As parents and caregivers, our job is to keep our kids and patients safe. In honor of September being Baby Safety Month, we’d like to share some tips on best practices when caring for younglings and how to keep your home at minimal risk for accidents.
There are many hazards hidden in your home that can pose dangers to babies. Babies are very curious beings as they are just starting to learn about the world. They want to touch, smell, and taste everything they can get their hands on! This is why it is important to maintain an environment for your baby that will impose minimal risks of accidents. The first important element of keeping a home safe is to remove any choking hazards.
Some of the most common choking hazards –
- loose change
- magnets and button batteries (can cause significant damage if swallowed)
- small foods such as nuts and berries
- hard candies
- office supplies such as paper clips and safety pins
- broken crayons
- small caps for bottles
- toys with small parts
- jewelry such as rings and earrings
- plants that may be poisonous
- sharp objects such as scissors and knives
Other potential hazards in a household –
- outlets that the child can stick their fingers in
- cords that a child may want to bite
- stairs (place gates at the top or bottom to avoid injuries)
- sharp corners (place bumpers to avoid injuries)
- large pieces of furniture and TVs (make sure these are anchored to avoid injuries)
- cabinet doors and toilets (place latches to avoid injuries)
The best way to make sure none of these are where the baby can get to them is to think like a baby! Get on your hands and knees and think as a curious child would. Sometimes you cannot see what a toddler can unless you put yourself in that situation.
Other basic tips that parents and caregivers should practice –
- Do not use bumper pads in a crib. Pillows, quilts, comforters, stuffed animals, or any other soft products should also not be placed in a baby’s crib. These can cause suffocation.
- Always place a baby to sleep on their back. Babies placed to sleep on their stomachs are at a higher risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
- Don’t leave a baby unsupervised, especially in or near water. A baby can drown in as little as one inch of water.
- Register your car seat. Car seats can be recalled at any time for safety reasons, and the only way you will be contacted is if you are registered. Visit the car seat’s website for more information.
- Never put a baby in the front seat of a car. In case of an accident, an airbag could pose a huge danger to the child.
- Never shake or throw a baby. Such sudden movements can cause brain damage and/or blindness.
- Do not leave a baby with a sibling or pet unsupervised, even if the baby is asleep.
- Don’t let your pets lick the baby’s face or skin as this can cause infections.
By following these tips, you are closer to ensuring that you are creating a safe space for your baby to grow. If you would like to learn more, visit http://www.babysafetymonth.org and https://www.webmd.com/parenting/guide/baby-safety#1.
We hope that you enjoyed these tips and that they sparked new awareness for Baby Safety Month. Don’t forget to follow our social media to stay up to date with other nationally recognized days, ACP news, job opportunities, and patient stories.