Crib Standards (2011 Changes):
Bringing home a newborn is a time in a parent's life they will never forget, especially that first child when the jitters are most likely highest. Being given the responsibility of caring for a little person often causes parents to take classes, read all they can and prepare a nursery for that special bundle of joy. Here are some tips for this important time in one's life:
In June 2011, there were new crib standards passed in the United States to make cribs safer for babies. Whether your baby is sleeping in their crib at home, at a childcare center location, a hotel or other location, making sure their sleep environment is safe is important. Here are resources specific to providers or those that make cribs accessible to kids. This information contains the latest updates that should be followed as it relates to this childhood product.
Often times after being put on the market, products become defective and can create a safety hazard. Therefore, it is important that consumers fill out the product registration card that comes with the item purchased. This is especially important with products that children will be playing with or using. To learn more about products on the market that have been recalled visit: http://www.recalls.gov
Safe Kids Worldwide does a wonderful job of staying on top of child product recalls. They produce a monthly listing of items that fit this category and distribute to parents and caregivers. For a listing of past recalls or to sign up for their monthly notification, visit www.safekids.org/product-recalls.
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Secondhand or Resale Items:
Parents looking to save some money may look to purchase items at a garage sale, a second hand store or get things from friends and family. If the person you are receiving the items from is a trusted source, this is an acceptable practice but there are some things that should not be used if you can't verify their safety. An example of that would be a car seat purchased at a second hand store; if the seat has been in a crash (and there is no way to tell if it has), the seat should not be used/purchased. Following are guides that will give tips to using second hand or resold items.
Sources of Information:
Whether you are looking for safety or recall information on household products, baby or child items or car seats, there are two government agencies in charge of providing that for consumers. They include the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (car seats and vehicles) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (all other products). Both of these agencies have web sites that provide up-to-date safety information. You can access their websites by clicking on the logos:
Safe Kids Grand Forks also provides the following brochures with information on infant product safety and other sources of information:
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Besides a crib and a car seat, strollers are another item that parents find to be helpful for having when baby arrives. Recently, there were changes made to stroller standards that will help assure that these baby items are safer for young children to use. The changes can be found here.
From blocks to cars to dolls and much, much more, the number of toys on the market for children is amazing. While we want kids to play and explore their environment, keeping them safe during play time is important. It is important that children are provided with age appropriate toys, not just because they need that for their cognitive development but, because of the small parts or pieces that often accompany the toys. Children younger than three are especially vulnerable to choking and small parts present that danger. If you have a household with varying ages of children, it is safest to keep the toys separated by age group. For more information on toy safety, click here.