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Babies grow rapidly and so do their needs. Children need freedom to explore, develop and connect during this rapid growth period—but in a safe environment.

To secure a safe environment, take a baby’s point of view. Get down on your hands and knees to see what is at a baby’s level.   Look for outlets, blind cords, small objects, hanging tablecloths, poisonous plants and other hazards.  Make corrections to secure safety.

Do a daily check! Be certain that toys and gear are used properly and are appropriate for your child.  Inspect baby items for missing hardware, loose threads and strings, holes and tears.  Discontinue use of these items as needed.

Follow these tips to create a safe environment for your child at every stage and age:

Sleep Safety

  • Safest place for a baby to sleep is in a bare, fully functional, properly assembled, certified crib.
  • Room share instead of bed share for the first year.
  • Avoid placing the crib or toddler bed near windows with cords from blinds or drapes.
  • When your child is able to pull up to a standing position, set the mattress to the lowest position and remove any objects that could serve as steps for climbing out of the crib.
  • It’s time to move your child to a toddler bed when he or she begins to climb out of the crib.

Car Seat Safety

  • Children should ride rear facing until they reach the maximum rear-facing weight or height allowed by the guidelines.
  • Children who exceed rear-facing limits should ride in forward facing car seats with a harness.
  • Children who exceed the forward facing harness limits should ride in a booster seat until seat belts alone fit correctly.
  • Follow car seat instructions for proper use and don’t forget to register your car seat with the manufacturer.
  • Follow your state’s child-seating requirements. The back seat is the safest place for children under 13 to ride.

Product Safety

  • Never leave children unattended during bath time and avoid distractions.
  • Never place your baby’s infant seat, swing, bouncer or car seat on a countertop, table or any raised surface.
  • Always used harnesses and straps when provided, each time.
  • When a baby begins to crawl, install gates on doorways and stairs.
  • Always follow manufacturer’s instructions, warning labels and recommendations for age and weight requirements.

Be confident you are doing everything right when it comes to baby safety. Be safe!

Written by: Beth Stefura, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, green.308@osu.edu

Sources:

http://www.iafcs.org/webcomponents/articles/events.asp?id=28

https://ohiohospitals.org/Patient-Safety-Quality/Statewide-Initiatives/Infant-Mortality-Initiatives/Safe-Sleep-Good4Baby-(1)

https://www.safekids.org/blog/5-tips-new-parents-during-baby-safety-month

 

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