Thursday, September 01, 2005

National Baby Safety Month

Good morning and happy September, everyone! It's a great month, and it's also the perfect time to think through all of your plans and preparations for your baby's safety. The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association has declared this to be National Baby Safety Month across the country. Parents across the nation are giving special thought to keeping the baby safe and sound, so why not join the trend??

Have you baby-proofed your home? It's not too early. Little ones have a way of learning to move around when you're not looking, and your baby does not need to be walking to get into serious trouble. My girls all started to scoot intentionally before they were six months of age. And guess what? They headed right for outlets, electrical cords, under-the-sink cabinets, and just about every other not so safe place in the house.

Experts recommend that you take a baby's-eyed view of your home by actually getting down on your hands and knees and viewing just what your baby sees down there. Be sure that you plug outlets, secure cords, make blinds and drapery pulls safe, put away the cleaners and chemicals, lock the cabinets and drawers that you don't want your little one to explore, and generally make everything as safe as you possibly can for your child.

How about the car? Are you using an approved car seat? Have you installed it properly? Check with your local police agency to get the specifics of your state's laws and requirements. And here's the you ALWAYS buckle your baby into the seat? Completely? Yes, I know it can be a real pain, but it only takes one little slip up here and you could be carrying a load of guilt for the rest of your life instead of holding onto your little one's hand. Buckle up your baby, no matter how much of a hurry you are in or how much inconvenience it may cause. Buckle up your baby even on a drive to the next-door neighbor's house. Tragedies don't know where you live and they won't skip over you just because you are very close to home.

Baby safety happens in the bathroom, too. Never leave your baby unattended in the tub, not even for a second. It doesn't take long to drown. Even your confident toddler can slip and fall in the tub, so keep a close eye on baby as he or she grows, too.

Check those toys. Make sure that your baby is not being exposed to paints or finishes that are toxic. Don't allow choking hazards. Make sure that everything is in good repair, because even the best toys do wear out. Stick to the recommended age ranges-there are good reasons for those guidelines.

How's the furniture? Does your crib meet current standards for safety? Make sure it is sturdy, can't roll unintentionally, and has no sharp parts sticking out where baby can hurt himself or herself or tangle a blanket or toy around them and strangle. There should be no gaps between the mattress and the walls, and the slats need to be close enough together that the baby cannot get a head between them.

This is just a quick little checklist of things to consider. Your pediatrician will have literature with further information, or you can send to the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association for a handy safety brochure. Send your request with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:
Attn: JPMA Safety Brochure
17000 Commerce Parkway, Suite C
Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054

Specify if you want the English or the Spanish version.

Join the trend! Protect your baby!

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