Becoming a new parent is a blessing in so many ways. Along with all of the amazing first moments of becoming new parents, there are also challenges, such as keeping your child out of harm's way. Discover 13 ways to better ensure your little one’s safety!
1. Crib Security
When purchasing your little one’s crib, it is important to ensure that it meets current safety standards. If your crib is more than five years old, it may be outdated according to current safety measures.
Tip: Before purchasing, make sure that your child’s crib slats are no bigger than 2 and 3/8 inches apart to ensure that the baby's body does not fit through. Discover other important crib safety tips before purchasing your baby’s crib.
2. Car Seat 101
It is not uncommon to want to see your little one’s glowing face in your rearview mirror while driving, especially when they are fussy. However, before a child hits one year of age, their head is substantially disproportionate to their body, causing harm if facing forward during an accident. During impact, their head will fall forward more dramatically, increasing the likelihood and severity of spinal cord and neck injuries.
Tip: Ensure your child’s safety by keeping them in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least one-year-old and 20 pounds.
3. Co-Sleeping Risks
For many new parents, it can be reassuring to keep your little one close while sleeping. However, despite some possible pros, sharing a bed with your infant can introduce many dangerous safety risks such as rolling on top of them or suffocation.
Tip: To avoid the risks of sharing a bed with your infant, consider putting a crib or bassinet next to your bed. This will allow you to keep your little one close-by, without being a safety hazard.
4. Changing Table Mishaps
Finding the right changing table for your child can be a challenge. Changing tables make it easier to change or dress your little one. However, safety precautions must be taken to avoid falls.
Tip: There are many things to consider when purchasing a changing table for your child. Check to ensure that the changing table includes: a sturdy changing surface with a two-inch guardrail around all sides, the middle should be slightly lower so that the child will remain in one place and a safety strap to ensure that the child is secure.
5. Staircase Precaution
One moment your child is playing with their toys and the next they have made their way to the staircase. Each year more than 8,000 children are treated in emergency rooms due to fall-related incidents. It only takes a second for your child to wander over to the staircase when you aren’t looking.
Tip: Restrict your child's access to the staircase with a baby gate or fence. A properly installed baby gate will protect your little one from potential danger, even when you turn around for a second.
6. Pet Danger
Pets are a special part of our families. However, it is important to remember that accidents happen and in the end they are an animal. With over 100,000 children being treated each year for dog bites, it is crucial to never leave them unattended with the family pet, just to be safe.
Tip: In addition to never leaving your children and animals unattended together, teach your children to be gentle with them and remember to keep the dog or cat food out of reach.
7. Securing the Television
One of the last things on a new parent’s mind when baby-proofing a home is the television. According to the CPSC, approximately ten children die each year due to falling TVs. Taking precautions with unstable heavy electronics is critical.
Tip: Consider mounting your flat screen or television to the wall. If that is not an option, make sure that it is secured in a cabinet or with a TV anchor.
8. Temperature Control
Just like it is hard for adults to find an enjoyable temperature within our home, it is common for parents to wonder what the proper temperature should be to keep their baby safe and comfortable.
Tip: Experts recommend maintaining a room temperature between 65 to 74?F, which can be monitored with a room thermometer. By maintaining a comfortable temperature, your little one will sleep better.
9. Fireplace Vulnerability
Nothing is more comforting than the heat of a fireplace on a chilly night. However, if the fireplace has not been baby proofed, the end results could be very dangerous.
Tip: Whether your fireplace is wood- or gas-burning, the most effective way to keep your child safe is to restrict their access. Place them in a fenced in play yard or fence off the fireplace entirely when it’s in use.
10. Bath Time Monitoring
It is a common understanding amongst parents never to leave your child alone in the bathtub. But unfortunately, more than half of all infant drowning occurrences happen there.
Tip: Never leave a child alone in any water. Share this information with older siblings, relatives, etc. especially before leaving them with another individual. Always drain the tub first or take the child with you when answering the phone, door, etc.
11. Baby Proof Outlets
We constantly use electrical outlets throughout our everyday lives and, unfortunately, your baby's safety was not in mind when they were designed. Each year approximately 2,400 children suffer from burns and severe shocks caused by items being poked into electrical outlets. Safety proofing the outlets around your home can prevent serious injury and is very easy to do.
Tip: The most cost effective way to prevent your child from being injured by electrical outlets is with electrical outlet caps or plugs.
12. Pointed Corner Trauma
As a new parent it is important to remember your baby will fall, and often. Protecting them from potentially disastrous scenarios will be helpful for everyone.
Tip: Look for areas of your living space you can soften up, such as the sharp edges of the coffee table, side tables, and even some couches. Furniture padding will not only be the safest option, but it will look the best as well!
13. Door Safety
It is never fun getting your fingers caught or slammed in the door! Protect your child’s small fingers from hazardous situations with proper door safety.
Tip: A very simple and effective tip to protect young children from getting their fingers slammed or caught in the door is to purchase pinch guards.
Are you a new parent? UnityPoint Clinic can help you throughout this amazing journey! Schedule an appointment with our skilled pediatricians today.