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Safety Guide to Crib Guard Rails

 

The importance of a safe baby product can't be overstated, especially when dealing with baby carriers. A poorly constructed carrier - one with sliding straps, weak seams, slipping rings or small parts - is an accident waiting to happen. In addition, if you don't know how to properly wear a carrier, you could put your child in grave danger, risking hip dysplasia or suffocation. Here are some safety guidelines to keep in mind when buying and using a baby carrier:

Check recalls and guidelines set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission

If you have a carrier model in mind, do a quick online search to see if it's been recalled. The CPSC will routinely issue recalls for products deemed unsafe. On that note, ring sling carriers are recalled more than any other type, so you should avoid this style if you have major safety concerns.

A brief read-through of the CPSC baby carrier safety guidelines will let you know what features to look for or evaluate, including:

Fastener strength.
Strap position and retention so no slipping occurs.
Occupant retention so baby is less likely to fall out.
Dynamic and static load testing to ensure baby stays fully supported.
Warnings for any suffocation hazards.
No small or sharp parts.

Keep baby's airway clear

A blocked airway can lead to suffocation, especially among young infants who haven't developed control over their neck and upper body. Yet, newborns and infants should be held in an inward-facing front-carry position until they're able to sit up on their own. This means you'll have to keep an eye on your little one at all times when he or she is in the carrier. Make sure baby's face is visible and held upright; a tucked chin compresses the airway.

Hold baby in proper, upright position

Again, your child should face inward until he has control over his head and neck. This usually happens at about 4 months of age. Until then, keep baby in front and use a supportive carrier. Front-carry positions offer more support and visibility than back-carry, so keep your little one on your chest until they're at least 6 months.

Keep baby's knees higher than their bottom

Poor positioning increases the risk of hip dysplasia, a condition where the top of the thighbone doesn't fit into the hip socket. Avoid hip dysplasia by choosing a carrier that supports your child's thighs and spreads their legs naturally to each side. Don't let the legs dangle, and make sure your child's knees are higher than their bottom to support proper hip and spine development. 

Keep your body upright and balanced

The last thing you want while wearing a carrier is to take a tumble with baby in tow. Maintain your balance by standing with correct posture and your weight evenly distributed between your legs. If you need to pick something up, bend down at the knees and not at the hips to avoid falling. 

Check the carrier for signs of wear

Ripped seams and torn straps are signs of danger. Never wear a carrier that's damaged; you never know how long it has before it completely gives way. You can try and fix it yourself if you're crafty with a sewing machine, but it's safest to buy a new one depending on the extent of the damage.

Don't forget about what's in your hands

Yes, baby carriers allow you to transport your little one hands-free, but that doesn't mean you can start carrying anything and everything. Be careful when carrying hot liquids, as a little spill could burn your child's delicate skin. Similarly, don't carry anything that could fall against your baby or get caught around their arms, legs or neck. This also means no long necklaces.

Remember: T.I.C.K.S.

If you need help remembering the tips and tricks for keeping your baby safe, just think of the acronym T.I.C.K.S. When held in a carrier, baby should always be:

•Tightly held.

•In view at all times.

•Close enough to kiss.

•Kept with their chin off their chest.

•Supported, especially the back.

This will make sure your baby is close, secure and safe in her carrier.

 

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