A Practical Baby Shower Gift List for the safety and budget-minded

Are you a practical gift giver? You appreciate the cute onesies and the stuffed animals, but you can’t help but think about the longevity and practical nature of a gift? We have a suggestion list for you and there is something for everyone no matter how limited your budget.

“A new car seat and locks for various items around the house such as cabinet locks, stove locks, and toilet locks.” Jessica Mitchell, coordinator for Safe Kids Pima County and mom of two, shares a few ideas she likes for more practical baby shower gifts.

Here’s our expanded list:

Practical Baby Shower

Child Car Seat Safety Check – FREE

Most expecting parents receive a car seat or 2 as gifts, so why not share the gift of having it installed properly. Did you know that approximately 80% of all child seats are improperly installed? Never fear, there is help! As a gift, you could organize to have a certified car seat technician teach the expectant parents to install the seat properly. Safe Kids Pima County, or a local Safe Kids Coalition in your area,is your go to source. Call Safe Kids Pima County at 520-324-2783 today to schedule an appointment.

Gun lock – FREE

Whatever your personal feelings about guns, about 35% of children live in homes with one handgun or firearm. Forty three percent of households with children have at least one firearm that is not stored in a locked location and does not have a trigger lock (or similar device) in place. Nine percent have one or more firearms stored unlocked and loaded and four percent store firearms unlocked, unloaded and with ammunition.

Gun locks are available for FREE at TMC’s Desert Kids Safety Program. Call (520) 324-5604 for more information. If you have guns at home too, pick up some for you as well.

Lockable Medicine Cabinet – $30- to a lot.

No, the baby isn’t going to be getting into the cough syrup yet, but just give them a couple of years! We’ve seen nice looking lockable medicine cabinets that even have the red cross symbol on at all kinds of places. We’re digging the cheaper free- standing ones rather than the regular medicine cabinets.

Straps for bookcases and televisions – various

What?! That cute cooing baby is going to be a toddler soon and boy do those kiddos like to climb. A bookcase? It’s like the perfect ladder for little legs, especially if there is something tempting on the upper shelves or even if there isn’t. Straps that attach the bookcase to the wall will stop it from toppling over.

Jessica shares that “Every three weeks a child will die when a television tips over them and nearly 13,000 more children are injured each year in the U.S. Over the last ten years, injuries from TV tip-overs have risen by 31 percent. Either flat screen televisions not attached securely to the wall or older televisions relegated to dresser drawers or other inappropriate stands (which make the arrangement top heavy).Young children are at greatest risk and seven out often children injured by TV tip-overs are 5 years old or younger.”

These tragedies are completely preventable with just a few simple precautions. Gift the expectant parents some safety straps and if you’re particularly handy, offer to install them. Safe Kids suggests the following:

TV Safety Check

  • Assess the stability of the TVs in your home.
  • Secure TVs
    • Mount flat screen TVs to the wall to reduce the risk of TVs toppling off stands.Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you protect your wall and have a secure fit.
    • If you have a large, heavy, old-style cathode ray tube (CRT) TV, place it on a low,stable piece of furniture.

Secure Furniture

  • Use brackets, braces or wall straps to secure unstable or top-heavy furniture to the wall.
  • Install stops on dresser drawers to prevent them from being pulled all the way out.
  • Multiple open drawers can cause the weight to shift, making it easier for a dresser to fall.

Rearrange Household Items

  • Keep heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers.
  • Avoid placing remote controls, food, toys or other items in places where kids might be tempted to climb up or reach for them.

A basket of cabinet, fridge, stove locks, toilet seat locks, and socket covers

Whether it’s water in the toilet bowl, the kitchen knives, the cleaning supplies or just preventing curious hands from exploring electrical sockets there are ways to protect children from everyday household accidents. They might not be glamorous, but these security measures can protect a child AND the cabinet, fridge, stove locks can be picked up at Desert Kids Safety for FREE also!

Bike Helmet – FREE to approx. $40

If the expectant parents are cyclists and plan to bike with baby either in a baby seat or a trailer bike, baby must wear a helmet (yes, even in a trailer). TMC provides helmets are available through the Desert Kids Safety program for FREE.

The general recommendation is that baby needs to be at least a year and able to sit upright. It is only around 9 months old that their necks begin to be strong enough to support the helmet. This is what Safe Kids Worldwide has to say, “It is not recommended that infants younger than 12 months ride in a bicycle seat, trailer, sidecar or any other carrier.

However, when they are ready these safety tips can help:

Top Safety Tips

  • Infants younger than 12 months are too young to sit in a rear bike seat and should not be carried on a bicycle. Do not carry infants in backpacks or a front carrier on a bike.
  • It is not recommended to seat babies in slumped positions for long periods of time.
  • The International Bicycle Fund recommends that helmets be round and not aero shaped for infants riding in bike seats and trailers and it should meet American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) safety standards. The helmet should cover the forehead and not sit on the back of the head.
  • Keep in mind that rides in the infant bike seat will be much rougher than the one you experience in the saddle so choose your ride carefully.
  • Many trailers have five-point harnesses, rolling cages, reflectors and safety flags.
  • Using a cover can also help prevent materials from flying into your infant’s eyes.

Any of these gifts will help parents find peace of mind that they are keeping their children safe. So they might not be flashy, but with a bow and a few words of kindness about the upcoming addition to their family these can be gifts with real life-saving potential. What an incredible gift!