You are home from the hospital with your brand new baby, and as any new parent, wondering how you can keep him or her safe.
1. One of the most common cause of death in infants are car accidents, and most of these deaths could be prevented with the proper use of car safety seats. Here are a few suggestions:
- Always put your baby in an approved car safety seat.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when you install it.
- Place the safety seat in the back seat facing the rear (trunk) of the car.
- Fasten the car’s safety belt securely through the safety seat, according the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Make sure your child is strapped snugly into the safety seat.
- Never hold your baby in your arms in a moving car, even if you are only going a short distance.
2. Another cause of accidents is the crib. First of all, make sure you stay away from old cribs that don’t meet current standards of a safety. Some of the things to look for in old cribs are:
- make sure the space between the slats is no more than 2-3/8 inches apart to prevent infants from getting their head stuck between them.
- check for peeling paint
- make sure there is no loose or broken hardware
- look for sharp edges, splinters, or anything else that can hurt the child
Also, make sure that the crib’s mattress fits snugly, not leaving any gaps between the crib and the mattress.
Never place the crib next to a window: cords from the blinds or drapery can strangle the child.
3. Make sure all cleaning supplies, possible poisons, medicines, or any other harmful substance are out of the reach of children, preferably on a high closet shelf.
4. When buying toys for your little one, keep in mind the following:
- Toy parts should be bigger than the child’s mouth up to age 3 to avoid the chance of choking. If you can fit the toy (or part of a toy) through a toilet paper roll, that toy is not safe for your baby.
- Stay away from toys that have cords: a cord can too easily be wrapped around a young child’s neck, causing strangulation.
- Make sure toys you get from friends and family, and even new ones don’t have any peeling paint, loose parts, buttons or ribbons that can harm your little one.