News you can use

Lost? New tracker can help

The panic-filled moment you realize your kid is missing is unfortunately unforgettable. That’s what prompted John Renaldi to build a team to create a tracker that would be good enough for their own families. The result is the Jiobit Smart Tag, a new wearable tracker smaller than an AA battery that pairs with an app to keep kids and parents connected.

Jiobit improves on the tracking abilities by using different radio frequencies and a hybrid network. This allows the company to find the best signal even if the family is in a situation with no cellular coverage and the child has gotten too far away, says Chicago mom of four boys, Lindsay Slutzky, a member of the team. Plus, they improved on the battery life; it lasts at least a week before needing a charge.

Target makes adaptive clothes more accessible

Target’s kids’ clothing line Cat & Jack has launched new adaptive apparel made specially for kids and toddlers with disabilities.

While the line had has previously offered sensory-friendly pieces featuring tagless and flat seam styles, the new apparel features 40 pieces with side and back snap and zip closures, and hidden openings for abdominal access. The pieces for boys and girls, based off the current designs in the Cat & Jack collection that kids are already wearing, include puffer jackets, long-sleeve tees, short-sleeve tees, hooded sweatshirts, leggings and bodysuits. 

Update: Krabbe testing now in place

Local mom Laura Shelton, who was featured in the summer issue of Chicago Special Parent, spent much of 2017 advocating for newborn screenings for Krabbe disease. Even though newborn testing for Krabbe disease was required statewide in 2007, the testing was never implemented.

In the fall, after the Chicago Tribune shed light on the years of red tape delaying the testing, Shelton and other families met at the Illinois State Capitol for a hearing before the Health Care Availability and Accessibility Committee. They heard us, Shelton says. Testing began Dec. 11. If detected early, stem cell transplants can change babies’ lives.

Shelton says she found a lot of open arms among other Krabbe disease advocates. “I don’t want anyone else to endure the pain and struggles you see your child go through. It is just hard to watch your child struggle to breathe and be in pain,” she says.

The testing came too late for Shelton’s baby, Lana, who died on Jan. 1 from the disease. 

Shriners unveils new podcast

Shriners Hospital is tapping into podcasts to help parents find the best info about what to expect on their child’s medical journey.

Episodes of the new series, Pediatric Specialty Care Spotlight, are about 10 minutes long and are available at, iTunes and iHeartRadio. A new podcast comes out every two weeks.

To date, the hospital has shared podcasts on scoliosis treatments, childhood arthritis, cleft lip and palate, limb differences and spinal cord injury rehab.

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