Common Infant Safety Hazards

The first few months of a baby’s life is spent at home. You will be watching your baby pass so many milestones. There are potential safety problems that need to be addressed before you bring your baby home. There are the obvious problems: choking, drowning, falls, poisoning and burns.
A parent knows his/her home better than anyone. One way to discover potential dangers is to look at the world from the baby’s perspective.

Crawl around on the floor. Are there outlets that need dead plugs? Reach out and see what you can grab. Is there a small button that fell on the floor? The following are potential risks that you can learn to identify and protect your baby.

Burns

A baby can be burned and injured by hot liquids, steam and electrical appliances Take precautions:

Bath time: Check the water temperature with your wrist or elbow before you put baby into the tub.

Kitchen: Microwaves are hard to gauge for the heat of the bottle. When holding your baby, do not carry anything hot. This includes coffee and tea.

In General: Set water heater to 120 degrees. Cover unused outlets, and keep electrical cords out of reach. Install barriers around fireplaces, ovens and heaters or furnaces.

Choking, Suffocation and Strangulation Prevention.

Babies are curious and will put things in their mouth. This is the cause of most choking accidents in the home.

Choking: Constant supervision of the baby while s/he eats or plays is necessary. When giving baby finger foods, be sure that the food is not hard. Check toys before giving to baby. Some toys have parts that come off (such as eyes) and can be a choking danger. Take a CPR class for choking infants.

Suffocation: Pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals should not be in baby’s crib. Babies should not sleep on soft surfaces. Plastic bags are a danger.

Strangulation: Cords and strings are dangerous. Remove hood and neck drawstrings from baby’s clothing. Make sure that you remove jewelry such as necklaces, purses and scarves from baby after s/he has had supervised play with the items. Older or used cribs should have the slats checked for security and width. Slats should not be more than a soda can (2 3/8 inches) apart.

Drowning dangers

Wading pools, bathtubs, buckets, diaper pails, toilets, spas and hot tubs. Remember, a baby can drown in an inch of water.

Bathroom: Keep toilet lids shut and clamped with toilet locks. Regularly check drain covers. Be sure they are secure.

In General: Empty pails, buckets, containers and wading pools right after use. If you have a swimming pool, install a safety fence and gate.

Falls

Babies are at risk from falling from high chairs, beds, changing tables, stairs, baby walkers, and strollers.

Bedrooms: Be sure that chairs, cribs and other furniture are away from windows.

In General: Install window guards. Screens tear/break easily, and a child could fall. Use approved safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs. Strap baby into high chairs, infant carriers, swings and strollers. Avoid baby walkers – especially ones on wheels. They are a major cause of falling accidents.

Fire Prevention

Smoke alarms in all areas of your home is important. Do not forget sleeping rooms for smoke alarms.

Space heaters cause many fires. Do not leave a space on when leaving a room Do not put space heaters near any flammable objects (curtains, furniture, papers).

In General: Do not leave baby alone in the kitchen when you are cooking. Do not plug several appliance cords into one socket.

Poison Prevention

Things that most of us take for granted can be poisonous to a baby: cosmetics, plants, toys, and pen ink. Household products that are dangerous: cleaning supplies, pesticides, alcohol (both drinking and rubbing), medicines and vitamins.

Medicines: Read labels and follow directions when giving your baby medicine. Keep medicine in child-resistant bottles and out of baby’s reach.

Household Products: Place household cleaners in cabinets that have a lock if storing at child level. Memorize poison control number – 1-800-222-1222 or place by your phone.

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

In General: Install carbon dioxide detectors. Bedrooms are one of the most important areas. Check to be sure that appliances are in good working shape. Do not warm your car up in the garage as carbon monoxide builds up quickly.

Accidents can happen at any time. If you are aware of potential problems and take measures to avoid them, the chances of an accident occurring are lessened.