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Safety Tips

Safety Tips

Safety Tips for Parents of Newborns
  • Your baby needs breast milk only. Do not give him water before 6 months of life because his kidneys are still developing. His salt level may drop low when given water at this young age and cause hyponatremic seizures.
  • Breast milk is complete nutrition for your baby. Please do not feed him cereals, baby foods or honey at this time as his intestines are not ready for these things and serious diseases (anemia, eczema, allergies, botulism) may result. Solid foods can be introduced closer to 6 months of age. Please do not use “honey pacifiers.”
  • If your baby is fed formula, be certain to use clean water (bottled or boiled tap water), measure the water after boiling (not before, because some will evaporate) and mix exactly as instructed on the formula can. If you are buying bottled nursery water, make 1-2 of the bottles with fluoride-containing water and the remaining bottles with unfluoridated water to prevent excessive fluoride intake and permanent tooth staining.
  • When laying your baby down to sleep, lay her facing up in her crib. This will lower her risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Give “Tummy Time” only when you will be at her side watching her.
  • Do not place thick blankets, cushioned bumper pads, pillows, stuffed animals, toys or soft mattress covers in her crib because this increases your baby’s risk suffocation. Infant sleep sacks are good for cold nights and breathable mesh bumper pads are safe.
  • Use a rear facing car seat in your car’s back seat to transport your precious baby. Your baby is worth taking the extra time to ensure that the car seat base is securely fastened and that she is well fastened in the buckles without thick jackets in between. Ask for help from your local Fire Station if you are not sure about installing the car seat. Use a rear facing car seat until your baby is 2 years of age. Convertible seats are necessary when your infant reaches 29-30 inches in height (usually around 9 months of age).
  • Feed your baby in your arms. Do not prop a bottle up with a pillow as this causes her to swallow more air, increases her risk of choking and sets her up for ear infections.
  • Never leave your baby on a bed, couch or another high place for even a moment as he may fall and break his collarbone or arm or have a head injury. Instead set him in his crib with the rails up or on a blanket on the floor if you need to step away for a moment. In particular, do not place a “Bumbo seat” on a table; use it only on the ground.
  • Avoid crowded places and ask children to wash their hands before touching your baby. Fever in a baby is 100.4 degrees (per rectum) and requires prompt evaluation. If your infant is less than 1 month of age, you will need to proceed directly and immediately to a pediatric ER for a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees. If your infant is between 1-2 months of age with fever 100.4 or more by the rectum, please call the pediatrician right away to discuss your infant’s symptoms. If you do not know how to use a rectal thermometer for your baby, please ask your pediatrician to show you.
  • If you feel overwhelmed by crying, place your infant safely in a crib and walk away from the room for a breather of 5-10 minutes. Call a trusted friend or relative to help you. It is better for you to take a short break than to risk injuring your baby by shaking him.
  • Checklist to baby proof your home:
  • Make sure that mirrors or pictures hanging above the changing table are well fastened.
  • Secure large screen TV’s and bookshelves to walls.
  • Remind siblings that baby cannot have small objects.
  • Watch out for baby jewelry (bracelets) with objects dangling as they can be choking hazards.
  • Set your water heater to 1200F.
  • For more baby-proofing tips, check out this website:

http://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/getting-ready/make-home-safe.html

 

“Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.”  — Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa


Safety Tips for Parents of One Month Olds
  • Baby needs breast milk only. Do not give Baby water yet as the kidneys are still developing and may let his blood salt level drop too low when given water.
  • Do not feed Baby cereals, baby foods, juice or honey. His intestines are not ready for these products and serious diseases (allergies, botulism, excessive weight gain) may develop. Breast milk production may decrease if solids are started too early.
  • If you have decided to feed Baby with formula, be certain to use clean water (bottled nursery water with fluoride or boiled tap water), measure the water after boiling (not before boiling) and mix the formula exactly as instructed on the formula can.
  • When laying Baby down to sleep, always lay her facing up in her crib. This will lower her risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Allow her “tummy time” when you are at her side watching her during play or nap times.
  • Do not place thick blankets, pillows or soft mattress covers in her crib. These products will increase risk of SIDS. Children should not have a pillow for sleep until 2 years old. Armless “Sleep sacks” made especially for your infants chest size or a thin receiving blanket are sufficient to keep Baby warm during cooler months.
  • Do not let your infant be exposed to any passive smoke. Smoke exposure increases the risk of SIDS. If you can smell smoke on someone, they are exposing your infant and should not hold or be in the same room with your infant before changing their clothes.
  • Use a rear facing car seat in the back seat of the car. Place the infant in the car seat without thick jackets and latch the buckle so it fits snugly. You may drape a blanket over Baby (not the face) after you buckle him into the seat. Take the time to be sure your car seat base is firmly in place. It should not move even if you put all your weight on it. Your local Fire Department will help you, if you are not sure. Read your car safety seat instructions carefully.
  • Feed Baby upright and do not prop bottles up with pillows. This helps to prevent ear infections and gastro-esophageal reflux (acid reflux).
  • Never leave baby on a bed, changing table or other high place for even a moment. Baby may fall off, injuring the head, collarbone, or other body parts. If you need to step away, place Baby on the ground or in the crib with rails up.
  • Avoid crowded places and small children until the first vaccines have been given at 6-8 weeks of age. Even a low-grade fever of 100.4, requires hospitalization, blood draws, urine catheters, spinal tap and IV antibiotics until 6 weeks of life.

Safety Tips for Parents of Two Month Olds
  • Baby needs breast milk only. No baby food, honey, or water.
  • If you decide to feed baby with formula, measure the water after boiling (not before, as some water will evaporate) and mix as instructed on the can.
  • At 4 months, start baby on Rice Cereal. Mix 1-2 tablespoons with formula, water, or expressed breast milk to the consistency of applesauce. Feed him the cereal with a spoon, so he can learn to chew and swallow. He may put his fingers in his mouth since he is accustomed to sucking and swallowing. This is okay.
  • When laying Baby down to sleep, always lay her face up in the crib. Give her tummy time during the day when you are watching her to help strengthen her muscles and prevent her head from becoming flat.
  • Use a rear facing car seat. Remove thick jackets before placing Baby in the car seat and adjusting the buckles so the straps fit snuggly on Baby.
  • Do not prop Baby’s bottle up with a pillow. This increases her risk of choking and ear infections, and causes her to swallow air. Feed her in your arms.
  • Never leave Baby on a bed or other high place for even a moment as he may roll off and break his collar bone. Instead, set him in his crib with the rails up, or on a blanket on the floor if you need to step away for a moment.
  • Find a babysitter you can trust. It is important that Baby has parents who are happy. This means you and your partner need time alone. Leave a bottle of formula or breast milk for the sitter to feed the baby and go on a date once a week.
  • Baby proof your home. Lower the mattress in the crib. Make sure that the pictures hanging above the changing table are well fastened. Remind siblings Baby cannot have small objects or food. Keep tubes/bottles of lotion out of reach.
  • When bathing Baby, use a soft soapy washcloth to clean earlobes. When you rinse Baby, allow water to go over his ears to rinse out soap, dirt, and wax. Q-Tips may cause hard by pushing wax into the ear canal (wax impaction) or scratching the delicate skin of the ear canal. Impacted wax is painful!

Safety Tips for Parents of Four Month Olds
  • Keep Baby in a rear-facing car seat when in the car.
  • Infant walkers can be dangerous, and they do not teach Baby to walk any faster.
  • Keep latex balloons, coins and small toys away. They are choking hazards.
  • Find a reliable baby-sitter, leave a bottle, and go out with your spouse once a week. Happy Parents make Baby happy.

Safety Tips for Parents of Six Month Olds
  • Use a Rear-Facing Car Seat in the back seat until two years old. You may need to use a convertible (larger size) car seat if your baby has reached 29-30 inches or out-grown the weight limit of the infant car seat, but keep it facing the rear of the car until two years old. The local fire department will help you put in the new car seat securely.
  • Use filtered tap water for mixing formula or cereals as it contains a proper amount of fluoride. It does not need to be boiled any longer.
  • Use sunscreen and insect repellant when outdoors (especially summer). Look for insect repellent that has 7% or less DEET and be sure to wash it off after returning indoors. Use “tear free” sunscreen made specifically for babies. Desitin diaper cream is also a good sunscreen!
  • Do not use old fashioned baby walkers. They do not help Baby walk any faster and can cause falls with head trauma and severed finger tips.
  • Baby-Proof your home. Use the following checklist:
    • Safety lock cabinet doors.
    • Prevent access to stairs with baby gates.
    • Put plastic plugs in electricity outlets.
    • Put safety lock on toilet seat cover.
    • Never leave a mop bucket or container of water around for even a short time.
    • Pad corners of coffee tables.
    • Put self-locking gate around swimming pool.
    • Do not leave “kiddy pools” filled.
    • Remove coins and toys with small parts from the floor.
    • Lower Crib Mattress (if not already lowered).
    • Secure pictures or mirrors above the changing table.
    • Post the Poison Control # 1-800-222-1222 on the refrigerator and phone contacts.
    • Secure television screens and bookshelves to walls.
    • Use an app on your smart-phone to remind you to remove Baby from the car. Waze has this feature. https://www.waze.com/
    • Do not text while driving.
    • Remove an looped strings on curtains. Remove lead weights from curtains.
    • Do not leave button batteries or any magnets around.
    • Set water heater temp to 120 F and do not leave Baby in bath tub alone.
    • Add plastic covers to the metal bath tub faucet.
    • Do not leave your baby unattended with pets and small children.

Safety Tips for Parents of Nine Month Olds

Baby Walkers, contrary to their name, do not help your child learn to walk earlier. They do help strengthen the muscles in the lower legs; however, they do not strengthen the muscles of the upper legs or hips which are used more for walking. In addition, they are a serious safety hazard as they can easily tip over if your child bumps into an obstacle such as a toy or throw rug. Use an “exersaucer” without wheels instead, if you like, but really crawling around on the floor is best for development and best for the immune system!

Use a Rear-Facing Car Seat in the back seat until your baby is two years old. You may need to use a convertible car seat if your baby has reached the height restriction on the infant car seat (usually 29-30 inches), but keep the convertible car seat facing backward until 2 years of age if possible.

Do not use Q-Tips inside Baby’s ear canals. They only push the wax deeper and could injure the delicate ear causing bleeding or even hearing damage. Instead, clean Baby’s ears by using a soapy fingertip directly in the ear space, then rinse with warm fresh water, preferably from an hand-held sprayer attached to the shower head.

Baby Proof your home. Here is a reminder checklist of things to do:

  • Safety-lock cabinet doors. Keep medications out of reach.
  • Keep dishwash detergent and clothes detergent pods out of reach.
  • Secure furniture such as dressers with drawers, bookshelves, TVs to walls.
  • Post the Poison Control #1-800-222-1222 on the refrigerator and phone contacts.
  • Avoid table cloths, baby will pull up on them and make things fall down.
  • Cut loops or tie up curtain cords to avoid strangulation.
  • Never leave an empty cooler lid open- suffocation hazard!
  • Set a reminder app on phone to check for baby upon arrival in car.
  • Cover the sharp edges of coffee tables and move breakables out of reach.
  • Prevent access to stairs with baby gates.
  • Put plastic plug covers in outlets.
  • Put safety lock on toilet seat cover.
  • Never leave a mop bucket or container of water around for even a short time.
  • Put self-locking gate around swimming pool.
  • Secure “doggy doors” to prevent Baby from crawling outside.
  • Do not leave “kiddy pools” filled.
  • Remove coins and toys with small parts from floor.
  • Lower crib mattress (if not already lowered).
  • Attach a hand held sprayer to your shower head and leave the drain on the baby bath-tub open. Instead of sitting baby in a pool of bath water, wash with the flowing bath water.

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