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Parenting Tip of the Month

Click here to view our September Parenting Tip, "Baby Safety Month," or see below.

Baby on Fur RugBaby Safety Month

Welcoming a new baby into your home is a wonderful and exciting experience. Over the course of the first year, your baby will be developing and learning many new skills. Babies learn about the world through their sense of touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight. It is important to create a home for your baby to explore safely as your child becomes mobile. Many of the injuries and accidents that occur in homes are unintentional and preventable.

The following are tips to create a safe home for your baby:

  • Visually supervise. During awake times, keep your baby within your sight and monitor for potential dangers. When your baby is napping, visually supervise every 10-15 minutes.
  • SafeSleepCreate a safe sleep environment. Suffocation is the leading cause of unintentional injury or death in children less than 1 year old. Make sure your baby sleeps alone on their back and keep their sleep area free of pillows, bumpers, stuffed animals and blankets to minimize suffocation. Consider using a sleep sack (wearable blanket) to provide warmth for your baby instead of a loose blanket. For more information on creating a safe sleep environment, click here.
  • Minimize access to cords. Keep cords from window blinds or baby monitors at least three feet out of your baby’s reach. Make sure to secure and hide electrical cords before your baby becomes mobile.
  • Anchor TVs and furniture. As your child grows and begins to pull to stand, make sure to anchor furniture to prevent items from falling on top of your child. Put items your child desires out of their sight so they are not encouraged to climb.
  • Inspect the room on your child’s level. Infants are naturally curious and love to explore. By getting down on your hands and knees, you can see the potential dangers your child will be tempted to touch and taste.
  • Cover electrical outlets. Also, remove nightlights in lower outlets to minimize exposing the outlet.
  • Know emergency numbers. Enter phone numbers of doctors, hospitals and Poison Control (1-800-222-1222) into your smart phone and post in your home.
  • Install gates and use safety straps. Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries in children under 1 year of age. Gates can help prevent access to stairs and other areas that are off limits. It is recommended to use a mounted gate at the top of stairs instead of a pressure gate. Always use safety straps when available to secure your child from falling.
  • Remove choking hazards and poisonous items. Because young children explore with their mouths, it is important to lock up or store up high household chemicals, medications, batteries, coins and other items that have warning labels like “choking hazard” or “keep out of reach of children.”
  • Never leave your child alone in or near water. Drowning can occur in less than two inches. Empty bathtubs and containers of water after use and keep the bathroom door closed.

Click here for a childproofing checklist from the International Association for Child Safety's (IAFCS) ChildProofingExperts website and share with anyone else who provides care for your baby. For additional tips on keeping your baby’s room safe, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Healthy Children website by clicking here.

To celebrate Baby Safety Month, Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association is offering giveaways the month of September. Click here and be sure to check out their website each week.

Sources:
Safe Kids Worldwide website, https://www.safekids.org/sites/default/files/documents/2015_home_safety_checklist_eng_0.pdf
American Academy of Pediatrics’ healthychildren.org website, https://www.healthychildren.org


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