Baby Safety Around the House

You're probably doing lots of baby proofing, and that's great. Here are some other important ways to help keep your little one safe and sound.

Never leave your baby alone
Even newborns can occasionally turn over or flip around, so never leave your baby alone in the tub, on a raised surface like a changing table, or on anadult bed. And never leave a baby in a car by herself, even for a minute. Emergencies can happen in an instant, and your child needs an adult with her atall times.

Never shake a baby
Shaking a baby, even playfully, can cause bleeding in her brain and rip nerves and muscles. Shaken Baby Syndrome can result in blindness, brain damage, ordeath. Taking care of a baby is a tough job, and in the early days it's often difficult to fathom why your baby is crying. Feeling angry and frustratedsometimes is normal. But no matter how frustrated you get, NEVER shake or jiggle your baby violently. If you feel yourself losing control, seek help fromyour mate, a friend or relative, or a professional. Never shake a baby as part of a game, either. It's just too dangerous.

Make sure your baby's gear is safe
There are lots of new safety standards for baby and child equipment. Before you purchase anything or take on used baby gear, check to be sure everythingmeets standards and hasn't been recalled.

  • Before you buy any baby gear, check for safety information. Everything you buy should pass Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards. Call1-800-638-2772 or check the Web site to be sure.
  • Check all of your baby's equipment regularly for loose parts, sharp or rough edges, and peeling paint.

Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, and check for radon

  • Call the Radon Hotline, 1–800–767–7236, for information on reducing the risk of radon exposure in your home.

Prevent choking

  • Avoid foods that pose the greatest choking hazard. This includes hot dogs, whole grapes, peanuts, hard candy, and raw carrots.
  • Always feed your baby sitting up, in your lap, or in an infant chair. Make sure your toddler sits at the table and doesn't walk or run with food in hismouth.
  • Make sure your child's toys are safe. Soft toys should be washable, stuffed with fire-safe material, and have no loose pieces such as eyes, buttons, orlatches. If toys break down into pieces, no piece should be smaller than 1.75 inches. (They should be too big to fit through a paper towel tube.)Pieces smaller than that pose a choking hazard. Don't use any toys that have strings, fasteners, buttons, or chipping paint. Avoid latex balloons andsmall balls, and check all of your baby's toys regularly for rough edges, loose parts, or peeling paint.
  • Only dress your baby in safe clothing. Check clothes inside and out for loose strings or ribbons or anything that could wrap around your baby's neck,small fingers, or toes. Avoid drawstrings on clothes that can get caught in doors, cribs, or toy equipment such as bicycle wheels. Remember, childrencan always pull off buttons that you think are securely attached.

Follow these additional safety guidelines

  • Don't put pacifiers or necklaces around your young infant's neck. A cord or necklace can too easily get caught and strangle him.
  • Never refer to medicine as candy.
  • Put all visitors' handbags and luggage out of your child's reach.
  • Make sure carrying devices such as packs and strollers fit your child's age and stage of development.

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