September is Baby Safety Month, a national annual campaign created by The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), the national trade organization that works to improve children's product safety.
This year's theme is "Making Baby Safer, Room By Room!" The JPMA says:
Being more aware of the products in and around your home is just another step in preparing for baby’s arrival and as baby grows. Baby proofing your home is the most important thing you can do to ensure baby’s safety. Ideally, the best time to baby proof is early in your pregnancy before you register so you can include needed safety items on your registry list. The best way to baby proof? Get down on your hands and knees and think like a baby! This is a great activity for both mom and dad since males and females tend to look at and inspect different aspects of the home and safety measures in general.
In honor of Baby Safety Month, Lamaze wants to share 7 tips to keep your newborn safe.
1. Check your car seat installation. One of the simplest ways to make sure baby is safe while you drive. Car seats are all slightly different and fit differently depending on your vehicle. Before bringing baby home, take your car and car seat to a local fire department for a free car seat check. For more car seat tips, check out The Car Seat Lady.
2. Avoid high surfaces. Even though newborns can't yet crawl, they are surprisingly wiggly. Avoid placing your newborn -- whether in or out of an infant carrier car seat or "bouncy" seat -- on a high surface. This includes the seat part of a shopping cart, which can cause serious injury if an infant carrier topples to the ground.
3. Watch your pets around baby. When bringing baby home for the first time, pay close attention to how your pet(s) react to baby. Never leave your baby and pet(s) unattended together. The Humane Society offers excellent tips on introducing a baby to pets.
4. Learn about babywearing safety. There are right and wrong ways to "wear" your baby in a carrier, and each carrier is different. Be sure you know how to safely wear your carrier (check out the brand's website for safety tips), and for general safety, check out the ABCs of babywearing safety from Babywearing International.
5. Know first aid procedures. Take an infant/child CPR and choking training class. 911 is always available, but knowing how to perform life-saving maneuvers should you need them will buy you crucial time.
6. Practice safe co-sleeping. If you choose to share your bed with baby, be sure to know the ways in which co-sleeping can be done safely. KellyMom (a breastfeeding website resource) shares an excellent round-up of tips and research on safe co-sleeping.
7. Bathe your baby safely. One of parents' top reported fears about newborns and babies is giving a bath safely. And rightfully so -- babies are slippery! But with a little knowledge and some practice, you'll quickly become a pro. The National Institutes of Health created an easy-to-read bath safety checklist.
For room by room safety tips from JPMA, visit www.babysafetyzone.org.