As a follow-up to Dr. Noah Makovsky's post about the newest SIDS prevention recommendations, Elizabeth Sopher, CEO and inventor of QuickZip sheets, and co-owner Caroline Portis, a Stapleton resident, share some additional recommendations on how to keep your baby safe at night. [ read more ]

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Don’t lose any more sleep over new baby safety recommendations!

[ Thursday, December 8, 2016 | 0 comments ]


As a follow-up to Dr. Noah Makovsky's post about the newest SIDS prevention recommendations, Elizabeth Sopher, CEO and inventor of QuickZip sheets, and co-owner Caroline Portis, a Stapleton resident, share some additional recommendations on how to keep your baby safe at night.

Don’t lose any more sleep over new baby safety recommendations. 

One statistic reports that a new parent loses up to 1,000 hours of sleep during their child’s first year, and 45% reported that a top reason for that lack of sleep was worry about baby’s safety. With the latest recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and all the emphasis on the relationship between adequate sleep and overall health, new parents will need some strategies to survive (and even to be able to enjoy your little bundle of joy)!

While the AAP recently issued new recommendations to reduce SUIDs (Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths), a Penn State study last fall showed that up to 93% of parents or caregivers did not always follow the sleep safety recommendations that were in effect before the new recommendations came out.

To make it easy on parents, here is a quick review of the new and expanded AAP recommendations and a few suggestions to make it easier for you to become a Safe Sleep Pro. (As always, specific questions should be directed to your pediatrician or health practitioner.)

2016 AAP recommendations on creating a safe sleep environment include:

  • “Place the baby on his or her back on a firm sleep surface such as a crib or bassinet with a tight-fitting sheet.
  • Avoid use of soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and soft toys. The crib should be bare.
  • Share a bedroom with parents, but not the same sleeping surface, preferably until the baby turns 1 but at least for the first six months. Room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent.
  • Avoid baby's exposure to smoke, alcohol and illicit drugs. “
  • In addition, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has established more specific warnings about crib sheets, “which can sometimes be hazardous to babies.” Safety Alert 5137 describes precautions to ensure a safer environment, including:  making “sure crib sheets fit snugly on a crib mattress and overlaps the mattress so it cannot be dislodged by pulling on the corner of the sheet” and to “never use an adult sheet on a crib mattress; it can become loose and present an entanglement hazard to young children.”
Getting Into the Safety Habit

As with everything, practice makes perfect, and sleep safety will quickly become a habit – just like putting on a seatbelt! (The suggestions below are not official AAP recommendations, but my suggestions to help you put them into action.)

  • Decorate the nursery, not the crib. Decorating a nursery is a time-honored and fun tradition that often involves family and friends. Be clear with your crew that the crib can only have a sheet in it, and a sheet that fits tightly and can’t be pulled off at the corners. Bumpers, quilts, pillows, blankets, toys, and everything else are out.
  • Teach your parents (and all caregivers) the new rules well. Your relatives and friends might say something like: “Gee, not sure how you survived childhood with a blanket and bumper in your crib, a drop-side crib, and no bicycle helmet,” but these recommendations are in place to save lives, and they were developed in response to real hazards and real infant deaths. You are not likely to give up the use of the latest and safest car seat in response to such a comment, so stand firm on your sleep practices as well.
  • Stay safe while nodding off, at naptime, and at nighttime. Treat every sleep the same. It does not matter how long a baby will sleep; work to create the same safe environment.  
  • Be careful of shortcuts, they might be too good to be true. Babies can make us desperate for sleep, but make sure you evaluate suggestions that sound like they will make your life easier in light of the new safety recommendations.
At QuickZip, we hear from our customers that one piece of safety gear that they had not really thought of as safety gear is the crib sheet, which is the only item that is in the crib with your baby. In all the research preparing for a baby, it often does not come up. Of the approximately 3,500 SUIDs deaths in 2014, 25% of those were from “accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed” (CDC 2014).

That number is not just a number to us. We know one of those numbers personally. Tricia, a nurse, lost her baby Isaac at 6 months of age when he got wrapped in a traditional fitted crib sheet. His traditional sheet appeared to fit tightly on the mattress as recommended, but popped off. Tricia believes that the safety recommendations do not go far enough to warn parents of this terrible risk. She is now a tireless crusader for crib sheet safety, practicing random acts of kindness and awareness campaigns on his birthday.

