Spring has sprung! Well, in a few days anyway, but this warmer weather is hopefully the beginning of a more active (and, fingers crossed, more social) lifestyle for us all! I don’t know about you, but this past year was very quiet, and my body is just begging to move. I want to get walking, exploring, and basically just go anywhere that isn’t within the walls of this house!!
But with travel comes new ways to get hurt! Hate to be a downer, but it’s true. So let’s all take a moment to run through a little checklist that might not be on the forefront of our minds, so we can stay focused on the good stuff: time with happy kids in the season of hope and change!
It’s funny, when you’re expecting a baby and researching children’s products and safety, our minds (and Google) tend to focus on the car–car seat ratings, booster seats, when to face forward, etc. That mode of transportation seems to become the focus on all things safety, but, as a former city mom, my kids were only getting in the car about once a month, at most. Now, as a country pandemic mom, it’s less than that! It is, and has been, all about the on-foot methods for us: strollers and baby carriers.
My stroller was my car–getting us to adventures, appointments, folding and unfolding in restaurants, carrying children as well as groceries, snacks, waters, and my purse. Squeezing into apartment hallways, my mudroom, elevators, and onto crowded subways. My baby carrier with baby number one was to have my hands free or to jump on the London tube without the worries of fitting in a crowded space. With baby number two, it was so I could confine number one to the stroller instead of having her on the wheel board over the baby’s stroller bassinet or seat. All the configurations, all the reasons, all the places they go! Strollers and baby carriers are definitely a mode of transportation for our littlest littles that deserve the same sort of safety recognition as our moving vehicles. Thanks to JPMA, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, and their Spring into Baby Safety campaign, these safety recommendations are being highlighted to keep our babies safe this spring and beyond!
Here are some simple tips and reminders to get moving safely:
- Buckle up baby every time — even just for short strolls — and use restraints properly. This includes tightening straps. I know my kids would change with every ride depending on which child was using the seat, or if they were wearing winter coats, layers, or going jacket-less. Check each time!
- Keep baby’s hands clear when unfolding and folding strollers. Talk about mom guilt. Nothing feels worse than hurting your kids before they are old enough to know it was an accident! I will never forget pinching my first borns belly skin in her highchair buckle. It still haunts me! No limbs in stroller joints, please!
- Use storage baskets and keep handles free of purses and bags so the stroller doesn’t tip over. It is so easy to push your stroller’s weight limits, especially in a city where you may not have access to parking or a trunk, and don’t want to make a second grocery shopping trip twice that week. It’s not worth it, and a lot of damage can be done with a tipping stroller.
- Apply brakes when stationary to prevent a stroller from rolling away. Always. And on the subway! And test your brakes! Make sure your stroller is fully functioning, especially after being put away for a season or going through a move and storage. Good cleanings help!
- Be mindful about what you put in the parent accessory trays, such as hot coffee, so it doesn’t accidentally spill onto baby and cause burns or bruises. Us moms need coffee, and normally are forced to drink it cold, but on a rare occasion it might be hot and you might need to be careful!
- Always follow manufacturer’s instructions, warning labels and recommendations for age, height and weight requirements.
- Choose a sling or soft carrier for bonding, breastfeeding or baby wearing when baby is very young. I use the Solly Baby Wrap from birth, to ensure the baby is snug and secure. Once the baby starts becoming more alert and strong, I prefer our Baby Bjorn carrier. When the baby becomes heavier, I like the lumbar support offered with my Ergobaby carrier.
- Choose a framed back carrier for hiking or other outdoor activities.
- Keep baby’s face Visible and Kissable*. Make sure you can always see baby’s face.
- Make sure all attachments are secured, tighten everything and don’t forget to hook clasps. I cringe every time I see a Baby Bjorn carrier with a baby’s arms over the straps. If you bent down or tripped, your baby could slip out when not properly secured in. Most baby carrier sites have great tutorial videos on how to properly position and wear your baby. Check them out and read your manuals!
- Never cook over a hot surface with a child in a carrier because it puts them at risk for accidental burns. Wearing a sleeping baby may seem like a great time to multitask, but not near potentially dangerous surfaces and materials!
As a reminder to parents, always follow manufacturer instructions for age, weight and wearing instructions and, whenever possible, look for JPMA Certified products to ensure your baby gear is tested and trusted.
Thank you JPMA for reminding me of some great tips so we can head to the warmer weather with safe kiddos! We’ve sacrificed a lot this year, and I personally am looking forward to getting out there and showing my kids the world they’ve been missing!
For more tips on keeping baby safe, visit www.jpma.org/parents.
“Visible and Kissable“ is a trademark of the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored article and may contain affiliate links where I earn from qualifying purchases.