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Car seats protect tots on airplanes, too

| Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2004

Many children take their first plane trip during the holiday season -- maybe to a relatives' home or to a warm-weather amusement park.

The Federal Aviation Administration recommends that parents secure children age 2 and younger in car seats during airplane travel. Many airlines offer a discounted fare for children traveling in a child-restraint system.

"Child-restraint systems are as beneficial on airplanes as they are in automobiles," says Carol Helminski, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-certified installation specialist. "When properly used, these seats can make a world of difference in the instance of turbulence or an emergency."

Helminski offers these tips for keeping children safe when traveling:

  • Read the manufacturer's instruction for proper set-up and use of the child-restraint system. Infant seats should be rear-facing. Child restraint systems should be placed in window seats so they don't block emergency paths.

  • Arrive early at the gate to allow plenty of time to properly install car seats.

  • If parents arrange for assistance in advance, most airlines will help families change planes to make a connecting flight.

    Survey: Moms don't have good sex lives

    Many frazzled mothers just don't have enough time for sex, according to a new survey.

    Parenting magazine surveyed more than 1,600 moms about their sex lives, and the results are highlighted in this month's issue. Among the findings:

  • 43 percent of moms describe their sex lives as routine.

  • 30 percent say their sex lives are nonexistent.

  • When they have an extra hour to themselves at bedtime, most moms said having sex is the last thing on their to-do list. They're more likely to watch television, read or surf the Internet.

  • Spontaneity is the No. 1 thing most moms miss about sex before children, followed by being able to relax more easily and having a better body image.

  • The top three things that put a crimp in moms' sex lives: feeling exhausted; not having enough time; and not being able to shut off their mental to-do lists.

    Seminars help expectant mothers

    Expectant mothers can get some help at a Saturday morning seminar series at Becoming Mommy in Ross.

  • This Saturday, Vicki Carlson, Creative Memories consultant, will show people how to create photo albums to preserve a baby's first pictures.

  • On Dec. 4, Ellen Huffmyer from Hearts and Hands Doula Services will discuss the importance of a doula. The word comes from the ancient Greek word for a female servant who helped women through childbearing.

    Both seminars are scheduled for 11 a.m. at Becoming Mommy, 7206 McKnight Road.

    To register, call (412) 364-4923.

    Web sites provide bike safety information

    Parents should check out safety tips before they decide to get their child a motorized bike or scooter for the holidays.

    The following Web sites provide useful information for parents:

  • www.bhsi.org : The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute's site includes information on state and local laws, how to buy a helmet and how to fit a helmet.

  • www.cpsc.gov : The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission offers safety tips for all kinds of sports and activities. Its phone number is (800) 638-2772.

  • www.iisa.org : Tips and techniques for teaching kids about inline skating from the International Inline Skating Association.

  • www.safekids.org : SAFE KIDS has information about safe play all year long.

  • www.toy-tia.org : Get year-round tips in English and Spanish with the Toy Industry Association's free guide, "Fun Play, Safe Play."

    Additional Information:

    Details

    Send parenting news to Coping With Kids in care of Living, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, D.L. Clark Building, 503 Martindale St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212; fax (412) 320-7966; or e-mail tribliving@tribweb.com .

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