We all cherish the times when our grandkids come to visit. We love them, play with them, give them goodies and kiss them goodbye when our sons or daughters take them home. But what about those times when you’ve got them for a weekend or extended period?
I have found some nifty gizmos that will make your babysitting a bit more pleasant. Check these out:
BubbleBum is a lightweight, inflatable booster seat. At under one pound, Grandpa will be less apt to put his back out while travelling with the kiddos. It inflates in one minute. When not in use, it can be deflated, rolled up and stowed away in the trunk or backpack for the next use. It has been tested and approved by federal safety agencies, and its quality is based on the latest in inflatable technology. Life rafts, life jackets and air bags are made of the same material. Price: $39.99 at www.bubblegum.com.
There must be a better way to shade infants and toddlers while in their stroller. That was the thought of a British mom who came up with the idea behind the SnoozeShade. Designed for universal strollers, carseats or playards, it easily attaches with Velcro straps and blocks up to 98.5 percent of light so your grandkids can sleep anywhere and be protected from sun, wind and rain as well as insects and pests.
Price: $34.99 at www.snoozeshadeusa.com and www.Amazon.com.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that in a four-year span 4,500 children were injured and 11 died from falling chests of drawers, TVs, and bookcase. With some simple baby-proofing, you can avoid tragic accidents such as these and keep your precious grandchildren safe and sound. Each home is unique, so there is no standard baby-proofing list, but the following are some general guidelines for making your home safe:
• Apply plugs or safety covers in all electrical outlets.
• Install latches on all cabinets and drawers within a child’s reach and make sure that all knobs, pulls and knockers can't be pulled off.
• Wind up all dangling cords, wiring and tassels and move electrical cords and wiring behind furniture where they cannot be reached.
• Install stove knob covers, stove top protectors and oven locks if necessary.
• Remove all heavy, small, breakable or valuable objects that may be toppled off tabletops; and any space heaters, fans or other hazards that can be reached.
• Move houseplants out of reach.
• Anchor all bookcases, shelves, dressers and floor lamps to walls.
• Use corner covers to pad sharp edges on furniture, railings, etc.
• Use door stops to prevent open doors from slamming shut on the children.
• Install and use locks or hook-and-eye sets onto doors so your grandkids can't get into the pantry, bathroom, basement or other rooms. Sliding door locks are also available.
• Install gates to block access to stairways, fireplaces and all other hazards. Some gates can be installed without drilling holes in walls or door jams.
Take it from me, even if your son or daughter brings the grandkids over along with a soccer mom van full of accessories, it is a good idea to have some of the following items handy in your own home – just in case:
• Baby wipes
• Toothbrush and kid’s toothpaste
• Table Set
• Bottle/sippy cup
• Baby thermometer
• Laminated card with dosages and pediatrician contact information
• Emergency medical treatment release
Oh yes, and be sure to have your sons’ or daughters’ phone numbers on speed dial.