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September is Baby Safety Month!
This month of learning, checking, and reinforcing safety for babies everywhere was made official by the Juvenile Products Manufacturer’s Association (JPMA) in 1991. Since then, parents, companies, and non-profits have been working together to help keep babies safe - and there’s not much that matters more to us than that!
In honor of Baby Safety Month, here’s an easy-to-follow safety checklist that will help you double check four “zones” where you and baby spend a lot of your time. While this list won’t cover everything you need to know about safety, it’s a great place to start. Work your way through for a little extra parenting peace of mind!
ZONE ONE: THE NURSERY
- Make sure there’s nothing in the crib except a firm mattress and a fitted sheet. No stuffed animals, fabric bumpers, top sheets, or blankets allowed!
- Arrange the nursery so the crib is placed away from windows to avoid strangulation or falls.
- Make sure you have a working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector installed.
- Always place baby on their back to sleep until they reach their first birthday.
- Be careful to follow all your manufacturer’s instructions for crib assembly, and only use the included hardware.
- Don’t overdress baby for bedtime. A sleep sack and diaper is always a great option.
- Place monitors, and anything else with a cord, at least 3 feet away from the crib.
- Secure all bookshelves and dressers to the wall with anti-tip hardware.
- If you have a rug in the nursery, make sure there’s a non-skid pad underneath it to avoid slips, trips, or falls.
ZONE TWO: THE CAR
- Make sure your car seat is installed correctly. If you’d like professional help (we recommend it), it’s easy to find a free car seat safety check nearby, often at your local police or fire station.
- Keep baby rear facing until the maximum rear-facing weight is reached. Once they have to switch to forward facing, use the harness as long as you can while they are within the weight/height restriction, then switch to a booster with a seatbelt until they are tall enough for the belt to fit well.
- Do not use a carseat that is expired, has been in a crash, or is missing the manufacturer’s label.
- Register your car seat. This simple step makes sure you know if there’s every a recall or safety concern.
- To avoid heatstroke, never leave baby in the car unattended, even for a minute.
- Place a stuffed toy in the front of your car to remind you to “Park. Look. Lock.” Form the habit of always glancing into the backseat when you turn off your car, and again before you lock the doors.
ZONE THREE: BATH TIME
- Set your water heater to 120 degrees to avoid scalding.
- Keep medicine, cleaning products, and even lotions and makeup stored out of reach.
- Never leave baby unattended in the tub, no matter how low the water level or how short the time you’ll be away.
- When baby is small, use a baby bath inside your larger tub to avoid slipping. Once baby can sit up on their own, apply a non-slip mat to the bottom of your tub to help them stay steady.
- Check bath toys frequently for mold, especially hollow squeezy toys.
- Don’t leave water in the bathtub after bath time ends - it can be a drowning hazard for mobile babies and toddlers.
- Make sure you’re supported, too. You’ll be spending lots of time sitting by the tub, so make sure you’re comfortable and secure - a slip could injure you or baby.
ZONE FOUR: OUTSIDE ADVENTURES
- Never leave baby unattended in the stroller, and always buckle them in properly.
- Don’t hang bags on stroller handles - this may cause the stroller to tip.
- Avoid putting hot coffee in your stroller cup holders - spills might burn baby, or your hands!
- When using a baby carrier, make sure baby’s face is always visible and kissable - you should be able to kiss their head without straining your neck or using your arms to lift them.
- Cover sensitive baby skin with lightweight cotton clothing and a wide brimmed hat on sunny days.
- Choose parks and beach areas with shade options to help avoid overheating.
We hope your safety check was a success, and inspired you to keep going improving safety for your whole family.
Wishing you a safe, secure, and snuggly Baby Safety Month!
Sources, and for more information: