You asked, we answered: Safety Q & A

Written by: Dev Gowda

Over the years, KID has answered hundreds of product safety related questions. Below are some of the most common questions that we get asked- maybe one of them is yours!

Don’t bumper pads make cribs safer by preventing babies from hitting their head against the crib rails or getting their arms and legs caught? 
 
Originally, when crib slats were far apart, bumpers were added to keep babies from falling through the slats and getting injured.  But the standards for slats was changed in 1973 – so they haven’t served a useful purpose for decades. 
However, bumper pads pose their own hazards and these dangers are much more severe a bump or stuck leg. These hazards include: suffocation, strangulation, and choking. In addition, older babies can use the bumper pads as a foothold to climb out of the crib, causing falls and injuries. Bottom line is; bumper pads are unnecessary and unsafe items and should not be used in a crib. 
 
The drop-side crib I used with my older children worked for them.  Why shouldn’t my other kids use it?
 
A lot of people don’t always realize how dangerous those cribs really were. Over 12 million older model cribs have been recalled for safety issues and at least 100 children have died as a result of unsafe cribs
 
As of June 28, 2011, all cribs bought and sold in the US have to meet tough new safety and testing standards.  If you have a crib made before this date, we recommend that you dispose of it properly or get creative and use some of these ideas to repurpose your old crib
 
Why are bath seats considered dangerous? 
 
Bath seats are considered dangerous for a few different reasons. First, babies can easily slide out of or tip over in bath seats which could lead to the child drowning. They are also considered risky because they give parents a false sense of security. Parents might think that because their child is in a bath seat, they are safe to step out of the room even for just a second. KID reminds parents that it only takes a few seconds of time and as little as one inch of water for an infant to drown. Always keep your baby within arm’s reach while near water. Consider using a small baby bathtub within the larger bath instead of a bath seat. 
 
Is it ever safe to buy second hand? 
 
Of course! Buying second hand children’s products is very economical and certainly you can buy safe second hand. One concern with used products is that they may not meet the latest safety standards. For this reason, we recommend parents buy cribs made after June 28, 2011 as these will meet the world’s strongest safety standard.
 
Another concern with buying used items is they could have been recalled years earlier and remained in use without anyone knowing the products safety hazards.  For this reason, you will want to check a product for recalls before you buy. See our latest safety checklist for more tips on how to buy used items safely and visit CPSC.gov to search for recalls or visit KidsInDanger.org from any mobile device for recalls and safety information on the go.
 
Lastly, used products are more likely to have hardware failure so never buy a product with broken or missing pieces. Even if you think you can fix it yourself, homemade repairs do not make a product safe for children.  
 
What is the safest brand to buy?
 
We wish it were that easy! No brand is a guaranteed safe brand. But KID continues to work hard every day to ensure that all products of all brands can be safe for kids to use. Our work has led to strong, new safety standards that keep children safe but there is still much to be done. 
 
To learn more about the safety of a product, visit SaferProducts.gov. There you can search for recalls and reports on any children’s item. You can also report an unsafe product at the site and keep other parents and caregivers informed. 
 
How can I keep up with all this?
 
We know this can all be a bit overwhelming, but KID is here to help you. Here are 3 easy ways to keep up: 
 
1.) Sign up for our monthly email alerts and you will get the latest in child safety news as well as a list of the month’s recalls delivered right to you. 
 
2.) Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates on recalls and product safety news.  
 
3.) Fill out the registration cards that come with products as this is the only way manufacturers will contact you if there is a recall. 
 
If you have a different question about child product safety, or you would like some more information, don’t hesitate to ask! Please email Laura or call (312) 595- 0649.
Posted on May 20, 2013 at 10:54 AM