Congratulations on your new baby. You’re going to be a great parent, and we’ll be right here with you so you’re not alone.
First things first: Did you watch how the hospital nurses treated your new baby? If so, you noticed the way they pull and twist and stick and scrub. It makes you realize that these babies are not as delicate as you think. So don’t worry about the little things. Babies are tough.
But learning about a few safety tips at each stage of your baby’s development is a great way to ensure that your baby will grow up curious and active and safe.
So welcome. On this site, you will find the top tips every parent needs to keep their babies safe. Think of us as your go-to source for safety information.
Because when it comes to keeping kids active and safe, we’re all in this together.
What You Need to Know
- Battery Safety
- Bike Safety
- Boating Safety
- Burn and Scald Prevention
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention
- Choking Prevention
- Fall Prevention
- Fire Safety
- Heatstroke Prevention
- Liquid Laundry Packet Safety
- Medication Safety
- Passenger Safety
- Playground Safety
- Poison Prevention
- Sleep Safety
- Swimming and Water Safety
- Toy Safety
- TV and Furniture Tip-Over Safety
MEDICATION SAFETY FOR BABY’S
Many medications for babies and small children look and taste like candy or food. While this might make it easier for little ones to take medicines, it also means parents need to be extra careful to keep medicines up and away when not being used. Here are some simple tips to ensure your baby’s safety.
Top Safety Tips
- Put all medicines up and away and out of sight including your own. Make sure that all medicines and vitamins are stored out of reach and out of sight of children. In 3 out of 4 emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child got into medicine belonging to a parent or grandparent.
- Even if you are tempted to keep it handy, put medicine out of reach after every use. When you need to give another dose in just a few hours, it may be tempting to keep medicine close at hand. But accidents can happen fast, and it only takes a few seconds for children to get into medicine that could make them very sick. Put medicine up and away after every use. And if you need a reminder, set an alarm on your watch or cell phone, or write yourself a note.
- Talk to your kids about medication safety. Even if their medication tastes good, don’t compare it to candy to encourage kids to take it.
- Close your medicine caps tightly after every use. Buy medicines in child-resistant packages when you can. But remember, child-resistant does not mean child-proof, and some children will still be able to get into medicine given enough time and persistence.
- Educate grandparents. It is estimated that in 38 percent of ER visits involving a medicine poisoning, the medicine belonged to a grandparent. Talk to grandparents about being extra mindful with medicine or pillboxes when children are around.
- Consider places where kids get into medicine. Kids get into medication in all sorts of places, like in purses and nightstands. In 60% of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the medicine was left within reach of a child, such as in a purse, on a counter or dresser, or on the ground. Place purses and bags in high locations, and avoid leaving medicines on a nightstand or dresser.
- Be alert to visitors’ medicine. Guests in your home may not be thinking about the medicine they brought with them in their belongings. In 49% of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the medicine a child got into belonged to a relative, such as a grandparent, aunt or uncle. When you have guests in your home, offer to put purses, bags and coats out of reach of children to protect their property from a curious child.
- Use the dosing device that comes with the medicine. Proper dosing is important, particularly for young children. Kitchen spoons aren’t all the same, and a teaspoon and tablespoon used for cooking won’t measure the same amount as the dosing device.
BATTERY SAFETY FOR BABY’S
Babies are naturally curious and are constantly discovering new things, such as your smartphone, keys or new watch. Learn how to keep babies safe around small batteries and battery-powered devices that could be harmful if accidentally ingested.
Top Safety Tips
- Keep small electronics or devices that use button batteries out of reach of small children. These include remote controls, key fobs, watches, pocket calculators, musical greeting cards and flameless candles.
- While the best thing to do is to keep these items away from young kids, if you know your children are natural explorers, secure your battery-controlled devices and keep them up and away and out of reach.
- If you suspect your child has ingested a battery, go to the hospital immediately. Don’t induce vomiting or have your child eat or drink anything until assessed by a medical professional.
- The symptoms may be tricky to recognize (they include coughing, drooling and discomfort), so if you have even the smallest doubt, don’t take any chances. Go to the emergency room right away.
PASSENGER SAFETY FOR BABIES
Your baby is going places. Help get him or her there safely with the following tips.
Top Safety Tips
- Seventy-three percent of car seats are not used or installed correctly, so before you hit the road, check your car seat. Here’s a quick car seat checklist to help you out. It takes only 15 minutes. If you are having even the slightest trouble, questions or concerns, certified child passenger safety technicians are able to help or even double check your work.
- Learn how to install your car seat for free. Safe Kids hosts car seat inspection events across the country where certified technicians can help make sure your car seat is properly installed. They will teach you so that you can always be sure your car seat is used correctly.
- Inch Test. Once your car seat is installed, give it a good tug at the base where the seat belt goes through it. Can you move it more than an inch side to side or front to back? A properly installed seat will not move more than an inch.
- Pinch Test. Make sure the harness is tightly buckled and coming from the correct slots (check your car seat manual). With the chest clip placed at armpit level, pinch the strap at your child’s shoulder. If you are unable to pinch any excess webbing, you’re good to go.
- For both rear- and forward-facing child safety seats, use either the car’s seat belt or LATCH system to lock the car seat in place. Don’t use both at the same time.
- Toys can injure your child in a crash, so be extra careful to choose the ones that are soft and will not hurt your baby. A small, loose toy can be dangerous and injure your baby in a crash. Secure loose objects and toys to protect everyone in the car.
