The #1 priority of parents and caregivers is the health and safety of their babies. Whether you are a first time mom, seasoned parental veteran (I have 4 tiny humans that I'm responsible for lol), or a grandparent, you have to always take the time to make sure that your infant has a safe space to grow, learn, and pray.
September is Baby Safety Month, however you can use the following tips all year long to support your infant's health and safety.
The best way to baby proof is to get down on your hands and knees and try to think like a baby. My husband and I have caught many potential dangers from this vantage point. So simple, but so helpful!
Fix the obvious. Exposed electrical sockets, window blind cords, sharp furniture edges, things that can be pulled down, such as hanging tablecloths.
Most baby milestones come with their unique set of safety precautions. Child-proofing is an ongoing process. For example, you may not need a baby gate for the stairs while they're sleeping most of the day in a Moses basket, but you will surely need one when they're crawling.
If you're preparing for baby #2, baby #3 or beyond, evaluate their older siblings toys for small parts that can pose chocking hazards
New products meeting the current safety standards are the safest option.
Second-Hand Products - It is recommended secondhand products should not be used for baby. However, if it is necessary to use older products, make sure all parts are available, the product is fully functional, not broken, and has not been recalled.
Register your products to establish a direct line of communication with manufactures in case you need to be contacted for product recalls.
The safest place for baby to sleep is in a bare, fully functional, properly assembled, JPMA Certified crib.
Always triple check and make sure that a crib is not recalled before use.
Make sure there are no missing, loose, or broken parts or improperly installed screws, brackets or other hardware on the crib or the mattress support. Check the stability and hardware of the crib often. Do not substitute hardware. Only use hardware obtained directly from the manufacturer.
Use the correct mattress size to prevent your infant from suffocating between the mattress and the sides of the crib.
Share your room, not your bed, for baby's first year.
If using a baby monitor with cords, make sure all cords are out of arm's reach of your child. Never place any item in or on the crib that has cords, strings, etc. as babies can become entangled and strangle in these items. At least three feet away is where your monitor should stay.
Never place cribs or toddler beds near windows with cords from window treatments.
When your tiny human is able to pull to a standing position, set the mattress to the lowest position and remove any objects that they can step on to climb out.
I love a cool mobile, but they should be removed from the crib when baby can push up on hands and knees or pull up to standing position.
Finally, know when it's time to transition from crib to toddler bed. It's time to move your bambini to a toddler bed when he or she begins to climb out or reaches a height of 35 in.
FOR BABIES UNDER 12 MONTHS OF AGE
Normal, healthy infants should ALWAYS sleep on their backs unless otherwise advised by a pediatrician.
Only a fitted sheet, mattress pad, and/or waterproof pad should be used under baby.
Never use pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, pillow-like stuffed toys, or other pillow-like products in the crib.
Do not overdress your baby. Consider using a wearable blanket or other sleep clothing as an alternative to any covering. For newborns, consider swaddling.
CAR SEAT SAFETY
All 50 states have laws that require the use of a car seat. All car seats manufactured today are designed to meet stringent safety standards set by the federal government.
Your baby should ride rear-facing until they reach the max weight or height specified by the car seat manual.
Kiddos that no longer meet the rear-facing limits should ride in a forward facing car seat that has a harness.
If your child has out grown the forward facing car seat limits, they should ride in a booster seat.
Follow the car seat instructions for proper use and your state law and register your car seat with the manufacturer.
The safest spot for children under the age of 13 is the back seat.
Do not use a car seat or a booster seat that is second-hand, has been involved in a car crash, or is missing the manufacturer's label.
Don't forget to register your car seat.
Did you know that car seats expire? Honestly, this was something that I just learned. Check your labels and instructions for the expiration date.
During air travel, taking your child's car seat is recommended.
FURNITURE TIP-OVER SAFETY
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), approximately four children under the age of six die every year because furniture tip-over accidents, and another five are killed when unsecured furniture plus a tv fall. Lessen the risk of furniture tip-over incidents by doing the following.
Secure all chests, dressers and bookshelves to the wall. New furniture should come with tip restraint hardware, however if you need if for older furniture, it can be found in the baby-proofing section of hardware and baby retailers.
Anchor at the same time you perform other baby-proofs such as cover outlets, lock cabinets and gate the stairs.
Keep remote controls, toys and other potentially enticing items off the tops of TVs and furniture where children can see but not reach them.
Wall-mounted flat screen TVs are recommended for optimal safety. If your TV cannot be wall mounted, place on low and sturdy pieces that were designed for TVs. Anchor the TV to the wall or the furniture.
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