Tips for Keeping Your Baby Safe

September is National Baby Safety Month and a great time to remind families of some simple steps they can take to protect little ones at home, on-the-go and during playtime. With all the gear and equipment that comes with babies, and all of the potential hazards within a child’s environment, there are many resources that provide guidance to parents and caregivers on keeping babies safe – including, the Toy Industry Association’s safety site for families. Some of the top tips for safe play include:

  • Always choose toys for your child based on the age label on the toy package. This is especially true for babies and young children, who are most vulnerable, but also growing and developing quickly. 
  • Inspect toys at the store, looking for sturdy parts that can stand up to the rigors of your child’s play.
  • Small parts—whether they are from toys, other items found around the home, or pieces of food such as hot dogs, grapes, etc.—can pose a risk to children under three and those who mouth items. Keep those items away from small children and take care at snack time when these foods are served.
  • As babies grow and develop, their abilities and needs change too.  Some toys, such as crib mobiles and baby play gyms and activity centers, are perfect for fostering development at certain ages – but can become hazardous as babies grow out of them and begin to explore their environment.  Follow any safety instructions that come with a toy and periodically review the toys in your baby’s environment to be sure they are still appropriate, in working order, and free from breakage.   
  • Second-hand and hand-me-down products should also be carefully inspected for wear-and-tear, breakage, sharp edges, etc. Check the recall information to be sure you’re not inadvertently using a recalled product. Consider placing vintage or collectible toys out of the reach of children, as safety standards have evolved a lot since we were kids. 
  • Child health experts agree – at bedtime it is important to keep stuffed toys and other objects (like quilts, pillows, etc.) out of the cribs of sleeping infants and younger children. If children roll their faces against these objects while napping, it can obstruct their breathing.
  • Complete and return warranty cards (which are used if a recall is issued). Keep product literature on hand in case of future questions.
  • Adult supervision is key – and experts agree that adult interaction with babies not only keeps them safe but enhances their development.  Play with your child, demonstrate safe play, and be sure to educate all caregivers (including grandparents, aunts, uncles and anyone else who will be spending time with your child) on these tips for play safety.

For more tips and other important information – including an age-by-age guide to what toys are appropriate for your baby as he/she grows, and how toys and play can foster development – visit For additional information on Baby Safety Month and juvenile product safety, visit