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Safety Tips
Baby Safety Month 2019 Homepage















The Basics 

  • Ideally, the best time to baby-proof is early in your pregnancy before you register so you can include needed safety items on your registry list.
  • The best way to baby-proof? Get down on your hands and knees and think like a baby! This is a great activity for both mom and dad since males and females tend to look and inspect different aspects of the home and safety measures in general.
  • Take care of all the obvious hazards such as exposed electrical sockets and blind cords, but be on the lookout for those not-so-obvious items like empty dishwashers, hanging tablecloths that can be easily pulled down, and poisonous plants.
  • Babies at any age are curious and want to touch, feel, lick, smell, and listen to anything and everything they can get their little hands on. Your job is to make him or her part of your home as much as possible. After all, this new addition is not a temporary guest and should be able to safely explore every room in your home.
  • Consider child-proofing an ongoing process. Monitor your child's growth and development and always try to stay one step ahead. For example, don't wait until your baby starts crawling to put up stairway gates. Install them in advance so the entire family gets used to them and baby doesn't associate his new-found milestone with barriers.
  • If you are preparing for baby #2 or #3, don't underestimate your "seasoned" approach to baby-proofing from the first time around. In fact, having an older sibling creates additional hazards you should be aware of like small parts from toys and your toddlers ability to open doors, potty lids, and cabinets now.
  • Safest Option - Keep in mind that new products meeting current safety standards are the safest option.
  • Second-Hand Products - It is recommended secondhand products should not be used for baby. However, if it is necessary to use older products, make sure all parts are available, the product is fully functional, not broken, and has not been recalled.
  • Register your products - Through product registration, parents can establish a direct line of communication with the manufacturer should a problem arise with a product purchased. This information is NOT used for marketing purposes.

Sleep Safety 

Creating a safe sleep environment for baby is the best thing you can do to ensure the first years are happy and healthy. Each year hundreds of deaths occur when children are placed in a sleep environment that is not specially designed for children. While every family is unique, it's best to determine your best sleep plan and what's right for your entire family. With some careful planning, naptime and nighttime can be a pleasant experience for both you and your baby. Make every night a safe night!

  • The safest place for baby to sleep is in a bare, fully functional, properly assembled, JPMA Certified crib.
  • Before you use a crib, check to make sure the crib has not been recalled.
  • Make sure there are no missing, loose, or broken parts or improperly installed screws, brackets or other hardware on the crib or the mattress support. Check the stability and hardware of the crib often. Do not substitute hardware. Only use hardware obtained directly from the manufacturer.
  • Always use a properly fitting mattress as infants can suffocate in gaps between a poorly fitting mattress and the crib sides or ends.
  • Room-share, instead of bed-share, for the first year.
  • If using a baby monitor with cords, make sure all cords are out of arm's reach of your child. Never place any item in or on the crib that has cords, strings, etc. as babies can become entangled and strangle in these items. At least three feet away is where your monitor should stay.
  • Avoid strangulation hazards and never place the crib or toddler bed near windows with cords from blinds or drapes.
  • When your child is able to pull to a standing position, set the mattress to the lowest position and remove any objects that could serve as steps for climbing out.
  • Mobiles should be removed from the crib when baby can push up on hands and knees or pull up to standing position.
  • It's time to move your child to a toddler bed when he or she begins to climb out or reaches a height of 35 in.
For Babies Under 12 Months of Age
  • Normal, healthy infants should ALWAYS sleep on their backs unless otherwise advised by a pediatrician.
  • Only a fitted sheet, mattress pad, and/or waterproof pad should be used under baby.
  • Never use pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, pillow-like stuffed toys, or other pillow-like products in the crib.
  • Do not overdress your baby. Consider using a wearable blanket or other sleep clothing as an alternative to any covering. For newborns, consider swaddling.

Car Seat Safety 

An important responsibility begins with selecting a child car seat and using it properly from the moment you bring baby home to every car ride after that. All 50 states have laws that require the use of a car seat. All car seats manufactured today are designed to meet stringent safety standards set by the federal government.

  • Children should ride rear-facing until they reach the maximum rear-facing weight or height allowed by the instructions.
  • Children who exceed rear-facing limits should ride in forward-facing car seats with a harness.
  • Children who exceed the forward-facing harness limits should ride in booster seats until seat belts alone fit correctly.
  • Follow the car seat instructions for proper use and your state law and register your car seat with the manufacturer.
  • The back seat is the safest place for children under 13 to ride.
  • Do not use a car seat or booster car seat that:
    • is used, especially if it is more than eight years old.
    • has ever been involved in a crash.
    • is missing the manufacturer's label showing the name of the manufacturer, model number, and date of manufacture.
  • Car seats expire! Check your labels for the expiration date.
  • Ensure everyone in the car is buckled up! Unrestrained passengers can be thrown around in a sudden stop or crash, possibly being injured and/or injuring others in the car.
  • Air Travel - Taking your child's car seat along when traveling is recommended. Most car seats are approved for us on aircrafts. Pack your booster car seat as luggage so you have it at your destination.

Product Safety 

Selecting JPMA Certified products is a good first step toward raising a happy, healthy baby. But it's also very important you use these and all juvenile products correctly every time. Juvenile products are only to be used for the purpose intended by the manufacturer. Most juvenile products do have a long life, but they should be safety-checked frequently. Always remember juvenile products are not a substitute for parental supervision.

  • Never leave children unattended during bath time and avoid distractions.
  • Use straps and harnesses on products when available, each and every time.
  • Do not place your baby in an infant seat, swing, bouncer, or car seat on a countertop, table or any elevated surface.
  • When changing or bathing baby, be sure everything you need, such as diapers, shampoo, and toys are within arm's reach.
  • When using activity centers, mats, or bouncers, keep away from stairs, doors, windows, plants, lamps, the TV, fireplace, heaters, or tables.
  • When baby can crawl, install gates on doorways and stairways. If they try to climb the gate, teach them how to use the stairs.
  • Follow manufacturer's instructions, warning labels and recommendations for age and weight requirements.
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