“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Influence Central for the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”
Being a mom to 5, I am committed to child safety. I know a thing or two about child safety from my 15+ years of parenting experience. Not only am I a mom, but I’m a paranoid mom too! Trust me, safety was and still is my primary concern with my kids. There are a few things I’ve learned along the way that I’d like to share with you. My number one tip for child safety is making sure the things you purchase for your child has gone through strict testing and is a certified product. I always look for the JPMA certified seal on the products I purchase for my infants.
Why do I look for JPMA specifically? Well, let me explain with this handy infographic . . .
I love the fact that the products go through and extra set of rigorous testing above the standard requirements and that the testing happens at an independent lab. The JPMS Certification tells me that the manufacturer of the product I’m buying is committed to my child’s safety by going above and beyond the safety standards.
When I was a new parent I turned to my mom for advice. Even though I’m her youngest and she hadn’t been a mom to a small child for a long time, she still had amazing advice to give me. Because I am such a paranoid person, I think she noticed that I needed a lot of encouragement and to be brought back down to earth as a parent! She helped me feel like I was doing a great job, even though I felt like I wasn’t.
My dad also had some great advice . . . you can’t protect them from everything, so just let them have fun! Ha Ha! I remember before I was a mom, he would babysit my nephew and take him out to the back yard and MAKE him dig in the dirt with his hands. My sister is a lot like me and didn’t like her kids getting dirty because of our paranoia of germs. I learned that sometimes kids just need to be kids. You need to let them play outside. You need to let them climb and run. And when they tumble to the ground, they learn a valuable lesson. That mom is always right! Ha Ha! No, they learn that it’s ok to mess up. They also learn that you are there for them and Mommy’s kisses are magic.
But even though we want our kids to discover the world around them and learn things on their own, we need to be sure that the products we are buying are as safe as possible. Infants are wiggly little things. There are always a few things I make sure are extra safe for my kids.
Here is a list of the items I would never take as a hand me down or purchase from a garage sale.
- You should never purchase or use second hand cribs handed down from friends or family members as they may not meet the most current safety standards.
- The safest place for a baby to sleep is in a fully functional, properly assembled, JPMA Certified crib. Before you use a crib, check to make sure the crib has not been recalled.
- Did you know that Drop side cribs are no longer available for purchase; however if you are using a previously purchased drop-side crib, parents should ensure the drop side or any other moving part operates smoothly. Remember to ALWAYS secure the moveable side when baby is in the crib.
- Always use a properly fitting mattress as infants can suffocate in gaps between a poorly fitting mattress and the crib sides or ends.
- All car seats manufactured today must be designed to meet stringent safety standards set by the Federal government. In fact, child restraints sold in the United States are required to satisfy the rigorous performance standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and are certified by their manufacturers as compliant before they can be offered for sale.
- Never buy a car seat from a yard sale. Did you know that Second Hand Stores are not allowed to even take car seats?
- Again, make sure that the car seat you are using has not been recalled.
You can find recall information by visiting www.recalls.gov.
Other safety tips I have for infants:
- NEVER place infants to sleep on pillows, sofa cushions, adult beds, waterbeds, beanbags, or any other surface not specifically designed for infant sleep.
- Only use a fitted pad and tightly fitted sheet on the crib mattress.
- Don’t use pillows or stuffed animals in the crib.
- Try using a wearable blanket instead of a heavy quilt for your baby.
- Bumper pads shouldn’t be too thick and the ties on them should be any longer than 9 inches.
- When your child can pull to standing, remove the bumper pads so they can not use them to climb out of the crib.
- Child proof your house. They will be up and moving quicker than you think. Use wall outlet covers, lock your toilet seat down, lock the oven door closed. Use safety gates to keep infants away from stairs.
- Make sure your child is always strapped in properly to their child seat before carrying them in it anywhere.
- Make sure their car seat is installed in your car properly. Strap them in properly too. For children between age 1 and 2, it is 5 times safer to ride facing the back of the car. Most convertible safety seats can be used facing the rear up to 35-45 pounds. So there is no reason to turn your baby forward before age one and risk spinal injury.
Making sure your child is using a product that is safety certified by JPMA gives you peace of mind.
Check out the Baby Safety Zone – http://babysafetyzone.org/