Every once in a while that “Children of the 80s” email goes around, reminding us that we all grew up riding big wheels with no helmets and sleeping in the way way back of the station wagon on road trips. And yes, it can make us feel like a parenting generation of uptight lunatics. But you know what? We now know what we now know. And when you watch crash test videos like this one, how can you not want to do your car seat research? Or when you find out that the most popular baby wash uses formalde-freaking-hyde as an ingredient, how can you not want to search for something more pure?
To that end, here are some of our favorite resources for policing the safety issues that concern us most.
Toxic skincare ingredients. There isn’t one good reason (that we can think of, anyway) to douse a baby in parabens, carcinogens, or toxic fragrances. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database rates everything from lotions and sunscreens to toothpastes and wipes.
Faulty products. Not every recall indicates an impending catastrophe—there are plenty of products recalled due to improper use. Still, it doesn’t hurt to know the possible dangers, which is why we subscribe to the daily product recall alerts from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Dirty foods. Nothing ruins a tasty, homemade baby food puree like pesticides or salmonella. Sign up for outbreak alerts from the FDA, and scan the EWG’s annual Dirty Dozen list for an idea of which produce items are most likely to be loaded with pesticides.
Car seat performance. No, the best resource is not Consumer Reports. It’s actually the Car Seat Lady. Keep up with her on Facebook to stay smart on critical features, proper installation techniques, product comparisons.
Scary TV shows. Newsflash: Disney movies are not for 3 year olds. Common Sense Media offers detailed reviews and minimum age recommendations for movies, television shows, and apps.
The sun. Talk about a love-hate relationship. As good as sunshine feels, it’s a real danger for infants. Dr. JJ Levenstein has the most practical advice we’ve seen on how to keep babies protected.
Broken fingers and stitches. We totally understand parents who put their infants in knee pads when they start crawling. (Laughing.) But for ideas on how to protect them from actual household dangers, we found these DIY baby proofing tips enlightening.