Happily, she and her husband have two awesome and healthy boys, and the youngest is sleeping on QuickZip, a safer alternative, which goes beyond the CPSC recommendations because it wraps all the way around the bottom of the mattress. QuickZip also makes safety easy; it can be quickly changed by zipping off and on the zip-on sheet without having to lift the mattress out of the crib each time. Tricia found QuickZip after their tragedy, and she one of our strongest supporters. (She even got BabiesRUs to carry our sheets after telling them her story.) We keep Isaac in mind and honor his memory by selling safer sheets and following Tricia’s example in spreading the message of crib sheet safety.

Make sure your little ones stay safe when they are the most vulnerable - while they sleep. Read the full story »
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Colorado Youth Explore “Adventures” Rather Than Marijuana

[ Monday, November 21, 2016 | 0 comments ]
Instead of smoking pot, the new Protect What’s Next Adventures series inspires Colorado teens to achieve their goals by connecting them with entrepreneurs, artists, and high-achieving Coloradans. 

“Protect What’s Next Adventures,” the new youth marijuana prevention program launched by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and TEDxMileHigh, offers Colorado youth real-life experiences inspiring them to achieve what is important to them. This new series provides Colorado youth ages 13 to 20 chances to win free, once-in-a-lifetime adventures, giving them behind-the-scenes access to local entrepreneurs, artists and other experts who have turned their passions into careers.

“Our research shows youth want to passionately pursue what’s important to them, and marijuana can get in the way of their progress,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, department executive director and chief medical officer. “Underage marijuana use can affect the developing brain, making it harder for youth to go after what matters to them. This partnership with TEDxMileHigh helps connect youth with the knowledge, skills and steps needed to develop their passions and achieve their goals by meeting thought leaders throughout the state.”

The Protect What’s Next Adventures series will offer 12 adventures from now until June 2017, covering topics ranging from pro sports medicine, to firefighting and photography. Each free adventure allows young people to meet experts from diverse fields and participate in an interactive, immersive experience. Each adventure will give up to 20 young people the opportunity to spend the day connecting with individuals who have followed their passions and successfully achieved their goals.

The first Protect What’s Next Adventure — Become an ARTrepreneur — will be held Saturday, Dec. 10. Focusing on artists who transformed their love of crafting into successful businesses, this adventure will be held at Winter Session, a Denver-based canvas and leather goods company. Youth will tour the workshop, connect with local entrepreneurs, participate in discussions about starting their own businesses, and create their own leather goods.

Colorado youth between the age of 13 and 20 can register for a chance to win at ProtectWhatsNext.com/adventures.

Future Protect What’s Next Adventures include:

  • Culinary Arts, hosted by Kelly Whitaker, Basta
  • Instameet Photography Adventure, hosted by multiple Colorado photographers.• Denver Street Art, hosted by the Rino Arts District
  • Black Canyon Astronomy/Nighttime Photography, hosted by Dave Lane
  • SUP (Stand-up Paddle Boarding) Yoga, hosted by Sarah Russell

More details on these and other upcoming Adventures will be featured at ProtectWhatsNext.com/adventures.

About CDPHE’s Retail Marijuana Education Program The Retail Marijuana Education Program is paid for with marijuana tax revenue. Projects include Good to Know; the Spanish-language campaign, Marihuana En Colorado, Lo Que Debes Entender; and efforts to encourage youth to not use marijuana before age 21.
  • Protect What’s Next is a comprehensive media campaign showing how underage retail marijuana use has the potential to get in the way of youth achieving their short-term goals.
       
  • A complimentary campaign also encourages adults who youth trust and respect to deliver factual information about not using retail marijuana before age 21.  
About TEDxMileHigh Adventures Program Adventures connect people with the big ideas that take the stage at a TEDxMileHigh talk by introducing them to the movers, shakers, makers and doers from across Colorado. Adventures give attendees opportunities to “get their hands dirty with the big ideas,” ask questions and interact with thought-leader hosts. TEDxMileHigh will offer 50+ Adventures for adults and youth in 2017,ranging from art and design, to science and tech, to urbanism and sustainability, to food systems and wellness.

Read the full story »
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Holiday Activities at Snow Mountain Ranch and YMCA of the Rockies

[ Wednesday, November 16, 2016 | 0 comments ]
There are wonderful holiday activities going on at Snow Mountain Ranch​ and YMCA of the Rockies - both offer Thanksgiving dinner without the work, plus activities for family members of all ages.

