Product safety and baby

This post was written by Jalyssa Kessler, BA, CCLS, CPST, certified child life specialist.

September is the ninth month of the year, and therefore designated as Baby Safety Month. The observance is a great opportunity to remind and educate parents and caregivers about important baby safety tips and tricks. Car seat safety and safe sleep are important topics, as is product safety, which we will focus on in this post. Raising a baby has its challenges. Our goal is to help relieve some of the stress of the unknown by helping you understand what exactly you can do to help protect your baby.

Perspective

Look at your surroundings and things from your baby’s point of view, literally. Get down on your hands and knees and look around. This will put you much closer to your baby’s eye level and help you recognize concerns or issues. Think about your five senses – babies like to touch, feel, lick, smell and listen to things. What products are at their level that might intrigue or tempt them?

Look for things like outlets, blind cords, small objects, hanging objects, etc. Do you have your outlets covered and protected from little fingers? Are you blind cords up higher than baby can reach? Do you have anything like tablecloths, curtains, etc. hanging low enough that baby could grab ahold and pull it down onto themselves. This is especially hazardous if there are any items attached to or on these low-hanging items.

Age-appropriate

Did you know that companies that manufacture baby and children products list the ages appropriate for their items? This should be taken into consideration to ensure your child is playing with and using age-appropriate products. These recommendations factor in age, weight, and developmental needs.

In addition to making sure your child has appropriate toys and items, you should also inspect products on a regular basis for missing hardware, loose threads/strings, holes, broken parts, etc. Be sure to take away any products that need fixed, so your child doesn’t injure themselves. Don’t forget to always register your products through manufactures to insure you are notified of any problems that may arise with products you own. Always follow manufacturer instructions, warning labels and recommendations.

Tips, tricks and important reminders

When purchasing or taking inventory of your little one’s toys, consider these suggestions:

  • Childproofing is a continuous task. Always be watching for issues or things that need fixed.
  • Always make sure you are using age-appropriate products, fit for your child’s age, weight and developmental level.
  • Consistently and frequently inspect products for damage that could cause harm to your child.
  • Never leave young children unattended during bath time, even with an older sibling.
  • Use straps and harnesses on products when available.
  • Never place an infant seat, swing, bouncer or car seat on an elevated surface such as a countertop or table.
  • Keep items you need within arm’s reach, especially during bath or changing times, so you aren’t leaving the child unattended.
  • Once baby is crawling and moving more independently, be sure to install gates on doorways and stairways, and keep doors to rooms they shouldn’t be in closed.
  • Keep products that baby might be able to pull on top of themselves out of the child’s reach.
  • Secure large and heavy furniture or objects to walls, floors or hard surfaces so children can’t pull these items on top of themselves or knock them over by climbing on them.

 

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