Keeping Baby Safe
Most accidents are caused in and around the home, and during your child’s first months this is where they will be most at risk. However, there are measures that can be taken to avoid these accidents and ‘baby-proof’ your home. Here are a few of the dangers to be aware of:
Babies wriggle, move and push against things with their feet soon after they are born. Even these very first movements can result in a fall. As your baby grows and is able to roll over, he or she may fall off of things unless protected. Do not leave your baby alone on changing tables, beds, sofas, or chairs. Put your baby in a safe place such as a crib or playpen when you cannot hold him.
Your baby may be able to crawl as early as six months. Use gates on stairways and close doors to keep your baby out of rooms where he might get hurt. Ensure large accessible windows are locked.
If your child has a serious fall or does not act normally after a fall, take him to the GP.
At three to five months, babies will grab at things. NEVER carry your baby and hot liquids, such as tea, or foods at the same time. To prevent scalding - test the water temperature in the bath with your elbow first.
If your baby gets is scalded, immediately put the scalded area under a cold running tap. Then cover the burn loosely with a dry bandage or clean cloth and seek medical advice. If a burn is severe and deep, protect it from infection using loose, clean cling film and seek immediate medical attention.
To protect your baby from house fires, be sure you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home. Test the alarms every month. In some regions, the fire brigade will come out to your home on request, and test how fire safe you are and advise you on how to improve fire safety. On this visit, they also install free fire alarms for certain properties. Visit http://www.fireservice.co.uk/safety/ to find out more.
Choking and Suffocation
Babies explore their environment by putting anything and everything into their mouths. NEVER leave small objects in your baby’s reach, even for a moment. NEVER feed your baby hard pieces of food such as chunks of raw carrots, apples, hot dogs, grapes, peanuts, and popcorn. Cut all the foods you feed your baby into thin pieces to prevent choking. Be prepared if your baby starts to choke by knowing exactly what to do. You can find out online or by attending a baby and young child first-aid class.
Plastic wrappers and bags form a tight seal if placed over the mouth and nose and may suffocate your child. Keep them away from your baby.
Baby monitors are most commonly used to keep track of sleeping babies.
The typical baby monitor comes with two parts: a receiver and a transmitter.
The transmitter stays near the baby, and the receiver stays near the babysitter.
Some receivers are designed to clip to a belt so you can be more mobile; if possible, try the clip on in the store to make sure it's comfortable.
There are two basic kinds of baby monitors: video and audio.
Audio monitors provide sound monitoring so you can hear when your baby cries.
Video monitors let you actually watch what your baby is doing.
Some baby monitors combine both features, and others offer a ‘light’ aspect that fluctuates according to the volume of the crying.
Consider the size of your home when choosing your baby monitor. If you have a small to medium sized property - a monitor with a single receiver is probably enough. If you live in a larger space, you may want to get a monitor with more receivers so you can place them around the property.
Babies and pets
Six golden rules for keeping your child safe and your dog happy:
Never leave your child alone in the same room as a dog, even your own
Teach your child never to approach dogs when they:
Are eating or have a treat
Have a toy or something else they really like
Are unwell, injured or tired
Are blind or deaf
3.Teach your child to be kind and polite to dogs. Don’t let your child climb on dogs, pull their ears or do anything you wouldn’t allow them to do to another child.
4.Teach your child how to play nicely with your dog. For example, your child can teach your dog some really fun tricks like shake a paw, play dead or roll-over.
5.Supervise your child when they’re with your dog- if your dog looks unhappy, let him/her go somewhere they feel safe and happy.
6.Never allow your child to approach a dog they don’t know, for example when out in the park.
If you have a fish tank at home, ensure the lid is secure and the tank cannot easily be tipped over.
If you have cats, you need to ensure their claws are clipped regularly just in case and that their litter tray is dealt with efficiently so it doesn’t pose a danger to a crawling baby.
Baby safety rules for siblings
Teach children that they should always ask you before giving baby something to eat or play with. Explain that the wrong types of food/toys can be dangerous.
Talk to older siblings about the dangers of trying to reach to see baby. Make sure they know not to climb on the high chair or crib, because doing so may knock the baby over or tip the crib. If they want to say hello or give baby a kiss, they should ask an adult to help them.
Explain how important it is to never try and pick baby up or carry them on their own. Let them know that a baby's head is very sensitive and their skull isn't fully formed, so it's very bad for them to bump their head. No matter how big and strong they may be, picking up baby is something best left to adults unless it is an emergency.
Car crashes are a great threat to your child’s life and health. Most injuries and deaths from car crashes can be prevented by using a car safety seat. Your child, besides being much safer in a car seat, will be more calm and secure sitting in a car seat, allowing you to pay attention to your driving. Hospitals will not normally discharge a new born baby without an appropriate car seat for him to be carried out in and driven home.
Make certain that your baby’s car safety seat is installed correctly. Read and follow the instructions that come with the seat and the sections in the owners’ manual of your car on using car seats correctly. Use the car safety seat EVERY time your child is in the car.
NEVER put an infant in the front seat of a car with a passenger air bag.