Baby safety is the biggest concern of every parent.Small things can make a big difference for your baby’s safety.Here is a complete list of baby safety measures at home and for your baby’s play time.
Baby Safety – Safety at play
- Inspect your baby.Your baby has probably outgrown her infant bath and is ready to have fun in the big tub. Never ever leave your child alone in a bathtub. Any accidents happening due to it would be sheer negligence.
- Block your baby’s access to dangerous areas and substances. Use gates at the tops and bottoms of staircases, in front of fireplaces, around delicate electronics or computers. Install window guards; put adults-only locks on cabinets and drawers; plug electrical outlets; pad sharp corners.
- Move fragile or hazardous items (including houseplants) out of your baby’s reach or behind locked doors. Anchor heavy furniture (bookshelves, dressers, television cabinets) to the wall so baby can’t pull them down. Stash electrical cords and cords from blinds and curtains away from your baby’s curious hands.
- Stay alert. Your best preventive efforts aren’t always enough babies — and no safety gate or latch works if it isn’t used. So always keep your baby in sight, if not in reach; be especially alert in the kitchen and bathroom. If you must leave your baby alone for a minute or two, put him/her in a crib or play yard, and keep preschool-age siblings and pets away.
- Avoid dangers such as toxic chemicals, medications, power tools, and the like when your baby is nearby — save them for his naptime or a time when you have another adult available to supervise your child.
- Teach your baby that some objects or areas are off-limits: “That is Mommy’s. It’s not safe to touch. Here is a toy that you can touch.” Use “warning words” such as “ouch,” “hot,” and “danger” to reinforce your safety lessons.
- Look out for small parts in toys. 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 playtime 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.
- Make sure all equipment is properly anchored and that climbing surfaces like ladders and steps are safely secured or not missing any steps. Check seesaws for splinters or cracks and overall stability.
- Only let your kids play on playgrounds that have adequate adult supervision. It never hurts to have an extra set of eyes helping you watch your busy little one.
- Teach children the basic rules of the playground, like avoiding walking directly in front of or behind swinging children. To avoid injuries, discourage kids from twisting or pushing empty swings.
- Check sandboxes for garbage and debris like cigarette butts, and check all play surfaces for debris like broken glass.
- Guide your children to age-appropriate equipment, and monitor them closely. For example, younger preschoolers may need to be in swings that have safety bars and high-backed seats to keep them from falling off.
Baby Safety- Safety at home
There are several hazards for young children in the kitchen. It is also the room where you may be most distracted if you are preparing food or drinks.
- Always strap a baby into a high chair using a safety harness.
- Don’t put the chair where a baby can reach out and pull things down.
Cupboards and drawers
- Shut all cupboards and drawers properly. Attach safety locks to drawers containing scissors or knives, or to cupboards that contain alcohol, medicines, or chemicals.
- Remove toys from the floor before you cook.
- Wipe away any liquid you may have spilled to avoid slippery surfaces.
- Never carry a baby while preparing his/her bottle.
- Don’t make a hot drink if there is a toddler or baby at your feet.
- Don’t make a child sit on the work surface. The baby could fall off or grab something dangerous.
- Look out for wires or chords from mixer grinders, kettle, hot plate etc. to avoid electric shock.
- Keep children away from fire, matches, hot oven etc.
- Turn pan handles away from the platform
- You probably spend most of your time with the children in the living room. Look out for potential hazards.
Television, video, stereo systems
- Don’t let your baby/toddler watch television from a close distance.It can spoil your child’s eyesight.
- Check whether wires are tucked away and electric sockets are closed with socket covers or plastic tape.Baby safety is at high risk with loose cords.
Floor and surfaces
- Don’t leave any potential hazards like scissors, glasses, mugs on the floor or surfaces within your child’s reach.
- Remember that a child can get a serious cut if she falls on a cup or glass, or she could be scalded by a hot drink.
- Put away any toys that have small pieces out of reach of children under three.
- Clear the floor of any toys that the children have finished playing with so that no one falls or trips over them.
- Encourage children to help you pick up the toys and put them away.
Baby safety is crucial during a baby’s trip to the bathroom whether it is for brushing teeth, potty time or bathing.
Wash basin and bath
- Make sure the water from the tap is not too hot.
- Always supervise your baby at the basin as even little water in the basin could lead to drowning if your baby loses balance and falls off in the basin full of water.
- Run cold water before hot and always check the temperature of the bath water for your baby’s safety.
- NEVER LEAVE A BABY OR YOUNG CHILD ALONE IN A BATH, EVEN FOR A MINUTE. A BABY CAN DROWN IN JUST 2.5 CM (1 INCH) OF WATER.
Toilets and potties
- Always go with the young child when she needs the toilet. Help her put the toilet seat in place.
- If your baby uses a potty, flush away the contents and rinse it well with a disinfectant like Dettol, Savlon etc.
Surfaces and cupboards
- Mop up any spills on the floor and check if cabinets in the bathroom are properly shut. Scissors, razors, disinfectant, shampoos, liquid soap perfume etc. should be kept out of reach of children.
Hall and stairs
- Stairs are an obvious hazard for young children. Supervise them going up and down the stairs and check that they hold on to the handrail.
- If you are carrying a baby on the stairs, always use the handrail.
- Encourage children to crawl backwards down the stairs.
- Keep the stair gates shut, even after the children have gone to bed, and leave a light on in the hall so that you can see to check on your children. Some children sleepwalk occasionally.
- Remove any toys that are lying around on the stairs or landing, or in the hall so that neither you nor the children trip over them.
Bed and cots
- If you child is made to sleep alone in a bed, make sure you have bed railings installed or enough blocks so that your child doesn’t fall off the bed.
- Avoid soft bedding that might suffocate your baby, such as pillows, blankets, plush toys, and bumpers in the crib.
- Put a young baby to sleep on his back or side, never on his front to avoid SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
- Check that your baby isn’t wrapped up or swaddled too much or too little so that he doesn’t get too hot or cold.
- Never leave any cuddly toys, blankets wrap near your baby’s head.
- Never wear a loose cap on your baby, else it may slide on your baby’s nose making it difficult for baby to breathe.
- If your children have bunk beds, don’t let them play on the top bunk in case they fall off.
- Keep a check on younger babies even if it means setting an alarm to check on your baby.
- If you are using a baby monitor, turn the transmitter on in the baby’s room and keep the receiver with you.
- Make sure that the monitor is turned up enough for you to hear the baby.
- If your baby sleeps with you in your bed, make sure you are careful about your hands and sleeping position to avoid blocking your child’s nose.
Considering how you would deal with various situations will increase your confidence and your child’s safety.
So be vigilant in order to have a safe home for you and your baby.
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Author’s note-Throughout this post,the pronouns “he”or “she” refers to both the sexes,except where a topic applies specifically to a boy or girl.