BABY’S SAFETY. Updated 7/24/2019

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KEEPING BABY SAFE

A baby in the family brings untold joys and excitement. But, even before the baby comes it is important to take steps to ensure your baby’s safety. Take care of

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yourself during your pregnancy. Never smoke or let other people smoke around you or your baby. Babies who are around people who smoke are more likely to die from SIDS. Avoid drinking alcohol, and using marijuana or other recreational illegal drugs during pregnancy and after the baby is born, especially if you plan to breastfeed. Babies whose mothers smoked during pregnancy are more likely to die from SIDS. Be sure to get regular checkups when you are pregnant, take prenatal vitamins and eat a healthy diet.  Once your baby gets here, make sure he or she gets all recommended shots (vaccines). Your baby is very fragile and can succumb to many situations that we, as adults take for granted. Some common hazards to baby’s health will be discussed in this report.

BABY’S SAFETY AGAINST SIDS:

Sadly, one common sleep related hazard is known as ‘sudden infant death syndrome’, or SIDS. SIDS is the unexplained death of an otherwise healthy baby under one year of age, usually during sleep. Infants are at greatest risk for sleep-related deaths and SIDS until four months of age. The risk, while lower, continues

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until the baby is a year old. During that time, and of course throughout your child’s life, it is important to avoid a baby’s exposure to smoke, alcohol, or illegal drugs. Also, a parent or caregiver who is smoking, or using alcohol or drugs can pose a threat to your baby and increase the risk of SIDS.

While SIDS may be unexplained, there are things all parents and caregivers can do to help prevent that unthinkable tragedy.  Every parent should be aware of the dangers of SIDS and take steps to limit the risk. We want to help you prevent that tragic event from occurring by sharing with you the tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP developed recommendation to help parents of infants create a “safe sleep environment” so these tragedies can be avoided.

  1. First and most important is to place your baby to sleep on his or her back, even for a nap. This is because babies who usually sleep on their backs are at very high risk for SIDS if they sleep on their stomach.

  2. Baby’s bed should be a firm sleep surface. Even if a mattress is considered “firm,” if something placed on the surface leaves an impression when lifted, it is too soft for baby.

  3. The baby should sleep alone. Sleeping in an adult bed with you (or with other children or pets) is dangerous for your baby. Babies who share a bed with someone else are more likely to die from SIDS or other sleep-related cause of death.

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    Having your baby sleep in the same room as you – in her own crib, play yard, or bassinet – can lower the risk of SIDS. Keep your baby in the room with you for at least the first 6 months, or the first 12 months if possible.

  5. Breastfeeding has been shown to provide added protection against SIDS. It’s important to remember to breastfeed in a place where mom will not fall asleep. While the idea of waking up and feeding your infant in bed sounds cozy, it is so easy to fall back asleep. Getting up can be difficult for an exhausted parent, but getting out of bed will wake you up enough to feed baby and then return baby to a safe sleeping space.

OTHER SLEEP RELATED HAZARDS:

One of the most important things you can do to keep your baby safe during sleep is to put him to sleep on his back – at night and for naps. This is the safest position for all babies until they are 1 year old.

Baby’s crib should have a firm well fitted mattress. A mattress is too small if you can get two fingers between the mattress and the bars. If the mattress is too small, you can roll up a towel and slide it down firmly between the mattress and the crib bars.

Avoid putting soft bedding, blankets, crib bumpers or stuffed toys in your baby’s crib or bassinet. Not only do these items not protect babies, but they can be hazardous. Crib sheets should be tightly fitted.  A blanket can strangle or suffocate a baby as he or she moves. Instead, we recommend a one-piece sleeper for babies

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that looks like a sleeping bag with arms. It is safe and will keep baby warm.

Never put a baby to sleep on a sofa, armchair or pillow. It’s important to not take naps on a sofa or cushioned chair because this offers an opportunity for baby to become wedged between the parent and the cushion.

The baby should sleep alone, not with other persons or animals. Breast feeding mothers sometimes feel that it is easier to sleep with your baby in bed with you. New parents may also feel it is best for baby and is another way to bond with your newborn. Unfortunately co-sleeping with your baby is very dangerous and is associated with SIDS.

