September 24, 2021

Baby Safety from Tags to Textiles

By Meredith McCue, Marketing Soft Goods Manager

A car seat is one of the first (and most important) items a parent will buy for their child. According to new Chicco research* commissioned ahead of Baby Safety Month, parents spend more time researching car seats than any other baby gear item. The survey also found that 42% of children spend four or more hours in their car seats in a typical week. With so much time spent in one spot, it’s critical that a child’s seat is both safe and comfortable.

So, where should parents start when choosing a car seat? Look for fundamentals like ease of install, child fit, and child comfort – all three play a critical role in child safety. Parents should consider the latest fabric innovations as well. Chicco continues to innovate with a focus on providing parents with performance fabrics that meet their different needs, without compromising safety or comfort.

Car Seat Fabric Innovations

For parents searching for the ultimate in comfort for their child’s car seat, Chicco launched a new solution called Adapt, featuring an innovative combination of patented 37.5® Technology** and breathable mesh. Getting your child to want to sit in their car seat and remain comfortable can be a challenge but Adapt utilizes humidity-regulating fabric that’s permanently embedded with natural volcanic mineral particles to regulate your child’s microclimate by drawing away moisture to maintain a comfortable temperature. Adapt helps parents keep their cool with car seat struggles by keeping kids comfortable!

For families seeking greener solutions, the new ClearTex® line from Chicco is outfitted with fabric that complies with federal car seat flammability standards without the need for added chemical treatments. This was achieved by developing an innovative construction of polyester fibers to produce fabrics that are inherently fire-resistant. Even the seat’s tags and warning labels contain no flame retardant chemicals! Parents can rest assured that ClearTex® car seats contribute to healthier air quality around baby from head to toe, as guaranteed by the GREENGUARD Gold certification that accompanies all Chicco ClearTex® seats.

The Adapt fabric is available on parent-loved Chicco car seats, including the Fit4 Adapt, a convertible model that grows with child from birth to big kid, and the KidFit Adapt Plus, a booster offering customized comfort for every ride. In the ClearTex® line, you’ll find the top-rated KeyFit 35 ClearTex®, an extended-use infant car seat with safety features that make it easy to install and use correctly every time. Additionally, the NextFit Max ClearTex® offers extended legroom and effortlessly transitions between rear-facing to forward-facing modes of use to support children up to 65lbs. Whether you opt for an infant car seat, convertible or booster, your child will be in a seat that is engineered for comfort, safety, and peace of mind.

Everyday Tips for Car Seat Safety

Once you’ve found the perfect seat, the next step is to make sure you’re using it correctly. Whether you’re a car seat pro or preparing for your first little one, Chicco Child Passenger Safety Technician, Josh Dilts adds the below tips:

  • An easy at-home test to make sure your car seat is installed securely: When it comes to car seat installation, 55% of parents do not know or are not sure what the ‘inch test’ is. To perform it, grab the car seat or base at the belt path and pull it forward and from side to side. If the seat moves more than one inch in any direction, you should reinstall and test again.

  • Winter coat protocol: 40% of parents say it is recommended for a child to wear a winter coat in a car seat with a five-point harness or that they are unsure. Best practice is to remove baby’s bulky coat before car rides, as it can leave baby vulnerable in a crash when the down or poly fill compresses – resulting in a too-loose harness.

For parents looking for additional car seat safety information, offers a variety of resources from how to choose a car seat, car seat comparisons and step-by-step installation videos.


*Results based on Chicco survey of 1,004 U.S. parents in August 2021 

**Learn more at

About the Writer

Meredith McCue is the Marketing Soft Goods Manager at Chicco, pairing her passion for child safety with cutting-edge fabric innovations.  Meredith helps ensure car seat fabrics are functional, comfortable, and fashionable all while meeting necessary testing requirements. As a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, Meredith enjoys introducing new parents to Chicco and educating them on the products that would best fit their individual lifestyle.

September 14, 2021


KicksBySammy just launched a new, personalized back-to-school collection with striking & fun hand-drawn prints.

