Reduce Infant and Childhood Injuries: Choose and Safely Use Developmentally Appropriate Infant and Childcare Products
Navigating the choices that come with being a new parent can be stressful, but none is more important than those that help keep baby safe.
The good news is baby products are safer than ever, and parents today have access to many innovative choices to help care for their new addition throughout the day - from playtime to sleep time and everything in between.
While there’s a great deal of information available on the best products and practices to keep baby healthy and safe, it can be challenging for new parents to sort through all the recommendations and determine the right products for baby’s age and developmental stage.
As we mark National Injury Prevention Day this month, easing that worry, the baby products companies that make up the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, alongside other infant health experts and advocates, like Safe Kids Worldwide (SKW), are helping take away the guesswork when it comes to how and when to use infant and childcare products.
While baby products like car seats, cribs, strollers and bouncers are staples for helping care for infants and young children, it is important that parents choose a product appropriate for their child and use it only as intended each time.
Based on the latest expert guidance and recommendations, JPMA recently launched a new Choose & Use Resource Center, which offers simple, easy-to-follow guidance on how to choose and safely use developmentally appropriate baby and children’s products, with a focus on safe sleep.
The majority of injuries to infants and children are preventable, and ensuring that products to care for your little one are used only as intended is an important start. Experts recommend the following tips to keep baby safe during two critical times – sleep time and on the go.
Some baby products are approved for sleep, while others are only intended for use when baby is awake. Baby products designed, approved, and marketed for sleep can be used for supervised and unsupervised sleep, including naps and overnight sleep.
Tips for Safe Sleep:
Put babies on their backs for all naps and at night
Use a firm, flat sleep surface
Never sleep with your baby
Remove pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals from the crib when baby is sleeping
Always use a properly fitted mattress in baby’s crib
The safest place for baby to sleep is in a bare, JPMA Certified crib or other approved sleep product
Baby product manufacturers have recently made it even easier for parents to differentiate between sleep and play products by developing a uniform set of marketing best practices and guidelines addressing product imagery, name, design, marketing, and warnings to ensure approved product use is clear at the point of purchase as well when in use.
Child Passenger Safety
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury and death for American children, and proper use of car seats, booster seats, and vehicle seat belts is the best defense.
Tips for Safe Travel:
Children should ride rear-facing until they reach the maximum rear-facing weight or height allowed by the manufacturer’s instructions
Children who exceed rear-facing limits should ride in forward-facing car seats with harnesses, with parents securing the top tether to the vehicle anchor and installing the seat according to manufacturer instructions
Parents should delay transitioning an infant or child to the next stage until they’ve reached the maximum height and weight allowed by manufacturer instructions
Do not use a secondhand car seat or booster seat, especially if it is beyond its useful life period indicated by the manufacturer, has ever been involved in a crash, or has missing or damaged parts or labels.
Activity-related products offer great benefits, aiding parents and caregivers when used correctly by providing a safe option for the supervised care of infants and children.
Parents can access a full list of child safety recommendations at jpma.org/parents.