BY LAURA NIKOLOVSKA
Grandparents play a vital role in their grandchildren’s lives. They provide extra loving care when parents need a break and are a wealth of knowledge for tips and tricks to help new parents figure out the ropes. However, some things have changed in recent years, especially in regards to what we know about safety. In other words, what may have worked with your children may not be what is recommended as safe for your grandchildren.
The top 5 safety rules all grandparents need to know about product safety
5. Keep up with product recalls by signing up for email alerts from KID. Did you know that, on average, two to three children’s products are recalled every week? You can keep track of products by creating a product inventory sheet to reference with each major recall. Mom would surely love it if you help her create one at the baby shower!
4. Resist the temptation to overdress the baby. Babies retain heat more easily than adults, and overheating is a leading cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). If you keep your home between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, then the baby should be fine dressed similarly to you. If you don’t need a blanket, then baby probably doesn’t either.
3. Don’t buy any sleep aids, sleep devices, or sleep alternatives (unless prescribed by a doctor). These products, which are intended to help a baby sleep, are actually unsafe. So while it may be tempting to use one with a fussy baby, you should avoid them.
2. Help register your grandbaby’s products. This is the only way that manufacturers are required to tell you if there is a recall. Fill out the registration card that accompanies the product. If you cannot find the card, KID has compiled links to numerous children’s product online registration sites.
1. Make sure your grandbaby is sleeping in a crib made after June 28, 2011. This is when the strongest crib manufacturing standards went into effect. Anything manufactured before is not as safe. And remember, bare cribs are best.
Grandparents offer such important support and love for their grandchildren, especially when equipped with the latest safety information. For more about how to keep your grandchildren protected from unsafe products, sign up for KID email alerts and visit KidsInDanger.org.
Laura Nikolovska is program director for Kids In Danger’s (KID’s). She is currently finishing a Master of Non Profit Administration (MNA) from The University of Notre Dame, and lives in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago with her husband and their dog, Kikiriki.