The collection, which will make a splash all year round, includes backpacks ($120), laptop sleeves ($55), lunch totes ($42), journals ($42), spiral notebooks ($38), and pouches ($42), in premium materials. For example, the lunch totes are unlike other lunchboxes as they boast comfortable, easy-to-carry, and machine washable neoprene along with a zipper. The backpacks contain a water bottle holder and 4 compartments for convenient carrying and organizing.

Each product can be customized with any name, initials, word, or phrase, for a unique must-have that's less likely to get lost. is also having a site-wide sale through September 2021 for 15% off with code BTS15.

September 1, 2021


Healthy Kids Running Series, a national inclusive and fun youth running experience, inspiring kids (ages 2-14) to believe in themselves and lead an active healthy lifestyle, is conducting a safe, five-week in-person fall running Series featuring once-a-week racing at more than 200 locations across the United States. Registration is now open at The organization is also looking for community coordinators who would like to host a Series in their neighborhood.

“Our races are always kid focused with the ultimate goal of teaching children how to be active and healthy while creating meaningful relationships within our community,” said Jeff Long, founder, Healthy Kids Running Series.

Healthy Kids Running Series is a five-week program with once-a-week races with age-appropriate race distances. Kids compete each week in their designated age or grade level division. Every participant will receive a T-Shirt and Medal. Registration starts at $35 for the five-week Series and is open now at  Healthy Kids Running Series programming is supported by Stride Rite. 

“We are closely following the guidelines as suggested by the CDC and implementing many new measures to ensure we protect our runners and their families,” said Long. “We are offering our runners and their families a safe experience while teaching kids effort, perseverance, persistence, sportsmanship, independence and grit.”

Healthy Kids Running Series is also offering a virtual alternative, the Virtual World Race, a five-week Series for families not yet ready to gather with other families in their neighborhood with all of the same benefits and features as the in-person Series. Details are available at

Healthy Kids Running Series impacts more than 60,000 youth runners in 300+ communities across the United States. Healthy Kids Running Series engages communities and families by providing an inclusive youth running experience, inspiring kids to believe in themselves and lead active healthy lifestyles. Learn more at

August 25, 2021

A new survey (from Chevy) uncovered how the pandemic affected parents' driving skills and the new realities that teen drivers face on the road. 

As families prepare for their return to in-person school after a year of virtual learning, 68 percent of parents indicate being back on the road every day is a concern when thinking about their children going back to school.

With the back-to-school season in full swing, Chevrolet worked with The Harris Poll to survey more than 1,000 parents of school-aged children to discover how the pandemic affected their driving skills and the new realities that teen drivers face.

The pandemic impacted how often people were on the road, with 56 percent of parents saying they drove less during the pandemic. Over time, basic driving skills can be forgotten, which may lead to careless driving. According to the survey:

  • 61 percent of parents agree that with fewer people on the road last year, they were able to drive more carefree.
  • Now, over three-quarters of parents surveyed report that they drive more defensively with more people on the road. 

Teen drivers were impacted by a different complication during the pandemic. Nearly half of parents with a driving-aged child say their child experienced a delay in becoming a licensed driver during the pandemic. And, as more teen drivers prepare to be on the road this school year, the survey shows most teens and new drivers will be in the vehicle without adult supervision. The survey also showed:

  • 61 percent of parents are concerned about their teen on the road because of lost practice time due to the pandemic.
  • 78 percent of parents worry when their child is on the road because other drivers seem more unsafe than before the pandemic.
  • 73 percent of parents report to notice more aggravated drivers on the road than before the pandemic.

“With so much on our minds as we prepare for this school year, it’s easy for both parents and teens to forget basic driving skills and road safety,” said Tricia Morrow, Chevrolet safety engineer. “Safety is at the forefront of what we do at Chevrolet, and the safety features available in many of our Chevrolet products, including the Traverse, help bring families peace of mind as drivers – both experienced and new – hit the road.”

The 2022 Chevrolet Traverse features multiple active safety and driver assistance features, supporting driver safety. The survey found that 79 percent of parents agree that in-vehicle technology helps give them peace of mind.