At Snow Mountain Ranch, just outside of Winter Park, the weekend kicks off Wednesday night with a movie night showing the classic A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. On Thursday, grab the family for a 3.5 K Turkey Trot around the property and enjoy the Human Hungry Hungry Hippos game before the official Turkey Games including a turkey calling competition and pin the tail on the turkey. On Friday, join the Moose on the Loose hike or snowshoe and a Guided Gold Mine Tour as part of REI’s #OptOutside Black Friday initiative. Stay for the full long weekend and get creative with holiday cookie decorating, weird science programs, animal tracking, plus dodgeball, bingo, and campfires with s’mores. Guests also enjoy Nordic skiing, fat biking, sledding, sleigh rides, craft room, indoor archery, indoor climbing wall, roller skating, swimming and more.

In Estes Park, YMCA of the Rockies provides a nice retreat from the crowded ski towns (and I-70 traffic!). Thanksgiving is a special time at the property with family kickball and flag football games, scavenger hunts, holiday movie marathons and campfires with s'mores. The 9th-annual free Turkey Trot 5K Fun Run/Walk kicks off on-site at 8:00 AM on November 24 and dogs are welcome. Afterwards, a Thanksgiving Buffet is served throughout the day, featuring a carving station, seafood and dessert bar.  Families  and groups can enjoy a multitude of activities - the craft & design center is ideal for all ages (make your own tie–dyes or ceramics) and the kids love swimming in the indoor pool and playing miniature golf, while archery lessons get everyone involved in the fun.

Why not enjoy an active family or friends Thanksgiving holiday in a beautiful Colorado setting? Or head up for the day for something fun to do with visiting relatives (day passes are only $20/adult, $10/kids & under 5 years old free)?

More Information:

YMCA of the Rockies: http://ymcarockies.org/event/thanksgiving-activities/​ and lodge rooms start at $79/night
Snow Mountain Ranch: http://snowmountainranch.org/events/​ and lodge rooms start at $139/night

YMCA of the Rockies Thanksgiving Buffet:

Date:          Thursday, November 24, 2016
Time:         11:00am (first seating) to 2:30pm (last seating)
Location:    Assembly Hall at Estes Park Center
Price:          $35 per adult (ages 13 and up)
                     $15 per child (6 years old – 12 years old)
                     Free (Children 5 and under)

The Fine Print

  • Price is not inclusive of sales tax and gratuity
  • Cash, debit/credit card payment is due on the day of check-in, at Assembly Hall
  • Time reservation slot is as follows (bottom of email)
  • Each table will be re-seated after a party leaves
  • Each party will receive 1.5 hours to enjoy the meal and their company
  • Reserved tables with a no-show party or later than 15 minutes will be reseated for another seating
  • Walk-ins will depend on cancellations, if any.

Buffet-Style Menu

  • Carving station, omelet station, waffle station, seafood station, specialty salad, delicious hot entrees, dessert bar and pastries.
  • Some entrees/sides may be gluten free but will be limited. Please contact us for more details or concerns.

Reservations

  • Reservations are requires and are made on a first reserve, first basis
  • Reservations open on Saturday, October 1st!
  • Reservation must be made via Banquet and Special Event Office at EBanquets@ymcarockies.org ORHdennerline@ymcarockies.org OR (970) 586.3341 ext. 1378.
  • Confirmed reservations will receive an email from EBanquets@ymcarockies.org ORHDennerline@ymcarockies.org
  • Please provide full name, contact number, email address, preferred time slot and number of people in the party
  • Your preferred time slot may not be guaranteed

Reservation Time Slots

  • 11:00am (first)
  • 11:15am
  • 11:30am
  • 12:00pm
  • 12:15pm
  • 12:30pm
  • 1:00pm
  • 1:15pm
  • 1:30pm
  • 2:00pm
  • 2:15pm
  • 2:30pm
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You might lose sleep over the latest SIDS prevention recommendation

[ Monday, November 14, 2016 | 0 comments ]
Guest post by Noah Makovsky, MD, Stapleton Pediatrics

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) unveiled a critically important new recommendation for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) prevention at its annual conference in late October by announcing that newborns sleep in the parents’ room for at least the first six months of life and, ideally, up to one year.

The Academy thoroughly reviewed the most recent literature and reported that this sleeping arrangement can reduce the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent. Considering there are approximately 3,500 sleep-related deaths of babies per year in this country, a reduction by half of those that are SIDS-related is a significant finding.

