Keeping Your Baby Safe

Making your baby’s world as safe as you can is part of being a parent. To keep your baby safe, you need to watch him. Never leave an infant alone — even for a second — except in a safe crib or playpen.

Parents need to protect their babies’ health. This is just as important as keeping your baby safe from accidents. If people in your family have allergies, you may want to make it less likely that something in your home will trigger an allergic reaction in your baby. Ask your doctor or public health nurse for more details on preventing allergies.

A safe infant car seat is one of the first things you should buy for your baby. The law says that babies must always ride in an approved infant car seat. This includes the trip home from the hospital. Your baby’s car seat should:
• Face backward
• Be fixed in place with the seat belt and have the harness fastened across the baby’s chest
• Support your baby’s head and neck. You can use a rolled up blanket for this.

The safest place for the baby’s car seat is in the centre of the back seat. Never put an infant seat in front of an air bag.

Another way to keep your baby safe is to childproof your home. New babies will not crawl around on the floor or put things in their mouth. But it is wise to prepare for when this happens. Start now. Make your home safe before your baby learns to roll over, sit up, or crawl.

Check the floor, shelves, tables, and cupboards. REMOVE: • Small things that a baby can swallow or put into his ears and nose • Sharp or rough things that can cut or scrape a baby • Plants low enough to be pulled over or eaten • Lamp cords long enough for a child to get tangled in or cords that a baby can use to pull something down on himself • Cords for blinds or drapes from baby’s reach by tying them up. Make sure not to put your baby’s crib near a window with blinds that have cords or near a window that does not have a window guard.

Start to buy: • Safety gates for stairs • Covers for electric plugs (Be sure they are not small enough for the baby to swallow.) • Locks for cupboards • Hooks to keep drawers closed

All the things you buy for your baby should be safe and well made. This includes strollers, high chairs, clothing, toys, and soothers. Talk with your public health nurse, St. John Ambulance or the Red Cross to learn more about child safety.

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