Active safety, driver assistance and other features on the 2022 Traverse include:

  • Chevy Safety Assist1, standard on all trims includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Following Distance Indicator, Forward Collision Alert and IntelliBeam automatic high beam control.
  • Teen Driver, a technology that, when active, helps parents coach their new drivers – even when the teens are alone in the vehicle. It allows parents to set a speed alert, a volume limit and more. And, with the industry’s first and only in-vehicle report card, it’s easy to track a teen’s driving performance.
  • Buckle To Drive, a safety technology that, when active, can prevent the driver from shifting the vehicle out of park if the driver's seat belt is not buckled for up to 20 seconds. This feature is designed to help remind all drivers to buckle up before driving.
  • Stay connected to teen drivers with new Wireless Apple CarPlay2 and Android Auto3 phone projection capability. Additionally, when activated, OnStar Automatic Crash Response4 can connect drivers to an Emergency-Certified Advisor5 who can contact help even if they can’t ask for it.

For more information click here

This survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll July 28 – Aug. 4, 2021, on behalf of Chevrolet, among 1,204 adults who are 18 years+ of age and who have a child age 3 to 18 years old that will attend school outside of the home this coming school year. Data were weighted to be representative of the ages 18+ U.S. general population.


August 13, 2021


Fall is here. It is officially time for cooler temps, apple picking and yes, soon enough, all things pumpkin and spice. For those cozy weekends at home, it’s the perfect opportunity to get the entire family involved in meal prepping, baking a pie or even some freshly baked cookies. Guidecraft® is making it easy for toddlers to join in on the family fun with a brand-new collection of Martha Stewart Kitchen Helpers™. The uniquely foldable step stools provide a safe, sturdy, and adjustable platform for toddlers to help mom and dad in the kitchen without worrying about falling or not being able to reach the countertop (although parents should always supervise their children whenever they are in the kitchen). The stools are perfect for giving toddlers a sense of independence they crave, while providing parents the reassurance they will be safe. They can be used for all kinds of activities including decorating holiday cookies, making pizza, pancakes, washing dishes, and even craft projects. 

Guidecraft, celebrating over 50 years of developing innovative educational environments in classrooms and at home has teamed up with Martha Stewart and Marquee Brands to launch a line of Martha Stewart Kitchen Helpers following the success of the collaborative Martha Stewart™ Living and Learning Kids’ Furniture Collection. The Kitchen Helper™ by Guidecraft is the original safety step stool for toddlers and has been a category leader since its inception in 2008. It has led the way with innovative safety features like clip-on safety nets (Keepers) to prevent falls, non-slip mats, an adjustable platform, and convenient foldability.

The Martha Stewart Kitchen Helper features a new design inspired by fine, custom kitchen cabinetry and comes in four trending color choices: creamy white, charcoal, taupe, and mint green. Details, such as the inset acrylic windows, two mesh Keepers, a non-slip mat, and a secure, adjustable platform for growing children, all support the mission of providing the safest way to elevate young children to countertop height promoting their feeling of independence as well as family togetherness. A comprehensive line of crafting furniture and art accessories for children and families, the Martha Stewart Crafting Kids’ Collection, as well as additional products, such as play tents and bedroom furniture, will be introduced in 2022. 

“This new launch combines the strength of the Martha Stewart brand in home, crafting and cooking with the focus on family and togetherness of our flagship product, the Kitchen Helper. In addition to bringing increased recognition to the product and the category, the success of the collaboration ultimately translates to helping children gain more agency in terms of learning, social emotional development, and connectedness,” states President of Guidecraft, Gary Bilezikian.

About Guidecraft

Guidecraft’s mission is to create objects of lasting importance that enrich the lives of children. For over 50 years, Guidecraft has designed holistic classroom and home-based environments and learning platforms for children of all ages. Guidecraft’s natural, open-ended toys unleash a child’s imagination through free, unstructured play. The home furniture lines focus on engaging children in artistic, literary, and dramatic play activities, while the preschool furniture collections straddle the needs of both teachers and parents to provide authentic, nature-inspired, and sensory choices in some uniquely beautiful ways.


For more information or to purchase the Martha Stewart Kitchen Helper, visit The collection is also available at and Amazon. MSRP starts at $199.95

August 12, 2021

Healthy New Routines to Take the Sting Out of Back-to-School By Communicare

By Communicare

With schools reopening for in-person learning, it’s understandable that many parents and students may feel anxious about going back to school. 

