According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 1,000 American infants are taken to emergency rooms every year for injuries sustained while using swings. This is generally a result of the infant's head or neck becoming trapped between the back rest and the bars the swing is suspended from. If figures like this concern you as a parent, then knowing how to choose a baby swing that is safe and durable, will be one of your first priorities.
Even with an infant of six weeks, you'll want a wide, solid base to make sure there is no tipping. An adjustable seat is necessary, particularly for the infant who can't sit by themselves yet. But do make sure that it can't be accidentally released so that the seat lays down flat while the baby is in motion, allowing them to slide or fall out, backwards.
Every seat should have a combination waist and crotch safety belt. Older models had only the waist belt, which allowed babies to slide down, and out the bottom of the chair/seat.
While there are many "bells and whistles" to entertain babies, the main concern when you choose a baby swing, should be their comfort level. Providing extra safety features such as rolled towels to either side of an infant's head for stability, will avoid the type of accidents mentioned above.
Battery operated or crank models should have quiet operation, so a baby is not frightened or startled awake as they begin to doze. Swings that have variable speeds are the wisest choice, to provide gentle motion for infants, and higher speeds for larger, more active babies.
As always, a baby should never be left alone in a swing, nor should the swing be placed near any hot object, or in a position where the baby could grab something that could be pulled over onto the swing and child.
Jackie G. Maxwell is the resident baby & toddler expert at
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