Drop-side cribs, detached side rails and faulty or defective crib hardware have been responsible for more than 11 million cribs being recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) since 2007. As a result, on June 28, 2011, a new federal law went into effect for crib manufacturing standards to ensure the safety of your sleeping babe and prohibiting the sale of any cribs manufactured before that date.
Although it isn't illegal to use a crib you already have, the CPSC urges consumers not to donate or give away pre-standard cribs because they do not meet the new crib safety requirements, making hand-me-down cribs a personal call for what's best for your family.
Did you know that car seats have an expiration date? SafeKids.org advises that car seats typically are still safe so long as they were manufactured within six years and have never been involved in a crash. However, you should check the underside of your car seat for the expiration date before splurging on a new one.
As the materials used to create bottle nipples and pacifiers break down, your baby soother may become a choking hazard, so you should consider springing for new ones. Although sanitation may not be as much as a concern when these baby items come from your own kiddos, purchasing new binkies and new nipples for your existing bottles is a much safer -- and economical -- alternative.
New crib standards call for better fitting mattresses to meet the latest safety requirements, so your old crib mattress may not fit your new baby's new slumber station. In addition, harmful bacteria and bodily fluids can make their way into baby mattresses should the protective covering in the pad become torn, posing a health hazard for your newborn. In cases where the mattress fits snugly, you may want to opt for a waterproof mattress saver to keep this sleeping item as sanitary as possible.
SafeKids.org urges you to always check that a used or hand-me-down baby gear has not been recalled before deciding whether it's safe for your bundle of joy. To stay on top of the latest recalls that may affect your youngster, sign up for the CPSC's recall notification email list.
Whether your first child or your fifth, knowing when it's safe to go the economical rout and the things to buy new for baby number two will let you focus on more important things like your newborn's first smile!
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