- Look at the label on your car seat to make sure it’s appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height. Your car seat has an expiration date – usually around six years. Find and double check the label to make sure it’s still safe.
- Buy a used car seat only if you know its full crash history. That means you must buy it from someone you know, not from a thrift store or over the Internet. Once a car seat has been in a crash or is expired or broken, it needs to be replaced.
BABY SLEEP SAFETY AND SUFFOCATION PREVENTION
There is nothing more beautiful than a sleeping baby, especially for parents who are often overtired themselves. By following a few simple tips, you can create a safer sleeping environment for your baby.
- Lay your baby on his or her back to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- We know that stuffed animals, bumpers and all those cute accessories make a baby’s crib seem warm and cozy. Unfortunately, they can often do more harm than good. Soft bedding can block a baby’s airway during sleep. A firm mattress covered with a tight-fitting crib sheet is all you need to make your baby sleep like a baby.
- If you’re worried about keeping your baby warm on those cold winter nights, try using a sleep sack (wearable blanket). They’re pretty cozy.
- Most infant suffocation occurs during sleep but don’t worry, your baby will be fine. Just spend a little time to make sure your crib is safe.
- If you can fit a can of soda between the slats of a crib, that means a child’s head, hand or foot could get stuck.
- Make sure the mattress is firm and fits snugly; otherwise a child could get stuck between the gaps. Cover it with a crib sheet with nothing else in it.
- Babies should not sleep on beds, sofas, recliners, chairs, soft surfaces, bouncy chairs or baby swings. If this happens, make sure to return your baby to a safe sleep environment.
- New parents have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be on the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind – and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better.
TOY SAFETY FOR BABY’S
As new parents, there are so many fun ways to interact with your baby. Toys, stuffed animals and games are great for babies and make wonderful gifts. But before your babies play with any toy, help keep them safe with the following tips.
Top Safety Tips
- Consider your baby’s age when purchasing a toy or game. It’s worth a second to read the instructions and warning labels to make sure it’s just right for your child. Identify any small parts or other potential hazards.
- Before you’ve settled on the perfect toy, check to make sure there aren’t any small parts or other potential choking hazards.
- Keep a special eye on small game pieces that may be a choking hazard for young children. While these kinds of games are great for older kids, they can pose a potential danger for younger, curious siblings.
- After play time is over, use a bin or container to store toys for next time. Make sure there are no holes or hinges that could catch little fingers.
TV AND FURNITURE TIP-OVERS SAFETY FOR BABY’S
Every 45 minutes, or less than the length of a Sesame Street episode, a child visits the ER because of a TV tipping over. It’s something most parents don’t even think about. But securing your TV and furniture is an important part of baby-proofing your home.
POISON PREVENTION FOR BABY’S
Gradually, your little ones will start crawling and exploring. It’s fascinating to watch them discover new things every day. As babies become more and more mobile, they’ll begin testing boundaries in wonderful new ways.
SWIMMING SAFETY FOR BABY’S
It may be some time before your baby is actually swimming, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some time in the pool. Here are a few easy tips to make the water experience safe.
Top Safety Tips
- You can start introducing your babies to water when they are about 6 months old. Remember to always use waterproof diapers and change them frequently.
- We know you have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be on the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind – and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better.
- When using inflatable or portable pools, remember to empty them immediately after use. Store them upside down and out of children’s reach.
- Never leave your child unattended around water. We know it sounds harsh, but there is no room for compromise on this one. Babies can drown in as little as one inch of water.
BIKE SAFETY FOR BABY’S
Babies around 9 months old are just becoming strong enough to hold up their necks, so it is not recommended that infants younger than 12 months ride in a bicycle seat, trailer, sidecar or any other carrier. However, when they are ready for a free ride, these safety tips can help passengers in a child-trailer or rear-mounted seat enjoy the experience.
Top Safety Tips
- Infants younger than 12 months are too young to sit in a rear bike seat and should not be carried on a bicycle. Do not carry infants in backpacks or a front carrier on a bike.
- It is not recommended to seat babies in slumped positions for long periods of time.
- The International Bicycle Fund recommends that helmets be round and not aero shaped for infants riding in bike seats and trailers and it should meet American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) safety standards. The helmet should cover the forehead and not sit on the back of the head.
- Keep in mind that rides in the infant bike seat will be much rougher than the one you experience in the saddle so choose your ride carefully.
- Many trailers have five-point harnesses, rolling cages, reflectors and safety flags. Using a cover can also help prevent materials from flying into your infant’s eyes.
BURN PREVENTION FOR BABY’S
Babies can sometimes be burned by hot liquids, steam or electrical appliances. Just being aware of the danger is a great first step to avoiding it. It’s tempting to carry your baby in your arms or in a baby sling, but don’t hold a baby while carrying anything hot or cooking on the stove. Whether in the kitchen or bathroom (where babies experience more injuries due to hot water burns), here are few tips that can help keep your baby safe from burns.
Top Safety Tips
- With everything going on, we know the water heater is the last thing on your mind. But a small adjustment can give you one less thing to worry about. To prevent accidental scalding, set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or the manufacturer’s recommended setting.
- Check the water with your wrist or elbow before giving your baby a bath.
- Microwaves can heat unevenly and create hot spots, so avoid using them to heat baby formula or baby milk.
- Heat bottles by placing them in warm water and make sure they have cooled to the appropriate temperature before feeding your baby.
- Install barriers such as safety gates around fireplaces, ovens and furnaces.