Healthy routines can help your students stay productive and positive, particularly during this time of heightened anxiety. Daily patterns of actions not only help kids develop life skills but also help them feel safe.

Here are five helpful tips on setting healthy practices for the upcoming school year:

1. Avoid the morning rush—and frazzled nerves—by setting the stage the night before.

Avoid a frantic rush involving making decisions or looking for items in the morning; prepare outfits or school uniforms before going to sleep. Make it a habit to organize everything your child needs for the next school day in a specific place the evening before, including backpacks and school projects. For many families, this may be an area near the door. As children age, they can take on more and more responsibility for this before-school prep routine themselves.

2. Start the day with a healthy breakfast—and maybe some positive affirmations.

Hunger is a type of chronic stress on the body that impairs learning as well as physical and mental development. Spending time together sharing a nutritious breakfast and some positive affirmations or expectations also sets the tone for the rest of the day. Try to have breakfast at the same time each day. Involve your child in breakfast prep if they’re old enough. This shared experience creates an opportunity to bond and, more importantly, builds their confidence to prepare their own meals someday.

3. Get quality sleep.

Sleep is crucial to physical and mental health and for successfully maintaining routines. So be consistent about bedtime and wake time. Help kids wind down by ruling that electronics can’t be used close to bedtime and helping them to switch to calming activities such as reading or taking a warm bath.

It may be harder to enforce bedtimes with teens; therefore, it’s essential to communicate with young adults regularly about how sleep deficiency can impact their performance and productivity. It may help to invite your teen to join you for a warm cup of tea or a meditation session before bedtime. Or you can encourage them to explore and find their own wind-down routines and activities.

4. Practice and express gratitude.

Kids need a safe space where they can talk about their problems. As a parent, conversations, where your child opens up about their troubles, allow you to promote gratitude without devaluing their worries. 

Make it a habit to spend quality time with your child each day to talk about what you are grateful for that day. The best time to connect would be over dinner or before bedtime; make sure the TV is off and electronics, especially smartphones, are set aside. If they’re not comfortable talking, journaling might be more their style.

5. Allow flexibility when necessary.

While routines can be healthy and reassuring, they can also induce anxiety, particularly for a child that feels pressured to maintain a schedule. Sometimes, routines need to be tweaked to meet your goals and sustain mental health.

When routines become too stressful, allow time for soothing activities. For some, a nap or a walk is all they need. For others, a longer break or a counseling session with a professional may be essential.

August 10, 2021

2 CT-area children featured in new book series, Young Change Makers

Two local children have made a national name for themselves by doing good in the world, and their accomplishments will be celebrated in a new book series, Young Change Makers. Written by bestselling author Stacy C. Bauer, Young Change Makers is a 7-book series featuring more than 80 trailblazing youth from around the world who are taking action to change their communities in positive ways.

Through this motivating and uplifting series, Bauer hopes others will be inspired to make a difference.

“This series is near and dear to my heart,” she says “These kids are amazing and inspiring, and I am hoping to use the series to inspire kids and adults to take action in a positive way and make the world a better place.”

Bauer, an educator, wanted others to know the stories of ordinary kids who were doing extraordinary things, which was her inspiration for writing the series.

“I created Young Change Makers because I kept having recurring thoughts about using my author voice to write about kids making a difference and inspiring change,” Bauer says. “These are some absolutely incredible kids. From raising money to help the sick, to planting over a billion trees worldwide, these kids are so caring, inspiring, selfless, and kind. They are taking action to spread joy and love, and I am so excited to share their stories.”

The featured children are:

Oliver Koenig-Paquin, 9

Nine-year-old Oliver’s dream is to make sure every boy and girl has a pair of new pajamas that keep them warm and cozy at night! He started collecting pajamas at age 4 through Oliver’s Pajama Project. That year, he collected 122 pairs by asking friends and family to help. Since then, that number has grown every year, and in all, Oliver has collected more than 5,000 pairs. His goal this year is 7,000 pairs. 

“I felt like it wasn’t fair that other kids didn’t have pajamas,” Oliver says. “I feel good knowing that kids are going to get these pajamas, and feel safer, warm and snuggly going to sleep, not in their daytime clothes.”


