Baby Safety Month
In tough economic times, frugal moms and dads are more apt to rely on used products when outfitting their baby’s nursery. In many cases this is a perfectly safe and smart strategy, but there are some definite dos and don’ts when it comes to secondhand gear for little ones.
Each year the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) sponsors Baby Safety Month in September, so we’re sharing some tips and advice from Seventh Generation and Sleeping Baby for parents and grandparents to help keep those little bundles of joy safe and sound.
- Borrow or buy a used crib. Safety standards change regularly – and have changed a lot over the past few years – so it’s always best to purchase a brand new crib because you know it will be as safe as possible.
- Borrow or buy a used crib mattress. There’s no way to guarantee it’s insect-free, plus the mattress could be misshapen or damaged and cause spinal troubles or pose a falling risk.
- Borrow or buy used breast pump parts.
- Borrow or buy used car seats because there’s no way to guarantee with 100% certainty that it wasn’t involved in an accident.
- Borrow or buy a used playpen. As with cribs, safety standards over the past few years have changed the way playpens are constructed.
- Borrow or buy used soft infant carriers. Over time fabric, thread and fasteners can weaken with washing and use, plus over the years many of these types of carriers have been recalled. Always buy a new soft carrier so you know it’s sturdy and safe.
- Borrow or buy used clothes, but make sure any buttons, zippers and clasps are secure and that nothing is loose or unraveling. Always avoid items with drawstrings, and check to make sure that sleepwear is flame-resistant.
- Borrow used cloth diapers. These can be safely washed and reused over and over again. Check out these tips from The Diaper Jungle for washing cloth diapers.
- Borrow or buy used shoes. This is a great way to save money since babies outgrow footwear very quickly.
- Borrow or buy used toys, but check to ensure that there are no small loose pieces or chipped paint. If the toy is chipped or broken, don’t use it. For tips on how to clean baby and kids’ toys, visit Clean My Space and Fisher-Price.
- Borrow or buy used baby books.
- Borrow or buy used baby furniture (other than cribs and playpens). Rocking chairs and change tables are great purchased secondhand as long as they haven’t been recalled and don’t have any peeling paint, chips or missing parts.
It may be hard to say no when someone you know wants to pass along an heirloom crib, a soft carrier they loved, or car seat they claim is perfectly good, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution where babies are concerned. For more information on baby product safety visit Consumer Reports and Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association.
412763G CAN/US (09/15)