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This September, help parents keep their babies safe

When: September

What: When parents are just bringing home a newborn, they often have a case of the jitters. For most, parenting is a whole new experience, and many aren’t always aware of the everyday risks a new baby faces. Even the most-loving parent can unintentionally put a baby in harm’s way. During Baby Safety Month this September, make sure that parents are equipped with the proper knowledge and tools to keep their babies safe and healthy.

Background: Baby Safety Month began as Expectant Mother’s Day in 1983. The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) founded the day, which centered on facts about new parenthood. By 1986, the theme leaned towards safety awareness, and the association extended the event to a weeklong celebration and renamed it as Baby Safety Week. By 1991, the event officially became monthlong. It is celebrated each September throughout the U.S. This year’s Baby Safety Month focuses on proper use of wearable infant products, such as carriers and slings. Throughout the month, the JPMA will demonstrate to new parents and caregivers the proper techniques for using an infant carrier as well as provide them with certified choices for safe slings and carriers.

Story Pitch: A number of businesses and organizations can help promote baby safety throughout this month. Baby carrier manufacturers can promote their products and explain to new parents how to properly use a baby carrier. In addition to baby carrier safety, it is important to remember proper car seat safety for babies and children. Car seat and auto manufacturers can promote their products by providing parents with instructions on how to properly install a car seat. In addition, safety organizations can promote their cause this month by educating parents of the risk factors regarding baby slings, and caution them on the dangers of improper use. It is vital for parents to find education and advice on how to properly carry their children and avoid possible suffocation.

Story Hook: In 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a stern warning regarding baby slings and carriers. Slings and carriers can restrict a baby’s airway in two ways. The cloth of a sling can cover a baby’s nose and mouth, preventing the child from taking in air. A sling or carrier can also bend the baby’s chin towards their chest, thus blocking the airway. How is the CPSC is working to set a mandatory standard for all infant carrier products? Until the standard is set, how can parents avoid accidental suffocation? What should they be aware of when selecting a carrier? Consider the following as your make your pitch:

  • What types of slings provide the best safety guarantee for babies?
  • What government standards are in place for child safety?
  • Is there education for new parents on how to properly use a sling?
  • What are some alternatives to the sling or carrier?
  • Is it safe to purchase used goods for babies? How can parents and caregivers check their safety, and find out information on recalls?

Tips: Provide contact information for someone within a major child safety organization who can discuss specifics on proper safety techniques. In addition, someone who advocates for product safety standards can explain why childhood safety measures are so important to parents and child caretakers.

Resources:

Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association
(856) 638-0420
jpma(at)jpma.org
www.jpma.org/bsm/2011/index.php

National Safety Council
(630) 285-1121
info(at)nsc.org
www.nsc.org/pages/home.aspx

Safe Kids Worldwide
(202) 662-0600
www.safekids.org

U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission
(301) 504-7923
www.cpsc.gov

–Researched, compiled & written by Kim Cooper
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