Christian Stone, 11

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Christian Stone's community experienced heavy snowfall. Christian knew the doctors, nurses, and other staff at the local hospital were working overtime to help those who were sick. He wanted to do something that would help ease their burden. After brainstorming with his family, Christian decided to clear the snow off of vehicle windshields in the parking lot. When drivers used their remotes to start or unlock their cars, Christian and his friends rushed over to the car and cleaned it off as quickly as possible.

"I was thinking they've been helping us a lot through this whole pandemic, and I figured why don't we help them, you know?" Christian says. "All day, every day the nurses here, they deal with the pandemic like Covid and they want to get home from work, so we thought we would make it a tiny bit easier for them by cleaning off their cars for them."

Young Change Makers books are available for preorder  here.


August 3, 2021

One Smart Cookie - Cookie Cutters

I wanted to introduce you to a new product perfect for the new school year and upcoming holidays.  One Smart Cookie™  makes baking cookies with the kids easier and tidier so you can get to the best part of making cookies faster; decorating and eating.

One Smart Cookie™  cookie cutters are available in holiday designs, are perfect for any season, and are a great activity for children of any age. As the new school year approaches, be the house where all the kids want to go to make fun cookies, without all the hassle of clean up and waste.

Mom Yolie Moreno invented One Smart Cookie, after trying to use traditional cookie cutters with her child, but found that by the time they finished making the dough and waiting for it to chill, her daughter had lost interest, and Yolie had a huge mess to clear up. Yolie wanted to solve this problem by making it easier and tidier to make cookies and get to the best part; decorating and eating. Watch Yolie use One Smart Cookie™  and go from dough to the oven in only 5 minutes, cutting down on clean up and waste. Available in multiple styles for just $12.99 each, they are great for kids of all ages, and can be used again and again.

July 15, 2021

What Comes Next: Back to Child Care Following Shelter-in-Place

By Rebecca Parlakian,, Senior Director of Programs at ZERO TO THREE.,

Your young child has just had months of time with you at home. Most likely, there have been no other caregivers outside of your own family, due to shelter-in-place guidelines. But now—as communities begin to re-open—you may be facing a major transition for your family: Heading back to child care. If you imagine this change may be harder for your child after months of “just you,” you are probably right.

Here are some tips for managing the preschool transition post-COVID:

Remember that this is not just a regular transition back to school. Your family went through a tough time. You managed a lot of stressors—balancing work and family demands, financial concerns, worries about illness. Even very young children sense when there is stress in the household. Your child has managed this period of confusing changes and now they are encountering yet another big transition—going back to child care. Stress adds up and our resilience can be run down over time. Your sensitivity and patience are key ingredients for helping your child make a successful move back to their care setting.

Your worries are important. As communities re-open, you may have concerns about the safety of your child’s child care program. Many parents are feeling this way. Talk to your child’s teacher and the program director to learn what procedures they are using to keep children safe and healthy.

Use pretend play to explore the routines of preschool or child care with your toddler. Take turns being the parent, child, and teacher. Act out common daily routines, like saying good-bye to mommy and/or daddy, taking off your coat, singing songs, reading stories, having Circle Time, and playing outside.

Read books about child care. If you’re able to access a public library (or online stories), choose a few titles about going to preschool or child care. Talk about the story and how the characters are feeling. Ask how your child is feeling (excited, scared, worried, happy?). Check out titles like The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, I Love You All Day Long by Francesca Rusackas, Bye-Bye Time by Elizabeth Verdick, or Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney.

Listen to your child’s worries. It’s tempting to quickly reassure your child and move on, but when you listen and respond to children’s worries, they feel safe and supported. Explain that starting something new can bring up worries and questions and that lots of people feel that way. It can also be helpful to share a time when you started something new and how you felt.

Suggest coping strategies. When you allow your child to share her worries, you can help her think through how to deal with them. For example, if she is worried about missing you, the two of you can make a book of family photos to keep in her cubby and look at when she is lonely.

Notice nonverbal messages. Most 2- and 3-year-olds are not able to use language to fully explain how they are feeling. Your child may “act out” his worry by clinging, becoming withdrawn or more fussy, or by being more aggressive. Another common reaction is for children to begin using more “baby-like” behaviors. For example, if your child is fully potty trained, he may start have toileting accidents. He may ask that you feed or dress him even though he can do these things by himself.

