(WTRF) – Being a parent can be difficult right?
Especially when you have a new baby at home.
From car seats to cribs, there’s a lot of precautions you have to take to keep them safe.
The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) designated September as “Baby Safety Month” nearly 40 years ago to help parents understand how to choose and use the best products for their babies safely.
There’s so many unintentional injuries and incidents when babies and young children are interacting with products we rely on every day.Lisa Trofe, JPMA Managing Director
A major part of avoiding some of those hazards starts with baby proofing your home. That includes:
- Installing gates on doorways and stairways
- Securing cabinets
- Locking up cleaning products
- Covering outlets
- Securing dressers, bookcases, mirrors and other furniture to the wall
- Mount TVs firmly on the wall or piece of furniture
Safe sleep is also important.
It starts with choosing the right bassinet for co-sleeping or crib if baby is in their own room.
Also to remember for safe sleep:
- Babies under 12 months should always sleep on their backs
- Don’t overdress baby
- Make sure cribs or bassinets have not been recalled
- Check for loose, broken or missing parts
- Use a proper-fitting mattress without any gaps
- Keep any pillows, blankets and stuffed animals or toys out of the baby’s sleep space
Those things are so cute when we register for them, or we’re setting up the perfect nursery, but they are really not intended to be placed in the crib with babies.Lisa Trofe, JPMA Managing Director
When it comes to car seats there are a lot of options.
Car crashes are a leading cause of injury, leading cause of death for children.Joseph Colella, JPMA Director of Child Passenger Safety
When making your choice, experts advise to go with a car seat that fits your child’s age, height and weight; fits properly in your car; and that you can easily use the proper way.
JPMA says remember, children should be rear facing as long as the manufacturer’s instructions allow.
The answer isn’t when do I switch, it’s more when do I have to switch because I’ve exceeded the maximum height or the maximum weight, or I’ve met the minimum age and met the other requirements.Joseph Colella, JPMA Director of Child Passenger Safety
In other words, if your child meets the minimum age, but not the maximum height or weight stay rear facing.
No matter what, the car seat should be in the back seat.
A child is far less likely to be injured in the back seat than the front. There’s one study that showed you’re 40% more likely to be injured in the front seat up to age 13 than the back.Joseph Colella, JPMA Director of Child Passenger Safety
JPMA has a few other safety tips that should be on the mind of parents all the time, not just during Baby Safety Month:
- Don’t leave children unattended in the bathtub
- Keep activity centers or bouncers away from hazardous areas of the house like stairs, doors, windows or tables
- Check for recalls before purchasing any baby products
- Also check any hand-me-downs or heirlooms for recalls
- Follow manufacturers instructions, warning labels and height and weight recommendations.
Babies change so rapidly and move through their ages and stages while we blink, and so it’s really important to stay on top of those things to make sure baby is safe.Lisa Trofe, JPMA Managing Director
Almost all baby furniture or necessities parents will buy come with product registration cards. JPMA says make sure to fill them out and mail them back as instructed.
It’s not a chance to get more junk mail. You fill out that card, it’s actually illegal for a manufacturer to use that for marketing. They can only notify you of recalls or safety campaigns.Joseph Colella, JPMA Director of Child Passenger Safety
To learn more about “Baby Safety Month” from JPMA, visit babysafetymonth.org.
Need help choosing the safest products? JPMA also has a Certified Product Directory you can find by clicking here.
JPMA also has plenty of other resources for parents. You can check them out at jpma.org.