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When you’re buying baby products, safety is a top priority. Unfortunately, there are many cases of an injury that occurs from a defective product marketed for babies and children.
Some products might not be inherently dangerous in their design, but how they’re frequently used can make them dangerous.
Here are a few things to consider when buying baby products, including potential dangers and possibly unsafe baby products to avoid, or at least be cautious of if you’re using them.
A drop-side crib is one with one side that can slide down. The idea is to make it easier to put a baby in the crib. However, since 2000, these cribs have been associated with at least 32 deaths and hundreds of other accidents and injuries. They were banned in 2011, but be careful about getting a drop-down crib as a hand-me-down from friends or family.
You should only use a crib with fixed sides and a simple design.
After the drop-side ban, crib makers faced stringent new standards, so if you’re buying a new crib, you shouldn’t have to worry about it.
If you have a drop-side crib you plan to use, you can immobilize it with hardware. However, don’t use a crib more than ten years old in any circumstance because the safety features are much more extensive now than they were.
Crib bumpers were originally intended to help prevent a baby from hitting their head on their crib’s slats.
However, we now know they are a potential suffocation hazard associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Don’t put soft blankets or pillows of any kind in a crib. Instead, just have a fitted sheet in your baby’s crib and dress them warmly enough for the night.
In general, blankets and pillows are also a suffocation risk in a crib or bassinet.
A better way to keep your baby comfortable is with sleep sacks or footed pajamas.
A crib tent is a dome or drape-style configuration that goes over a tent with the intended purpose of preventing a baby from climbing out of their crib.
These are dangerous because a baby can get wrapped up in the fabric, making these items a strangulation hazard.
If your baby is climbing out of their crib, that means it’s time for a toddler bed instead.
Baby Bath Seats
An infant bath seat is meant to help babies sit upright in a bathtub.
They’re dangerous for a few different reasons.
First, bath seats give parents and caregivers a false sense of security when a baby is in the bath, so they may be less vigilant.
The second risk is the fact that bath seats can tip over, and babies can drown.
Rather than using a baby bath seat, choose a hard plastic baby bathtub, but even with one of these tubs, always have one hand on your baby and never turn your back.
Bumbo seats are colorful and can seem like a fun item for a baby, but they can be dangerous. They’re meant as a way to help young babies sit upright, but infants can lean or rock themselves and then fall from the seat. A safety warning about Bumbos was issued in 201.
Bumbo seats are especially risky if they’re placed on countertops or tables, or any surface that’s up high.
Walkers help babies stand and walk before they can do it on their own, but thousands of children have been injured from these exercisers. Walkers can allow a baby to walk into something dangerous or even fall downstairs.
Some walkers have safety features such as safety strips like a brake if the front wheels go over the edge of a stair, but they’re still considered risky.
It’s better to use a stationary activity center rather than one that moves in any way.
Sleep positioners are designed to prevent a baby from rolling over on their stomach or to elevate their head to prevent acid reflux.
If a baby puts their face against a sleep positioner, they can suffocate, however. A baby can also slip out of the positioner and into crib bedding.
It’s a better idea to place your baby on their back to reduce the risk of SIDS. If reflux is an issue, speak to your doctor about what you can do to help.
Be cognizant of not just the items you buy for your baby and their safety, but also be aware of the potential risks of gifts you may be given.