It’s natural to be frustrated by this return-to-baby behavior. But by meeting your child’s need for nurturing with love and patience, you’ll find they soon return to their “big kid” behavior. Remember that your child is facing—and managing—a big change in their life. They may need more support from you during this transition.

Get back into the routines of bedtimes and waking times. The transition to child care is easier when you are not also dealing with an tired, cranky little one. In the week before your return to your child’s program, begin to use “school night” bedtimes and wake-up times so that everyone can get back into the child care routine.

When your child starts back, ask whether there is a new drop-off routine. Because of new health screening and sanitizing requirements, you may not be able to stay with your child to help them transition during morning drop-off. Talk to your provider about new drop-off procedures and ask if it will be possible to have a teacher stay with your child to help them with the separation.

Consider letting your child bring a special object from home. Does your child have a favorite stuffed animal or blanket that offers comfort? Check with your child care program to confirm your child can bring this object from home. A favorite teddy bear can ease the transition when you say good-bye at drop-off. A family photo in your child’s cubby can also be comforting.

Talk with your child’s teacher about how you soothe your child. When teachers use similar comfort methods, babies and toddlers feel more safe and “at-home” in the child care setting.

Keep your tone positive and upbeat. Children pick up on the reactions of the trusted adults in their lives. So try not to look worried or sad, and don’t linger too long when it’s time to go. Say a quick, upbeat good-bye and reassure your child that all will be well.

Think about creating a special good-bye routine. For example, you can give your child a kiss on the palm to “hold” all day long. Or, the two of you can sing a special song together before you leave. Good-bye routines are comforting to children and help them understand and prepare for what will happen next.

This hasn’t been an easy few months, but the return to child care is one sign that life is going back to (a new) normal. Supporting your child through this process—staying patient and loving even in the face of challenging behaviors—is a loving way to take that next step, together.

Looking for more information? Visit for our latest resources and updates for families.

July 6, 2021

Selling your Children's Information Online

By Trip Elix guest blogger

Whether you like it or not, social media is part of the fabric of our lives. Universities and major corporations will use social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and others to research your child. What they don't expect is that you understand this, and can plan ahead of time. Think of them more like a sales portfolio, selling your child's background and prior interests. Companies and colleges are using social media and searching for profiles of your children. With this in mind, think of social media accounts as a sales portfolio, and you should groom the account as such. There is an advantage to having multiple emails and social media accounts as well. Just make sure the one associated with the profile you want to build is registered to

a smartphone and a computer. Get a separate cheap used smartphone for this. Register the device to them only using wifi; it doesn't need a cellular chip. Add the social media accounts to the device for the profile that you want to create.  Social media uses the GPS in phones to track individuals that is why it is important to have a separate device. 

The one that your child will really use should not have their real name; never allow them to use the same computer that the other profile is accessed from. You should start this process when your child is at least 14 years of age. 

Your child will stand apart since most other children will have an abundance of images that they will need to remove. You should take the time and help your child craft exactly what you want the companies and colleges to find. Imagine the advantage of having pictures of school events, awards, and extracurricular activities neatly displayed for anyone to appreciate. The reason for starting at 14 is it will have enough information and posts by the time they are 18 to make it look completely legitimate; after all, it is real.

Embellishment is completely optional. Building a flowing social profile on the networks takes time; each photograph or post has a corresponding time and date stamp. While no one will know or could possibly go back and check events’ dates in the past, someone looking at the profile may notice if all of the images were uploaded the same day. Thus, it is important to create posts and images over an extended period of time. You might want to create a calendar event to remind yourself to produce a posting at least every two weeks for a child under 16, and once a week until they graduate from college. Future employers will also look at the same profile, at the same information, all displaying a childhood filled with personal achievement.

The social profiles you create will be the sales tool for your child’s future. Think of it as your child’s digital portfolio. You should keep it completely private and change the account settings to the public one around the time your child is in 11th grade or just before they start looking at colleges. When people look on the internet for profiles, often they stop looking when they believe that they have found the correct one, the one you created and seeded for them.

Trip Elix is a podcast host and the author of Protecting Kids Online! 

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