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Baby Shower Dedicated To Safety First

If Hillary Rodham Clinton has her way, the new trend for mothers-to-be will be Baby Safety Showers parties with a serious purpose.

President Clinton’s wife is certainly doing her bit to make it happen. Last month she helped open a national campaign to promote the safety showers. And then, she became one of the first people in the country to throw one, hosting a shower for a pregnant friend.

Babies don’t come with a how-to manual, Clinton told a group of mothers and expectant mothers at a shower at the Edward C. Mazique Parent Child Center in Washington, D.C., recently.

“Luckily, I had family and friends and other people who were there for me, telling me what I needed to do to keep my baby safe and healthy,” she said about her experiences raising her daughter, Chelsea.

Clinton - who is writing “It Takes a Village,” a book on parenting to be published by Simon and Shuster, with profits going to charity - teamed up with the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission and baby food manufacturer Gerber Products Co. for the launch.

The groups have focused on baby showers as a way of getting safety information across to new parents. The parties feature games and activities revolving around a 12-point safety checklist.

Pointing out that more children die from unintentional injuries than from any of the childhood diseases, CPSC chairman Ann Brown said that safety showers for new mothers and mothers-to-be could help them make each room in their homes safer for children.

“There are many, many safety concerns that just aren’t obvious to most parents, but that can prove deadly,” Brown said. “From old cribs to quilts and comforters to venetianblind cords - these can all be lethal to small children. But if parents are aware of these hazards, they can help prevent a tragedy.”

Gerber, the CPSC and the Food Marketing Institute collaborated on developing a “Baby Safety Shower How-To Kit,” and Gerber funded 2,000 of the kits for distribution to groups interested in planning showers. The kits give detailed information on how to throw the showers, from invitations and attendance certificates to games and free literature for guests. There are even samples of a public service announcement and a news release for groups seeking publicity for their parties.

Kathleen Begala, director of the Office of Information and Public Affairs, said CPSC was seeking other corporate sponsors to fund production of kits for distribution to groups all over the country.

As well, CPSC is offering the 12-point safety checklist, in English or Spanish, on a youngster’s growth chart that can be prominently posted in the house.

For information on Baby Safety Shower How-To Kits, or for a copy of the Baby Safety Checklist, call (800) 638-2772.