No. 6, Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Dear <<First Name>>:
With many families still anxiously awaiting a return to work and a more familiar life, as well as different and frequently changing rules and regulations regarding the pandemic comes uncertainty, confusion, anxiety and stress. This edition of our newsletter answers questions on many parent’s minds at this time:  How can I stay calm particularly during my pregnancy? Do I still need to take my children for their regular vaccines? In addition, this edition provides information on childproofing your house, an opportunity to view the No Small Matter Film in the comfort of your home this Saturday morning, and a discussion of why it is so important to complete the census.  No matter what, we are here for you.

 Stay safe and be well.

Wil Blechman, MD
Past President, Kiwanis International  

Co-Chair, World’s Greatest Babies in Miami-Dade

Diana Ragbeer Murray, Child Advocate
Chair, Early Childhood Cmte, Kiwanis NEMD 
Co-Chair, World’s Greatest Babies in Miami-Dade

Your Pregnancy

Stress Relief and Resources for Pregnant Women 

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how and where we receive our healthcare, and pregnant woman are no exception. We know how stressful pregnancy can be without throwing the threat of a crisis into the mix.

If you find yourself feeling sad, hopeless, or notice you are no longer interested in activities that once brought you joy, for a period greater than 2 weeks, it is important you seek help. Dr. Connie Morrow, Pediatric Clinical Psychologist, who has over 28 years of experience working with pregnant and postnatal mothers, infants, and families, states “The treatment of mental health for pregnant women, even more so during this time, is extremely important not only for themselves, but for their babies too.” No one is immune from mental health during pregnancy.
It is estimated that 1 out of 10 pregnant women (7-11%) experience depression during pregnancy. 

Women with untreated depression during pregnancy/postpartum often:
  • Have trouble sleeping
  • Have poor nutrition and inadequate weight gain
  • Engage in greater use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs
  • Are less likely to follow the advice of their healthcare provider
It is not unusual for infants born to mothers with untreated depression during pregnancy are more likely to experience:
  • Preterm birth 
  • Low birth weight
  • Developmental and cognitive delays
  • Increased crying and colic
  • Problems with attachment
As we navigate these interesting times and try to adapt and cope with the changes, we need to make sure we are aware of our physical and mental changes.  We admit that this is easy to say and not so easy to do.

Mothers looking to relieve stress and anxiety during these challenging times may consider the following:
  • Try meditating, deep breathing, or gentle stretching. 
  • Connect with friends and family over the phone or through video conferences.
  • Get enough sleep by going to bed at a consistent time and limiting screen time beforehand.
  • Maintain a healthy diet and engage in regular exercise. Eating well and staying active can help the body stay healthy in times of added stress.
Help is available 

It is important that pregnant moms are aware of the resources available to them to have a safe pregnancy and healthy baby.  Accessible treatments are available for mothers experiencing depression.  The Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade (HSCMD) is here for you.  We have adapted our services to be accessible through telehealth and provide consistent outreach, education and psychosocial counseling, among other free services. We have found this to be very successful in allowing us to connect with families and continue to be a source of support through these challenging times.

Not comfortable with the use of technology? You don’t have to worry because our therapists will guide you step by step through the set-up of a call on any platform on which you feel most comfortable. All of our services, including phone and video appointments are private and confidential.

If you’re interested in any of HSCMD’s services, please call 305-541-0210. For more information please visit our website
Source: The Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade.

Your Baby

Your kids still need their vaccines, even during coronavirus crisis.  

Earlier advice to cancel all physician visits that weren’t critical has been updated: Please stay up-to-date on your child’s immunizations during the COVID pandemic! Experts across the nation are seeing drops in immunization rates of as much as 73 percent.  That means that nearly 3 in 4 children who are due for a vaccination aren’t getting it. Particularly following the measles outbreak last year, this is very bad news.

Failing to immunize your child on schedule creates risks. Each of the vaccinations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is carefully considered for necessity and timing. Delays to the scheduled vaccinations means your child can be susceptible to diseases.

The good news is that many health-care providers are getting innovative to keep patients and health-care workers safe. Some have even begun having patients wait in their cars until it’s time to be escorted into the medical center and straight to an exam room. Other providers have found ways to minimize contact, too. 

The following may provide guidance about which vaccines are required and when:
  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention Immunization Schedule may be found at
  • If your child misses a shot, you don’t need to start over. Just go back to your child’s doctor for the next shot.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor if you have questions about vaccines.
  • And remember that vaccinations are one of the most important advances in public health!
Source: Kaiser Permanente and Sunshine Health.  Sunshine Health serves more than 1 million members in Florida, through Medicaid, Long Term Care, Ambetter (Marketplace) and Allwell (Medicare), plus a plan for children in or adopted from Florida’s Child Welfare system. Learn more at

Tips from the ER on Childproofing Your House


Any new parent quickly learns that a toddler is into everything and that it only takes a quick second for your child to get out of sight and be around something potentially dangerous. Emergency physicians treat children every day who are injured by something in their own home or someone else’s home. However, many childhood injuries that emergency physicians see daily are easy to avoid. The first step to prevention is to be aware of the hazards in your home, and knowing how to eliminate them.

