September is National Baby Safety Month. This safety month is an annual campaign sponsored by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Associate (JPMA). Each year’s campaign brings awareness to the safe selection and proper use of baby products to prevent injuries. This year’s focus is all about preventing fall-related injuries. Read these safety tips to help keep your baby safe.
High chair safety
The easiest thing you can do for highchair safety is to make sure your high chair is certified. The JPMA certifies highc hairs that are up to ASTM International Safety standards. Also, make sure you are using provided safety straps, including the strap between the legs. This helps prevent children from slipping out of the bottom or falling out. Make sure the straps are tight enough to hold the baby in place.
Most changing table pads come with straps already, so be sure you’re using them when changing diapers. The straps help prevent babies from rolling off the table and reaching up for items like creams and medicines. It’s best to keep your eyes and one hand on your baby at all times while at the changing table.
Swings and bouncers can soothe and calm your baby with their repetitive motions. However, it’s important to know how to safely use them. The safety harnesses should always be used when your baby is in a swing or a bouncer. You don’t want them slipping out or rolling around. Also, make sure your bouncer is always placed on the floor and not on tables or beds.
Car seats often get the most attention when discussing safety concerns. Properly securing the car seat’s chest straps is extremely important. Chest clips should be positioned in the mid to upper chest area, and shoulder straps should fit tightly. Baby Safety Zone suggests that if you can fit one finger between the harness and shoulder than you are secure. Be sure to read all of the manufacturer’s safety guidelines for your product.
Just like car seats, strollers and carriers are fitted with safety harness straps. All straps should be used to help prevent your baby from falling out and protect them should the stroller or carrier tip over.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends you don’t let babies sleep in strollers or carriers for long periods of time unless they fully recline. Sitting in upright positions for a period of time makes it harder for your baby to breathe and can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.
More child safety tips
For new parents, hands-on classes are often the best way to learn. “We teach baby safety in our Baby Care classes,” says Jill Johnson, childbirth education coordinator at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas. “We talk about the importance of baby proofing the house prior to delivery.”
“It is never too early to prevent accidents from happening. You do not want to wait until the baby is mobile to begin baby-proofing,” Johnson says. Along with Baby Care classes, Texas Health Presbyterian in Dallas also teaches CPR, car seat safety classes, and more.
For National Baby Safety Month, we hope we can help spread awareness for baby safety and educate parents on best practices to prevent fall-related injuries.