When you think of baby safety, you’ll likely first think of all those highly publicized recalled products like drop-side cribs, malfunctioning baby slings, collapsing play pens, lead-based toys etc… the list goes on… but safety standards exist for the most basic necessity: clothing, as well. Keep these tips in mind as you shop to clothe your little one:
- drawstrings – best to remove these from hood, neck, sleeve, waist or ankle areas (for clothing all the way up to age 16 (!) according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission) as these present a strangulation and entanglement hazard
- small embellishments – best to avoid these altogether (buttons, beads, sewn-on appliques and sequins) especially for the infant set, but should you have them, be sure to give them a tug to ensure they are properly secured as these present a choking hazard
- elastic edging and hemlines – often seen around arm and leg openings, neckline and waist – rule of thumb: make sure you can comfortably fit two fingers between the elastic edge or hem and skin as anything tighter can present a circulation hazard
- zipper seams – look for manufacturers who provide covered seams particularly down the back. While this is not necessarily a safety issue, it is most certainly a comfort issue. Would you want to spend 80% of your day with hardware jamming into your back? Right.
- lead exposure – this is not something you can check, but is an interesting fact for you to know – US manufacturers are required to check lead levels in garments for clothing under age 12 – this includes fabric dyes and hardware (zippers, snaps etc) – so this is a little plug to shop US brands for your child’s safety!