For this week’s “Tuesday’s Tips,” the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection is providing baby-proof safety measures and tips to help prevent some of the biggest dangers for babies. September is Baby Safety Month, an annual event that focuses on raising awareness of critical lifesaving information to help parents and caregivers keep little ones safe. Follow the New York Department of State on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and check in every Tuesday for more practical tips that educate and empower New York consumers on a variety of topics. Sign up to receive consumer alerts directly to your email or phone here.
“The first years of a baby’s life are filled with many milestones and new experiences, and parents and caregivers are often working overtime to keep them safe from harm as they learn and grow,” said Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. “While the health and safety of a baby matters every day, Baby Safety Month is a great time to highlight these lifesaving tips that can help parents and caregivers create a safe environment for their little ones.”
“Babies are so precious and yet so vulnerable,” said New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) Acting Commissioner Suzanne Miles-Gustave. “In doing their best to provide safe, caring and loving environments for their growth and development, adults may unwittingly expose children to situations or products that put them in harm’s way. We are grateful to our partners at the Division of Consumer Protection for offering these tips and recognizing their critical importance to maintaining the health and well-being of our youngest New Yorkers. OCFS also has a number of online resources for parents and caregivers seeking to learn more about all the ways they can better protect their families. They can be accessed here: Child Safety Resources | Child Welfare and Community Services | Office of Children and Family Services (ny.gov).”
“Nothing is more important than your child’s safety, and that is especially true when you are away from home,” said NYS Department of Motor Vehicles and Governor’s Traffic Safety Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder. “Make sure your baby is secured in a properly installed car seat, and the correct one for their age and development stage. Never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. It doesn’t have to feel hot outside to be dangerous inside a car. The inside of a vehicle can heat up 20 degrees in under 10 minutes and 40 degrees in an hour.”
Department of Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said, “As a pediatrician, infant safety is a public health concern that is near and dear to my heart. Preparing to welcome a new life comes with a long to do list, but safety should be at the top, including following safe sleeping habits, buying and properly installing car seats, and baby-proofing the home to avoid serious injury or death. A new life brings so much joy into a home and following these safety precautions can prevent tragedy and keep infants safe.”
BABY SAFETY TIPS:
Practice Safe Sleep Habits: A new law, The Safe Sleep for Babies Act, bans inclined sleepers and crib bumpers for babies. This act outlaws the manufacture, sale or distribution of inclined sleepers and crib bumpers in the U.S. Both products have been attributed to infant sleep-related deaths, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Sleep products that incline more than 10 degrees can restrict a baby’s airway. Never leave your baby sleeping or unsupervised in rockers, gliders, bouncers, soothers or swings.
- Crib bumpers pose a serious risk as a baby can become entangled in the ties or material.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, unintentional suffocation is the leading cause of injury death among infants in the United States, with 82% being attributable to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed. Make sure you always put your baby to sleep on their back to prevent sudden infant death syndrome.
Safe sleep is as easy as A, B, C: Alone, Back and Crib.
A – Alone. Baby should always sleep Alone.
B – Back. Put baby to sleep on their Back.
C – Crib. Put baby in a safe Crib.
Stay Updated with the Latest Product Recalls:
- Ensure that baby’s crib and all products adhere to current safety standards as specified by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Staying updated on the latest product recalls is vital to protect babies from unsafe products.
- If you purchase used items online, on social media or in a garage sale, confirm that it’s safe to use. Check these websites for the latest product recalls regularly: Saferproducts.gov, CPSC.gov, FDA.gov or sign up for the latest updates from our website. For more information about the importance of staying updated with marketplace safety, read our consumer alert on this topic.
Baby Proof Your Home: Many items in your home can be hazardous. Keep these dangers out of reach and prevent injuries by following recommended safety practices. For ideas on how to baby proof your home from dangerous items, check out these resources:
- NYS Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection’s Baby Safety Checklist
- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissions’ Childproofing Your Home Safety Guide
Protect Your Baby While on The Go: Under New York State law, all children under the age of 2 must ride in a rear-facing car seat. It’s important to choose and use the right car seat correctly. There are resources available that can help you install your car seat correctly. New York State hosts free car seat inspection events throughout the year. To find a child safety seat inspection station or event near you, visit the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety website here.
Never Leave Baby Unsupervised in a Car: Heatstroke or deaths in cars occur most commonly when an adult unintentionally forgets a child who may be quiet or sleeping in a rear-facing seat. Vehicles heat up fast and stay hot even if the windows are open, the engine is running or the air conditioning is on. Rolling down windows or parking in the shade will not safely keep the car cool. Even on a cloudy day, a car can heat up and become deadly. For more tips and information about kids and hot cars, check out our June 2023 Consumer alert.
About the New York State Division of Consumer Protection
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection provides resources and education materials to consumers on product safety, as well as voluntary mediation services between consumers and businesses. The Consumer Assistance Helpline 1-800-697-1220 is available Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm, excluding State Holidays, and consumer complaints can be filed at any time at www.dos.ny.gov/consumer-protection.