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Alison Rhodes, "The Safety Mom"

National Child Safety Expert, Alison Rhodes, “The Safety Mom,” is one of the country's leading child safety authorities, providing tips and advice to parents on a broad range of issues facing all children - newborns to teens.
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Baby Equipment Safety Check

Part of being a responsible parent is baby-proofing your home and making sure that all the spaces and furniture and toys your baby comes into contact with are safe. This can be a big job, with many different rooms and items to think of and with many supplies and pieces of equipment to purchase or borrow. Here are a few guidelines for evaluating the safety of the things your baby spends the most time in and with - besides you!

  • Your carrier seat should have a wide and sturdy base, non skid feet, a crotch and waist strap for your baby, buckles and straps that are easy to use correctly, and a supporting device that locks securely. It should never be used as a car seat.

  • Your car seat must be correctly installed and used in order to effectively protect your child. Read the directions and practice installing the seat before your baby arrives. You should also read your vehicle owner's manual, which may provide guidelines for the use of car seats in your car. Make sure to put your child in a car seat appropriate to their weight and height, and use an infant seat or a rear facing car seat for your baby until they are at least twenty pounds and one year old.

  • Your back carrier should have a restraining strap, leg openings small enough that your baby cannot slip out of them but large enough to prevent chafing, and a frame that has no pinch points and is covered by padding as it nears your baby's face. Do not use your back carrier until your baby is four or five months old and able to withstand jolts.

  • Your baby's stroller or carriage should have a wide base to prevent tipping, seatbelts and crotch straps that are securely affixed to the frame, strong wheel brakes, a shopping basket that is low in the back and directly over or in front of the rear wheels, and leg openings that can be closed while in a carriage position.

  • Your baby's walker should have a wide wheel base, covered coil springs, a seat that is attached securely to the frame or walker, and no x-frames that might pinch your baby's fingers.

  • Your baby's bassinet or cradle should have a wide base and sturdy bottom, smooth surfaces, a firm and snug mattress, and legs that lock reliably and firmly. Also: make sure to move your baby from the bassinet or cradle into a crib as soon as their size and weight approach the maximum allowed.

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Cord Blood Registry
March of Dimes
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