It’s Baby Safety Month!
September 10, 2019
September marks Baby Safety Month, an annual campaign sponsored by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). The campaign aims to educate parents and caregivers on safely choosing age-appropriate products for kids, and also brings light to a variety of hidden hazards.
Injury and Accident Data
According to a study from the Nationwide Center for Injury Research and Policy, every 8 minutes a nursery product injures an infant or toddler. Kids in Danger, a children’s product safety watch group, says the rate of injuries – and the number of product recalls due to unreasonable dangers or defects – is on the rise.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) defines a children’s product as a consumer good designed for children 12 years of age or younger. Children are especially vulnerable to injuries resulting from product-related hazards, so the commission has numerous safety and health guidelines that manufacturers are required to follow. Despite the CPSC’s rules and regulations, however, too many infants and toddlers still get hurt.
Baby Safety Month: Hazards and Safety Tips
Parents and caregivers are one of the primary lines of defense in preventing accidental injuries in children. Making sure that a product is safe is not the only way to guard against accidents – so is picking the right product for children at every stage of their development.
Children’s products come with their own set of hazards, and some may come as a surprise. According to the JPMA, a few of the most dangerous hazards commonly associated with children’s products are:
- Loose rugs and/or carpets, which cause trip, slip, and fall hazards.
- Magnets: because of how small they are, magnets are easy for kids to swallow. Magnets should always be kept out of a child’s reach, and if you suspect that your child has ingested a magnet, seek medical attention immediately.
- Tipovers are one of the leading causes of children’s injuries. Tipovers most frequently involve unsecured televisions or furniture, so be sure to anchor them.
- Cords create strangulation hazards, so keep them out of reach of children and tied up. Also, do not place cribs near cords.
- Recalled products: it is critical to be aware of children’s product recalls. Whether a product is brand new or was purchased secondhand, always check for recalls.
- Pot and pan handles on stovetops can inflict devastating injuries if a child grabs the handle. To prevent this, get in the habit of turning pot and pan handles inwards. Also, keep hot mugs out of children’s reach. Do not leave them on the edge of a table or unattended.
Although many hazards are associated with children’s products, there are also plenty of ways to prevent injuries from happening. In observance of this year’s Baby Safety Month, here are some critical tips for parents and caregivers:
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations, as well as all warning labels;
- If possible, register children’s products in order to stay up to date and report concerns directly to manufacturers;
- Always actively supervise children, and:
- Regularly inspect products for damage, loose pieces (like threads, attachments, etc.), holes and missing hardware
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