Baby Safety Month: Addressing Safety Concerns
Being a parent is full of fun and exciting times. But it also includes worrying about the different injuries your child can experience during their childhood. September is Baby Safety Month, and there’s no better time to check out our baby safety tips and tricks to address the safety concerns in and around your home.
- Safety concerns in the car
- What is SIDS?
- Babies and pets
- Baby safety tips for hurricane season
- The best baby safety products
Safety Concerns for Children in the Car
From taking your baby home from the hospital to riding to and from school or going on a family trip, you’ll probably take your child plenty of places during their first years of life. However, riding in the car comes with understanding and addressing several safety concerns to keep your child protected from harm. Here are the biggest baby safety tips on car rides:
- Whenever your child rides in a car, make sure they are in a federally approved car safety seat that has been properly installed. Never let your child sit in your lap when riding in a vehicle
- When installing a car seat, be sure to read your car’s owner’s manual and the seat’s installation instructions. You can also visit a local installation site such as a fire or police station if your community has certified child passenger safety technician services. Also, if you purchase a car seat from someone, ensure it has never been in an accident.
- Your child’s age, height, and weight determine the way their car seat should face and what type of seat they need. Up to age two, the child should be rear facing. A child should never sit in the front seat of a car due to the impact of airbags in the event of a crash. As your child ages, you will need to adjust the straps and the type of seat.
What is SIDS?
SIDS, also known as sudden infant death syndrome, is the unexplained death of a healthy baby less than one year of age during sleep. Although SIDS is typically unexplained, research shows that certain factors increase a child’s risk:
- Low birth weight. Being born prematurely or being part of a multiple-child birth increases the likelihood that a child’s brain isn’t fully developed, which can cause a decrease in control over their heart rate and breathing.
- Brain defects. Infants born with brain development issues, such as those that control sleep arousal and breathing, are at a higher risk of SIDS.
- Recent respiratory infections. Many children who died from SIDS had recently had a cold, which can contribute to breathing problems, increasing the risk of death.
- Side or stomach sleeping. Experts recommend babies sleep on their backs because stomach and side sleeping can cause breathing difficulties.
- Sleeping on a soft surface or sharing a bed. Children’s airways can become blocked if they fall asleep on a soft blanket or comforter or if they are in a crib with stuffed animals or pillows. Research shows that although babies who sleep in the same room as their parents reduce their risk of SIDS, co-sleeping increases a child’s risk.
- Sleeping in a warm room or with clothing that is too heavy can also increase a child’s risk of SIDS.
Babies and Pets
Having a pet can be a great experience for your family, but there are several safety concerns that you should be aware of to keep your pet and your child safe. No matter how much you trust your pet, you should never leave them alone with your child. Here are other ways to keep everyone safe while enjoying the company of your furry friends:
- Prevent your child from accessing your pet’s food, water, litter box, and toys by placing them in areas that are unreachable.
- Always supervise children’s interactions with pets. Teach your child to be gentle and avoid hitting, pulling, or other inappropriate actions that can lead to bites or scratches from your pet.
- Be sure to wash your child’s hands after they play with an animal.
- Do not let your child play with your pet’s toys or the other way around. This can cause your pet to become territorial.
- Invest in training for your pet and give them plenty of space to enjoy time away from children. Also be sure to learn any indicators that a pet is uncomfortable to prevent injuries.
Baby Safety Tips for Hurricane Season
As we enter the middle of hurricane season, it’s more important than ever to have a solid plan for how you will react in case of an emergency. Address safety concerns by creating an emergency preparedness kit for hurricane season that includes essential items for your baby. Keeping these items on hand in an easy-to-grab container or bag will make it much easier to evacuate or respond in case of a hurricane.
To create an emergency preparedness kit for your infant, pack formula, diapers, sterilized bottles, powdered milk, baby wipes, medications, ointment, and multiple changes of clothes into sealable plastic bags. Include a copy of important medical records and contact information for health care providers in your bag. Then, place the bags into a tote or duffle and store it in a place you can easily access, such as your car or a cabinet by your door. Be sure to discuss plans for where you will evacuate if necessary and what you will do if your home loses power. Don’t forget to make emergency preparedness plans for pets as well!
The Best Baby Safety Products
Childproofing your home is essential for keeping your little ones safe and unharmed. Although many people think of childproofing as injury prevention for babies, experts remind parents that children of all ages can injure themselves, and your home should be prepared accordingly. Here are some of the best baby safety products we’re adding to our must-have lists this year to address safety concerns for kids of all ages:
- Adhesive child proof door lever lock
- Clear stove knob covers
- Clear furniture corner protectors
- Furniture anchor straps
- Child-safe USB charger cover
- Heat-resistant oven door lock
- Plastic outlet covers
- Foam door pinch guards
- Child anti-loss safety wrist strap or harness mini backpack
- Child safety lock for sliding doors and windows
- Adhesive magnet cabinet locks
- Window alarm sensors
Want to learn more about emergency preparedness, SIDS, and how to solve other baby safety concerns? Check out our training calendar and join us for one of our educational classes!