BABY CAR SAFETY:

NEVER carry your infant in your lap while riding in a car. Always use a federally approved car safety seat when traveling in a motor vehicle. Carefully read safety seat instructions to ensure that the seat has been properly installed. For the first two years of a baby’s life, car seats should face the rear of the vehicle. The safest location for the car seat is the middle of the back seat.

Don’t put the baby in the front passenger seat of cars, especially those with airbags. If you have a truck with no back seat, you should disengage the airbag while the baby’s seat is in the car. If you have questions about safety seats, call the Auto

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Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (1-888-DASH-2-DOT).

NEVER leave baby alone in the car. To ensure that you do not forget your baby in the car, you could leave your shoes or handbag in the back seat. You can also train your daycare or babysitter to call you if your baby does not show up at the appointed times.

BABY BATH-TIME SAFETY:

Since children can drown in very little water, you should always stay with your child when he or she is in the bathtub. NEVER leave your child alone or with an older child in the bathroom or tub – not even for a minute. If you have to answer the phone or door, take your child with you.

Always test the water before putting your child in the tub. Young children have tender skin and are easily burned if the water in the sink or bathtub is too hot. Set your water heater to 120°F or less. To check the temperature of the hot water from the faucet, run the water over a meat or candy thermometer for 3 minutes.

Keep electrical items such as hair dryers away from the water. Unplug them when you aren’t using them. They can cause an electric shock if they fall into the sink or bathtub while they’re plugged in.

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Teach your baby to swim even before he or she can walk.

BABY TOY SAFETY:

Choose toys that are well made and appropriate for your child’s age.

Watch out for toys that have sharp edges, small parts, or sharp points.

Young children pull, prod, and twist toys, and most toys will end up in the baby’s mouth. Look for toys with tightly secured parts.

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Look for safety information on the toy or label such as “Not recommended for children under 3 years of age,” or “non-toxic” on toys likely to end up in a child’s mouth. Look for “washable/hygienic materials” on stuffed toys and dolls.

Avoid marbles, balls, games with balls, and other toys that have parts smaller than 1 3/4 inches in diameter or smaller than 2 inches long. These products can choke young children if swallowed.

BABY SAFETY AT HOME:

Keep cleaning supplies and other poisons in locked cabinets. Children can’t tell the difference between medicine and candy. If your child swallows something he or she shouldn’t, call a poison control center right away. Keep the telephone number by your phone. The national poison control hotline number is 1-800-222-1222.

Remove any cords that could get around the baby’s neck. Keep the crib away from electric cords, drapes and curtain cords, or tie up the cords so they are less than 6 inches long and out of your child’s reach. Mobiles and hanging crib toys should also be kept out of your baby’s reach. Remove strings on crib toys and pacifiers.

In the kitchen turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Use the back burners on the stove for cooking. Keep hot foods and drinks out of reach and away from the edge of a counter or table. Keep knives and other sharp objects out of reach or in locked or “childproof” drawers or cabinets. Wind up appliance cords and keep them out of reach.

GENERAL SAFETY TIPS:

Keep plastic bags and deflated or burst balloons away from young children.

Use plastic inserts to cover electric outlet openings that are not being used.

Keep alcohol, medications, and cigarettes out of reach of small children.

Keep guns and other firearms out of the house. If guns are in the house, unload them, put them in a locked place, and keep the keys out of your child’s reach. Store the gun in a separate place from the bullets.

When your baby is placed on anything above the ground, like a changing table, always stand close with your hand on your baby.

If you use an infant carrier, always place it on the floor, never on a counter or tabletop. Make sure if the baby is always strapped in.

Never leave your baby alone on a bed, couch, changing table, or infant seat from which he or she can fall or roll off. Even if looking away for a second, an accident can happen.

Lock matches and lighters in a cabinet that is higher than your shoulders.

Secure electrical cords to baseboards.

Install safety gates securely in front of stairs and basement doors.

If there is a swimming pool in your backyard or your neighborhood, make sure it is

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surrounded by a fence and has a gate that latches or locks.

Once your baby is old enough to move from place to place NEVER  EVER  LEAVE HIM OR HER UNSUPERVISED !

Once your baby is safe and happy, you will enjoy many years of parental bliss.

Click here for more great ideas about babies.

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