Making Every Night a Safe Night
Since 1991, September has been designated "Baby Safety Month," aiming to keep life with kids blessedly drama-free, whether you're driving kids to the grocery store, strolling around the block, visiting Grandma or going "night-night." The Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association (JPMA) initiated the month-long awareness campaign in 1991.
This year's theme, "Make Every Night a Safe Night," gives busy parents and caregivers the 411 about choosing cribs, cradles, bassinets, play yards and toddler beds that keep little ones safe from naptime to nighttime.
JPMA Keeps Kids Safer
For over 30 years, the JPMA has been a pioneer in baby product safety and its regulation. The trade organization currently certifies 2,000 products in 20 categories to meet rigorous safety and quality standards. These include cribs, bassinets, bath and booster seats, baby gates, walkers, highchairs and strollers.
According to their website, JPMA teams with consumers and representatives from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to develop standards for a wide variety of juvenile products under the auspices of ASTM International.
"ASTM" stands for the American Society of Testing and Materials, a group whose job is to develop and publish voluntary technical standards that represent an industry-wide consensus. These may apply to materials, products, systems and services.
All Beds Are Not Created Equal
Tragically, hundreds of preventable deaths still occur every year because children are unwittingly placed in a sleep environment that was not specifically designed for them. Pillows, sofa cushions, adult beds, waterbeds or beanbags may seem innocuous, but their surfaces are not specifically designed for infant sleep.
The good news is that modern cribs have gotten much safer. In a 2007 Senate hearing on the reauthorization of the Consumer Products Safety Commission, authorities cited an 89% reduction in fatalities and injuries due to the establishment and effectiveness of ASTM Standards for baby cribs.
The JPMA Certification Seal alerts parents to those manufacturers who have voluntarily submitted products for testing. To earn the certification seal, each product must pass repeated testing to prove it continues to achieve the ASTM standards.
Baby Safety Month; A Brief History
Though the JMPA has been certifying children's products since 1976, their safety campaigns originated in 1983 with "Expectant Mother's Day." This lengthened to a week of awareness beginning in the mid-80s, and in 1991 "Baby Safety Month" was begun.
Over the years they have used outreach programs through retailers to help educate hundreds of parents on topics such as baby proofing a home, water safety, travel and outdoor safety.