As a pediatrician, I am contemplating the significant potential impact of this new infant sleep recommendation. One of the most common issues that parents discuss with me daily is their own lack of quality sleep. The AAP recommendation could mean that new parents will have to endure a longer-than-expected time period of interrupted sleep and subsequent exhaustion.

In my opinion, the tremendous potential benefit of following this new infant sleep recommendation outweighs the potential prolonged period of parents’ interrupted sleep. I understand this represents a big change for some families. Yet parents, family members, caregivers, and physicians all need to be prepared to discuss how to incorporate this transition into a family’s life.

Two more SIDS prevention recommendations from the conference are worth noting. While the Academy has always recommended vaccines for infants, recent evidence suggests that vaccinations may have a protective effect against SIDS. Further, the Academy has acknowledged the reality that many parents fall asleep while feeding their infants. Research shows that it is safer for these parents to fall asleep in their own beds – without pillows, blankets, or sheets that could obstruct infant breathing or cause overheating – than falling asleep on a sofa or chair.

The AAP also reiterated the importance of proven SIDS prevention techniques, including:

  1. Always place an infant on his or her back to sleep.
      
  2. Place infants on a firm surface without soft bedding, pillows, blankets, toys, or bumpers.
      
  3. When possible, breast feeding is recommended.
      
  4. Consider offering a pacifier during naps and bedtime.
As always, you should reach out to your pediatrician with any questions and to discuss what’s right for your family.

Lastly, I will return to what I like to call the “paradox of parenthood” – if a newborn sleeps up to 18 hours per day, why are parents so exhausted? The answer lies in the irregular and interrupted sleep patterns of parents and newborns. Here are a couple of suggestions to help parents improve their own sleep, which will positively impact their daily outlook while journeying through the early stages of parenthood:

  1. Attempt to spread out the caregiving duties among family members and friends, so each parent has a chance to get at least six hours of continuous sleep every day.
      
  2. If that’s not possible, I recommend adding up all the hours of interrupted sleep that a parent gets in a 24-hour period. If you can get to six hours, you can “rest” assured that you can move on to a fresh, new day.
Most importantly, enjoy your wonderful new baby every day. Although you may be a bit tired, before you know it, the “baby days” (and nights) will be over. Sleep well!


** This blog post was written to serve as informational guidance about the AAP’s recent recommendation and should not be taken as concrete medical advice, nor do the views above reflect the views of Stapleton Pediatrics or any HealthONE organization. As with any medical questions or concerns, it’s imperative to make an appointment with your physician for questions, concerns, diagnosis and treatment.


“Dr. Noah,” as Noah Makovsky, MD, is affectionately known by patients, parents and colleagues, is a Denver native who received his medical degree from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He has been recognized by his peers every year for the past 11 years as a “Top Doc” in 5280 Magazine. He practices at Stapleton Pediatrics, which he helped found and is affiliated with several metro hospitals, including Rose Medical Center and its newly appointed Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children pediatric ER. Dr. Makovsky is married with three children and has been known to say, “I’m constantly humbled by parenthood.” For more information, visit stapletonpeds.com.





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Check out two Colorado natives in Jersey Boys this weekend!

[ Friday, November 11, 2016 | 0 comments ]
Colorado natives Matthew Dailey and Andrew Russell are performing with the national tour of Jersey Boys, playing at the Buell Theatre through November 13. Matthew plays Tommy and Andrew plays Hank.

 
Matthew and Andrew's shout outs to Denver

Jersey Boys is the Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning Best Musical about Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito, and Nick Massi. This is the true story of how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide – all before they were 30!

Jersey Boys features their hit songs “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh What a Night,” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”

“The crowd goes wild!” proclaims The New York Times.

The Jersey Boys creative team comprises two-time Tony Award-winning director Des McAnuff, book writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, composer Bob Gaudio, lyricist Bob Crewe and choreography by Sergio Trujillo.

More information: 

Jersey Boys
Nov 9 - Nov 13
Denver Center for the Performing Arts - Buell Theatre

Ticket Price: Starts at: $35 at denvercenter.org or 303.893.4100
Please be advised that the Denver Center for the Performing Arts – denvercenter.org – is the ONLY authorized online ticket provider for this productions in Denver.

Run Time: Approx 2 hours and 35 mins. Plus a 20 minute intermission.

Age Recommendation: Contains authentic, “profane Jersey language” and is recommended for ages 12+.

Advisory: Includes the use of gunshot, e-cigarettes and theatrical haze. This production utilizes strobe lights to simulate camera flashes in the first minute of Act 1 Read the full story »