Page 18 - Alaska Parent Spring 2019
P. 18

 ask the expert: the baby years
Q We need to buy a lot of baby gear
and equipment (car
seats, strollers, crib, etc.) for our new baby. But does it
all need to be brand new? What has to be purchased new and what is safe to purchase used?
• Is the seat recalled? Car seats can be recalled for many reasons, some of which may affect the crashworthiness of the seat.
Cribs, either new or used, should comply with current safety specifications:
• Bars should be spaced no more than 2 3/8 inches apart.
• The mattress should be firm and not sag under your baby’s weight. It should fit snugly with no space between it and the crib walls.
• The top of the crib rail should be at least 26 inches from the top of the mattress. Lower the mattress as your child gets taller.
• The headboards and footboards should be solid with no decorative cutouts. Remove corner posts that could cause injury or snag clothing.
• Do not use cribs with drop rails.
• The crib should not have lead-based paint on its
finish.
It’s easy to check for recalls on any product you may be considering for your baby. A list of product recalls is located at safekids.org/product-recalls.
   A
In reality, a newborn’s equipment needs are fairly minimal. A car seat for safe travel and a crib for safe sleep are must-haves. Strollers, bassinets, swings,
 high chairs, baby wearing wraps, changing tables and other items are optional.
When choosing a car seat, be sure it is designed to be used rear-facing, and can be installed in the back seat of your vehicle. Second-hand car seats may be okay to use. There are a few important considerations:
• Is the source of the car seat known to you? People you know and trust can provide an accurate history of the seat, including if they were the original owner and if the seat has been involved in a crash.
• Has the seat been involved in a crash? If so, it is best to avoid using it.
• Is the seat expired? Car seats are usable for six years from manufacture date or until the specific “do not use after” or “expires on” date printed on the seat labels.
• Does the seat have all of its original parts intact and undamaged? The instruction booklet will include a listing of parts and instructions for correct assembly. Many manufacturers have printable versions of instruction booklets on their websites.
{ Sara Penisten Turcic, RN, BSNS, is the Safe Kids Alaska State Coalition Coordinator } and a Child Passenger Safety Technician Instructor. She has raised three children in Alaska and is thrilled to be in her 27th year of employment at Providence Alaska Medical Center. Visit carseatsak.org.
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