Posts Tagged ‘@creporter’

Happy Mother’s Day! How About Some Flowers, Candy — and a Computer Virus

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

E-cards are so popular these days, we usually don’t even think to worry about opening them. And most are safe. But Consumer Reports warns that scammers sometimes use ecards to do their dirty work:

“Scammers frequently have used bogus e-card messages to spread computer viruses and other malware. Such messages contain holiday-related subject lines but include nasty attachments or hyperlinks. For example, in 2008, the FBI warned that e-card emails were being used to spread the Storm Worm Trojan horse, which allowed outsiders to commander Windows computers.”

Check out Consumer Reports’ tips on safely receiving Mother’s Day E-cards.

(Full disclosure: I’m the social media reporter for Consumer Reports. Follow me on Twitter at @CReporter for great consumer tips and conversation!)

P.S. Yes, I’m shameless. Just had to share a picture of my baby boy, who is now 14 and taller than me!

How Much Does the Tooth Fairy Pay These Days?

Friday, March 19th, 2010

The Tooth Fairy might need to get a day job to pay for all those teeth, because payouts for baby teeth are on the rise, according to a new report by Desiree Ferenczi  of Consumer Reports. (Full disclosure: I work part-time as the social-media reporter for Consumer Reports. You can find me on Twitter as @CReporter.)

The  Tooth Fairy is dropping an average of $2.13 per tooth this year, up 13 percent from last year, says a national poll sponsored by (I’m shocked!) Delta Dental of Minnesota.

And it’s quite a range: anywhere from 5 cents to $50 for recently-lost baby teeth, Ferenczi reports.

Are you kidding me? Who gives their kid 50 bucks for a lost tooth?

Danger at the Dollar Store

Monday, August 24th, 2009

this is possibly the greatest thing I've ever ...

We're all trying to stretch a buck these days, and dollar stores may seem like a good way to do it. But buyer beware when it comes to danger at the dollar store, says Consumer Reports in their latest video.

(Disclosure: In addition to being a freelance journalist, I'm also the social-media reporter for Consumer Reports. Follow me on Twitter at @creporter for CR's latest updates.)

What types of dollar-store products could be hazardous? Cigarette lighters that look like mini toy skateboards. Party whistles that can easily come apart and create choking hazards. And my personal favorite on CR's list: bubble-blowing liquid that comes in a bottle with what looks like a baby-bottle nipple on top. Nice.

Sure, you can save on many items that are perfectly safe. But keep a sharp eye out for items that could harm your family.

Kids’ Sleep and ADHD: What’s the Connection?

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Interesting post for parents from Consumer Reports* today: If a kid is routinely
short on sleep, he may be at higher risk of behavior problems related
to ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), according to a new study.

Description unavailable

Researchers looked at 280 healthy 7- and 8-year-old kids.
Parents recorded how much sleep their child got for seven days and noted
any factors that might have had an impact on sleep, such as travel or
illness. The kids
wore a device on their wrist called an actigraph, which logs sleep
duration by recording movement.

Parents also filled out questionnaires that described their child's sleep habits and rated their level of ADHD symptoms,
such as being hyperactive, impulsive or inattentive. Each child was
then given a score for each of these symptoms and an overall score for ADHD

Kids who averaged less than 7.7 hours
of sleep per night had higher levels of hyperactivity and impulsivity
than those who slept more. Check out the rest of the post here.

While you're there, spend some time nosing around Consumer Reports' Babies & Kids, Health and Safety blogs. Great stuff there for parents.

*Disclosure: I work for Consumer Reports as their social media reporter on Twitter. Follow me at @CReporter.

Are Your Kids Sexting?

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Terrific piece by Nick K. Mandel, over on the Consumer Reports electronics blog today, on sexting, where cell phone users — usually teens — exchange provocative, sexual photos of themselves using their cell phones' built-in digital camera.

(Disclosure: I work for Consumer Reports as their social media reporter. You can follow me at @CReporter on Twitter. I primarily cover consumer issues there, but that also overlaps with my parenting reporting here. After all, we parents are some of the biggest consumers around!)

Mandel notes that a survey from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
suggests that one in five teens have "electronically sent, or posted
online, nude or semi-nude pictures or video of themselves." A percentage that high means that many parents who think "my kid would never do that" may be surprised to learn the truth.

Check out Mandel's post and the articles below. Then talk with your kids if you think they may be fooling around with sexting. Chances are, they have no idea how serious the consequences can be.

Get Your Consumer-Information Fix at @CReporter

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Are you, like me, a big Consumer Reports fan? Wish you had a place to go for great links to all things consumer-related?

Starting today, I'm the social media reporter for Consumer Reports, and I'll be sharing all sorts of great info over at If you're on Twitter, please follow and say hello. You'll also want to stop by CR's terrific blog.

Not on Twitter? It's easy — and free — to get started. Just go to

I'll still be here, of course, bringing you lots of great parenting ideas as always. I see this new project as a great complement to what I'm doing here. After all, who needs helpful consumer information more than parents?

P.S. Stop by the CR blog to learn more about tomorrow's free breakfast offer at Denny's. Bring the kids!