By Serena Norr
When I first became a parent items like bumpers and drop-down cribs were the norm. Now, just four years later these items are not recommended and even recalled for various safety reasons. Since I now have a new baby I have been researching the latest regulations where I have been learning more about the new safety standards with bumpers, strollers and the new standard for cribs. Here are the latest safety guidelines to look over before you buy. Note: These regulations are constantly changing. As always, research any product before you make a purchase.
No more BPA in Bottles. BPA or bisphenol-A is a toxic chemical that is used as a sealant in numerous plastic products that is believed to affect development of the reproductive and nervous systems and even cause cancer. The chemical was previously in bottles and sippy cups but BPA manufacturers recently went to the FDA to set a standard that BPA has not been used in the production of baby bottles and sippy cups for at least two years. Be sure to look for the BPA-free label before you buy a bottle or sippy cup.
Medication Recalls. This one is constantly changing, but currently Kids’ Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl is recalled. This voluntary recall was prompted by a plant inspection because they contained a higher concentration of active ingredient than what was specified as well as tiny particles. Parents should ask their Pediatrician what to give their sick child and contact McNeil, a division of Johnson & Johnson for more information about how to get a refund and or exchange of these recalled items.
No more Drop-Side Cribs. This one was shocking to me since I actually had a drop-down crib and thought I was getting the safest product possible for my baby. It turns out that drop-side cribs can easily break and warp and the pieces for the drop-side often go missing – meaning they can easily break and possibility create a gap where babies can get trapped and suffocate. This has caused over 11 million recalls since 2007, which completely changed in June 2011. Now, manufacturers can no longer make drop-side cribs due to new regulations established by the Consumer Products Safety Commission. Although you will no longer find these cribs in store, they may be in hotels, day cares or available for resale on sites such as Craiglist. Regardless of their price or even if they look they are in a good condition, you shouldn’t these cribs.
No More Bumpers. Last November, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) changed their sleep safety recommendations to include a crib without any objects such as crib bumpers, baby blankets, pillows and toys. The AAP went on to add that there is no evidence that bumpers prevent injuries. However, they do believe that they can increase the “potential risk of suffocation, strangulation or entrapment.” Currently banned in Chicago (September 2011), this is something to think about when you are considering a bedding set.
Strollers. This one is constantly changing, so please refer to the Consumer Product Safety Commission before purchasing a new stroller. Currently, Maclaren had a voluntary recall for over one million of their single and double strollers for various injuries and Graco recalled their Alano and Spree Strollers whose hinges on the canopy may pose a risk of fingertip amputation and laceration.