2012 we successfully launched an “in-room” car seat safety education program.

Award Winning and Unique to Beaumont Health

We are especially proud that for almost 35 years, we have what no other hospital in the state of Michigan has: an award-winning Parenting Program. When comparing our local and national hospital systems, there is no other hospital-based program that offers such in-depth and comprehensive services. Presented with two national awards in the past five years, the Parenting Program continues to be commended for inspiring community impact, collaboration, innovation and best practices. Recognized as a “Program of Excellence” and considered a “Jewel in the Community,” the Parenting Program is a shining example of service at its best. It embodies the true spirit of giving and generosity. It embodies the true mission of Beaumont Health.

Program Impact

When you stop to think about the sheer number and measurement of “100,000” families, it is indeed an astounding sum and achievement. But when you think about the true impact, the uniqueness is in the stories from the touch of one person to a plenitude of families. The stories come in many shapes and many forms and the paths lead to incredible accounts of success, dedication, compassion, friendships, heroic actions, and even life-saving measures.

Volunteers are the Foundation of Our Success

Beaumont Parenting Program Advisory Board

At the heart of the Parenting Program is a group of compassionate and dedicated volunteers who give selflessly of their time and passion to help provide support to new parents. A special shout out to all of our volunteers past and present: It is through your efforts that we have been able to support and educate over 100,000 Beaumont families. Thank you for making every effort to ensure that our focus and commitment remains on the needs of our children and their families, that our focus remains on building a strong and healthy community. To our amazing volunteers, keep your passion for new parents filled with the genuine belief that you are making a difference in the world each and every day.

A very special thanks goes out to our amazing staff, generous donors, and our community partners for your dedication and commitment to serving the diverse needs of our community.

We are filled with great pride and exuberance as we announce this major achievement. Please “like” this post if you are proud and exuberant too!

This post is dedicated to Beth Frydlewicz, our fearless leader of the Parenting Program for more than 25 years. You are an inspiration to all!

Bringing Light to Unsafe Toys

Drats! Looks like a few disappointed kids have some reconsidering to do on their wish lists to Santa. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pencil bag in the photo has suspect pigment and is on this year’s list of unsafe toys from PIRGIM.

Drats! The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pencil bag in the photo has suspect pigment and is on this year’s list of unsafe toys from PIRGIM.

Hopefully, your children received some toys from their wish list for Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa. But parents beware, the Public Interest Research Group in Michigan announced dangerous toys can still be found at retailers nationwide.

The good news, according to PIRGIM’s 28th annual Trouble in Toyland report, is stronger rules helped get some of the most dangerous toys and children’s products off the market the past five years.

PIRGIM’s report reveals the results of laboratory testing on toys for lead, cadmium and phthalates. All of these toxins are proven to have serious adverse health impacts on the development of young children. The survey also found small toys that pose a choking hazard; loud toys that threaten hearing and toy magnets that can cause serious injury.

“It’s the unseen dangers that trouble me, lead and phthalates,” explains Donna Bucciarelli, RN, trauma prevention coordinator, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak; and education program manager, Safety City U.S.A., a Beaumont Children’s Hospital program. “Thanks to the ongoing efforts of PIRGIM, parents and gift-givers can purchase safer, less toxic toys.”

One key finding from the “Trouble in Toyland” report shows toys with high levels of toxic substances can still be found on store shelves. PIRGIM found toys with high lead levels including a toddler toy with 29 times the legal limit of lead and play jewelry for children with 2 times the legal limit. They also found an infant play mat with high levels of the toxic metal antimony, and a child’s pencil case with high levels of phthalates and cadmium.

To help you choose the safest toys for your children, U.S. PIRG put together Toy Safety Tips at

The Ecology Center, a non-profit group in Michigan, has also teamed up with environmental health organizations around the country and  lists some toys with toxic levels on their Healthy Stuff site.