September is Baby Safety Month, an annual campaign led by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). For more than twenty years, JPMA has reached out to parents in September to remind them about the important safety considerations involved in buying products for their infants.

This year, the timing is especially appropriate, as a series of new car seat recalls are lighting up the email inboxes of new parents and moms-to-be across the country.

Of course, baby car seat recalls are nothing new. Because tiny tykes are the market’s most fragile consumers, juvenile products are frequently recalled when safety concerns become apparent. The market is fortunately proactive in that regard, but that also means parents must remain diligent to stay on top of all the latest developments.

Below, in honor of Baby Safety Month, we’ve put together a few car seat safety tips that will help keep your children safe during their earliest, most precious years.

Baby Car Seat Safety Tips

Keep the following in mind when buying, inspecting, repairing, and replacing your baby’s car seat:

  • Many baby car restraint seats are stamped with an expiration date. Check yours and make sure it has not passed. They simply aren’t built to last.
  • Be very careful when buying a used car seat. Try to ensure that it contains all its original parts, is fully functional, and has not been involved in a crash. Attempt to locate the original owner’s manual and read it carefully (usually available from the manufacturer).
  • Check for safety recalls on car seats (and all other baby products) on a regular basis. Manufacturers are required to fix problems with safety seats without charging you for the repair/replacement.
  • While waiting for your repair or replacement, continue to use the existing car seat as safely as possible. Never let your baby ride in the car using just a seatbelt or sitting unsecured on a lap.
  • Routinely inspect the car seat to make sure it is in good working condition, has not cracked or broken, and is still securely attached to the car.

Every Month Matters for Baby Safety

While JPMA’s campaign is a wonderfully effective reminder for new parents each year, the truth is that baby safety bulletins are issued nearly every week. Because babies grow so quickly and cycle so through many kinds of products in just a matter of months, it’s important that parents do their best to keep an eye on updates and recalls.

At The Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A., we know all too well the tragic impact of auto accidents. Baby seats are lifesavers, but they need to stay in good shape to be effective. Take a few minutes to review the most recent recalls and browse JPMA’s other excellent resources for baby safety.

Here’s to a happy, healthy Baby Safety Month for all of New Jersey and beyond!