More than 40% of products that are recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are children’s products. Even with strict testing and standards on products intended for babies and kids there are still products available for parents to purchase that if not used correctly can cause a serious risk to a baby and should be avoided. With all products, ensure you read all manufacturer warnings and usage recommendations and complete all registration cards so you can be informed of necessary safety issues. You can also keep up with recalls and get valuable safety information at www.cpsc.gov. The following list are items that all parents, grandparents and caregivers should keep out of any home with a baby:
1. Crib bumpers- The CPSC, Centers for Disease Control, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and even the state of Maryland (they have banned the sale) all agree that crib bumpers are unnecessary against the prevention of injury. What is worse is they all also agree crib bumpers are dangerous as they are a serious suffocation and entrapment risk.
What should I buy instead? The only bedding you need for your baby’s crib is a tightly fitted sheet. If you still want the look of a bumper check out the Skip Hop Complete Sheet.
2. Walkers- For more than 10 years the AAP has been trying to halt the manufacturing of walkers because they can actually delay when a child starts to walk and they are a serious danger. Even with close supervision a walker poses a risk for a child to roll down stairs or reach dangerous items that could cause burns, poisoning or serious injury.
What should I buy instead? Look for a stationary activity center such as an exersaucer or play yard.
3. Nap Nanny- Although the Nap Nanny products were recalled on multiple occasions and the company stopped manufacturing the infant recliners and closed in 2013, you can still find these for sale second-hand by parents who swear by them. The CPSC points to design defects and lack of instructions and warnings on all models of the Nap Nanny leaving interpretation open to using them safely.
What should I buy instead? The safest place for your baby to sleep is on their back in their crib. If your baby suffers from acid reflux talk to your pediatrician about safe ways to elevate your baby’s crib mattress.
4. Bumbo Seats- Bumbo has gone through two major recalls and are still on the market but with an added safety strap, new warning label and changes to the packaging to highlight that the Bumbo is a floor seat they are still a danger if used incorrectly. The Bumbo or any similar seat should never be placed on ANY elevated surface.
What should I buy instead? A bouncy seat or high chair that reclines in several positions so it can be used from birth.
5. Baby Powder- Baby powders simply have no place near your diaper changing station. Any fine powder like talc can easily be inhaled by a baby and lead to pneumonia, lung damage or worse.
What should I buy instead? Change your baby’s diaper often and if needed you can purchase an over the counter diaper ointment or barrier cream.
Julie McCaffrey is a mommy to 3 kids, including one set of twins. Julie owns BabyNav Baby Planners, offering personalized consultation to new and expecting parents. She is a modern baby gear expert, a featured member of the International Baby Planners Association and loves to help moms and dads navigate everything from baby gear to preparing for multiples to getting back to work and getting the whole family on a routine.