May 2006


Do you screen advertisers? I’ve been told by so many people that my 2½-year-old child is so beautiful, funny and smart that she should be in modeling. So, when I saw two ads in your magazine, I checked them out because I thought if it was advertised in your magazine, I could trust it.

The first one I saw was Ad Kids Agency in Chicago. When I called to make an appointment, they said there would be a $600 up-front fee. I couldn’t believe it.

According to the well-known talent agencies in Hollywood, there should never be any up-front fees. Agencies should be paid when a job comes up and they take it from there.

The other agency I was suspicious about was the Glamour Model/Childbook Tour contest. There was a $20 registration fee and I thought, for what? The tour stated on its Web site that there would be casting and advertising directors on the premises.

I took my daughter all the way to Gurnee and when I got there, I was disappointed. There were no directors onsite asking us anything. I found it all so unprofessional.

My question to you is, doesn’t your magazine check up on these people? There are hundreds of parents thinking they could trust whatever you publish in your magazine. VIOLET PUSEC-GDULA Park Ridge

Editor’s note: We appreciate the esteem in which you hold our magazine. And our editorial policies are very strict: Chicago Parent checks out the editorial information it publishes very carefully. If we make a mistake, we want to hear about it. But we have great faith in our readers to understand the difference between our editorial content, which our reporters and editors produce, and advertisements, which are produced by clients who pay money to be in the magazine. For the most part, we have a wonderful group of great businesses that advertise in our magazine. But it is not our job—nor the job of any magazine, television station or newspaper—to check out the business practices of our advertisers. We have standards for the types of advertisements we will accept, and we will review our advertisements if we receive a number of reader complaints. If you have complaints about advertising, we will listen. In addition, readers have the option of calling the Illinois Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at (800) 386-5438 or the Chicago office of the Better Business Bureau at (312) 832-0500.

No balloons for babies My heart skipped a beat when I saw the photo in the December 2005 issue ("Ringing in the New Year"). Balloons are very dangerous for babies. If they bite a balloon and it pops, they may gasp and cause it to go down their throat where it gets stuck and they can’t breathe.

A maternity nurse told me this as I was leaving the hospital with my first child. I was happy to have the information and have not given balloons to my little ones. MARGARET WALDSCHMIDT Lindenhurst

A Spanish Chicago Parent? Is there any chance of creating a Spanish version of your publication in the future? I am the principal of a Middle School in Melrose Park and have a large Latino population....they would love a publication of this quality in Spanish! TIM DALEY Aurora

Careful with dosage Good point in the April 2006 issue ("Too much of good thing is dangerous") on being careful with dosages of over-the-counter medicines. Important: One should know not only the correct dosage (based on weight) but also the concentration of the medication. For instance, concentrated Infant’s Motrin is 50 mg per 1.25 ml, and Children’s Motrin is 100 mg per 5 ml (so the babies have less liquid to swallow). Your child will get different amounts of the medicine depending on the concentration.

Best thing is to ask your doctor periodically, what’s the right dosage for my kid right now? (Especially if your child has a growth spurt.) Tape this information to the bottom of the bottle, along with the date you received it. Or, keep the bottle in a baggie with an oral syringe with the dosage marked by a pen (different baggies for different kids, if you must). Pharmacies always sell (and often will just give you) oral syringes to give medication. JANE BEARD VISHNESKI Oak Park

Cardio caution for moms Please update your information on prenatal cardio exercise. Your spring issue of Chicago Baby "Keeping fit for two" says that a pregnant woman needs to stay at 140 beats per minute or below. When you have such a strict guideline pregnant women get scared.

The article makes a good point when it recommends pregnant women be as fit as if they were preparing for a marathon. But how can you do that when you don’t challenge yourself aerobically? I’m an aerobics instructor trained under Moms in Motion, which means I have a prenatal fitness certification.

My classes are aerobically challenging and they should be—labor is not easy. Mothers should pace themselves and be in touch with their bodies when they work out and keep drinking water.

If you need more info please read Exercising Through Your Pregnancy by Dr. James F. Clapp III. ADINA REICHLIN Chicago

Great ADHD article I was impressed with "ADHD: To medicate or not to medicate?" (April, 2006) particularly the part about how children can be misdiagnosed.

My kindergarten son has struggled in school. His first teacher implied there was something seriously wrong with him and I should get him tested because he couldn’t sit still for circle time. He was then referred to a psychologist for behavior testing. I must admit I am thankful they did because the psychologist said he was fine and that he had a vision problem, plus he showed signs of being gifted.

This year, I had his IQ tested since he was struggling with phonics and reading. I was tired of hearing this year after year and so unbelievably tired of the teachers looking at me like I was nuts when I mentioned I thought he was gifted. He tested out as highly gifted on the right brain portion which makes him a visual spatial learner. This is why he struggles with phonics and writing. By the way, you don’t have to be gifted to be a visual spatial learner but they often are disruptive in school and come across seeming to be ADHD.

Anyway, thank you for pointing out that behavior issues in school are not always an indicator of ADHD. There are an unbelievable number of other things that could contribute to that type of behavior. It’s important for parents to know that. Great article. ANN HALLIHAN Long Grove





In the April 2006 Chicago Parent: "Take My Advice: Grandparents just want to help, but it just doesn’t feel that way," by Phyllis Nutkis contained a grammatical error. In the sidebar, the sentence should read: "When our oldest daughter got married, it took my husband and me a while to figure out the boundaries of our new roles as in-laws." Chicago Parent apologizes for the editing error and we would like to thank the many grammarians who called to inform us of our mistake. We truly have an educated readership.

Also, in "New vaccine makes 20" the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided incorrect information on the levels of mercury-containing thimerosal in some flu vaccines. The vaccines contain more than trace amounts of the chemical. Chicago Parent regrets publishing the wrong information.

In June, we want to hear from dads in honor of Father’s Day on June 18. Tell us about your special Father’s Day traditions.

Deadline: May 8.

In July, tell us how you keep your kids learning during the summer. Is a fun trip to a museum, or do you print out math worksheets for them to complete?

Deadline: June 5.

If we run your response, we’ll enter you in a drawing for a family membership to the Chicago Children’s Museum. We’ll print your name, hometown and the names and ages of your kids. Please provide us with your full address and phone number for verification purposes only.

Send all submissions to: Reader Poll, Chicago Parent, 141 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, IL 60302.

E-mail: chiparent@chicagoparent.com, with "reader poll" in the subject line. Fax: (708) 524-8360.

June is National Accordion Awareness Month. Who knew? Send us photos of your kids playing their favorite instruments. Deadline: May 8.

July is all about summer and summer is all about fun. Send us photos of your kids’ favorite summertime activity, whether it’s splashing in the water, reading a good book, playing baseball or something else. Deadline: June 5.

Please include the first names of everyone in the picture, your children’s ages, your hometown and telephone number for verification only. We keep all photos. By sending in your child’s photo, you give us permission to run it now or in the future and to post it on our Web site.

Send prints to: The Gallery c/o Chicago Parent, 141 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, IL 60302.

E-mail digital photos to: chiparent@chicagoparent.com with "gallery photo" in the message line.

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