Key Statistics:
  • Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal unintentional injuries for children under the age of 10.
  • 512,33 children under the age of five were injured by home furnishings and fixtures in 2018.
  • Drowning was the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 - 4.
  • Nearly 50,000 children under the age of five were treated in ERs for fire and burn related injuries in 2017. Fire/burn is the fourth leading cause of unintentional death in children between ages 1 - 4, and the third leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 5-9 (National Safety Council)
What You Can do in Your Home Right Now to Protect Young Children:
  • Use safety latches for drawers and cabinets in kitchens, bathrooms, and other rooms that may contain dangerous products. Items like cleaning supplies, sharp objects, and medicines should all be securely stored out of reach of children.
  • Use safety gates to help prevent falls down stairs and to help prevent children from going into areas that may have potential dangers. Make sure these gates meet current safety standards. Be mindful gates that only press against walls, called pressure-mounted gates, are not secure enough.
  • Place protective childproof covers on all electrical outlets that are in reach of children.
  • Make sure all electrical cords are out of a child's reach and properly secure.
  • Fasten all heavy bookshelves, televisions, cabinets or anything that could pose a potential tipping hazard to a secure wall, making sure it cannot fall on a child.
  • Use toilet seat lid-locking devices on all toilet seats to decrease drowning hazards.
  • Use cordless window coverings to help prevent strangulation.
  • Use corner or edge bumpers on anything with sharp edges, like furniture and fireplaces.
  • Create a protective barrier around pools and spas that include at least a four-foot tall fence with self-closing and self-latching gates. It's also a good idea to look into getting pool alarms as an additional layer of protection.
  • Always turn handles away from areas on the stove that children can reach and pull pots over on themselves.
Magnetic Objects
Special attention should be given to objects in the home which contain magnets as they pose an additional hazard to young children.  Powerful magnet sets – often sold as desktop trinkets or parts of toys – can damage organs when two or more magnets are swallowed and their magnetic force pulls them together across different sections of the digestive system, often resulting in the need for surgery.  
Read more about Health and Safety Tips
Source: American College of Emergency Physicians


No Small Matter

Recently a very important film was released entitled No Small Matter.  The film notes that although our future depends on our youngest citizens, on how many words they hear in their first months of life, on how often they are held, as well as on the kinds of experiences they have, millions of American children are still not getting the care they need to succeed—or even to keep up. And when parents have to work and place their children in child care, there are problems in funding high quality early care and education centers that are affordable. And this affects all children as the cost and availability of quality childcare are problematic. So why, when the importance of quality early care and education is so widely accepted, do we continue to fail so many? Please help us to answer this question.
As members of our special group of caring parents, you can now accept an invitation from our friends at the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health to watch this film from the comfort of your own home by Zoom this Saturday from 10:00-11:30 AM with a short discussion period after. To register, go to
Watch the trailer.

Learn more at

The Census - Why Should I Complete It?


It Benefits Our Kids

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly one-million children were not counted in the 2010 United States census, and more than 71,000 were from Florida. That resulted in a loss of approximately $600 million from children's programs around the state of Florida if all those children had been counted. This year, we want to make sure that doesn't happen again. A lot of those dollars flow through our school districts, so breakfast programs, lunch programs, and after school programs were affected.

It Benefits Our Neighborhoods and Communities

A complete count can do great things for your neighborhood. It makes sure there are the right number of schools and fire departments and what roads, parks and hospitals are put in your neighborhood. 

The census count determines the right amount of money to support education, healthcare, housing, roads, parks, schools and other critical programs like Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps), Head Start and others. It means close to $45 billion of funding across Florida. 

It's Easy
The good news according to the US Census is that: “It has never been easier to respond on your own, whether online, over the phone or by mail—all without having to meet a census taker.” The census is also available in 13 languages online or on the phone, with paper forms available in English and Spanish, with guides in another 59 languages. 

It’s Confidential

As well as being easy, it’s safe as the information provided must be guarded by Census Bureau employees, by law. There was some concern that the 2020 Census would ask individuals about their citizenship status in this country, but that won’t happen this year. In fact, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about individuals, households or even business to law enforcement, federal agencies and even the President.

There has been some misinformation circulated that filling out the census is in some way tied to expected stimulus checks to be sent out by the federal government in their near future but that is categorically untrue. The census has nothing to do with and is in no way connected to any such stimulus payments.  

It’s Your Civic Duty

And while the importance and safety of the US Census should be enough to spur everyone to participate, it is also incumbent on individuals to view it as part of their civic duty when living in this country. Stand up and be counted and do your part so your community, county, state and this country gets the best information about its current population. The more we know, the better we can tackle all the issues before us.  

Source: Florida Census Weekly Update and The Children's Trust


Keep your child engaged with audio books

While schools are closed, stays open!  Sit back and hear an adventure with your child with audios courtesy of Audibles, Inc., an Amazon company. Spanning across six different languages and different worlds, share the magic of dreaming and learning with your child.

Source:  The Children’s Trust


Teachable Moments

For more teachable moments, go to:

Coronavirus and Child Birth

The Evidence Based Birth organization provides resources, including videos on childbirth and tips for birthing during COVID-19. Go to

Coronavirus and Parenting

For resources on parenting during the Coronavirus Pandemic, go to The Children’s Movement of Florida at COVID-19 resource page.

Food Distribution and Pantries

Please click here for a list of upcoming Farm Share food distribution events throughout Miami-Dade County.
Click here for a listing of food pantries in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties.
Click here for a listing of free Grab-N-Go meals.

Source:  Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe



Contact us
World’s Greatest Babies in Miami-Dade at


The information in these newsletters is brought to you by members of the Planning Committee of The World’s Greatest Baby Shower in Miami-Dade 2020 which has since evolved into The World’s Greatest Babies in Miami-Dade.  The Planning Committee is comprised of the following organizations making a difference in the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County. Click on the logos below to go to each organization’s websites to find ways they can provide resources for you and your family. 





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