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Baby Safety

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Baby Crawling and Walking Safety

When your baby becomes mobile, here are important tips to keep your baby safe around your home:

  • Put electrical outlet covers on all outlets.
  • Secure electrical cords to baseboards.
  • Install safety gates securely in front of stairs and basement doors. Avoid gates with diamond-shaped slats, which provide footholds for climbing toddlers. Instead, use gates with straight, vertical slats and a swinging door.
  • Store cleaners and medications out of reach and in a locked cabinet. Never store toxic substances in bottles or jars that could be mistaken for food products.
  • If there is a swimming pool in your neighborhood, make sure it is surrounded by a fence and has a gate that latches or locks. Better yet, never leave your child unattended when outdoors.
  • Keep your child away from moving machinery, including lawn mowers, overhead garage doors. Also keep kids away from driveways and streets.
  • Going outside? Keep your baby in the shade, if possible. Their skin is thinner and more sensitive. Cover them up with clothes and a hat, limit their time in the sun (especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun is strongest), don’t let them get overheated, and get them out of the sun right away if they show any signs of sunburn or dehydration, including fussiness, redness, and excessive crying.
  • Install safety locks on cabinets.
  • Turn pot and pan handles on the stove in and cook on the back burners whenever possible.
  • Establish the area in front of the stove as off limits while you are cooking.
  • Keep the toilet lid down to prevent drowning and to keep the lid from slamming on your baby's head or hands. Consider installing toilet lid locks.
  • Cushion hard edges and sharp corners of furniture. If possible, move sharp-edged pieces of furniture away from high traffic areas.
  • Anchor down unsteady pieces of furniture, such as bookcases.

 

Other Baby Safety Precautions

  • Consider taking a certified CPR class if you are not already certified. You can find out about these classes from your local Red Cross or American Heart Association chapter. You may want to post a demonstration chart near your phone. Your baby's caregivers should be CPR-certified.
  • Gather a list of emergency numbers and keep them by the phone. These numbers should include: your child's pediatrician, your health care provider, your family doctor, a 24-hour nurse-on-call number, the police department, the fire department, and poison control.
  • If a poison is swallowed, call the poison control center (throughout the USA, call 1-800-222-1222-- American Association of Poison Control Centers.)
  • Keep poisonous house plants out of reach. For information about which plants are poisonous, contact your local county extension office.
  • Name a guardian for your child. In the unfortunate event that something happens to you or your spouse, it's a good idea to have a will that names a legal guardian and alternate guardian for your child. Without a will, the court may appoint a guardian you would not have chosen. Be sure to check with the individuals named in your will to make sure they are willing to serve as your child's guardian. In your will, you can also leave assets to your child in the form of a testamentary, or "after death" trust.
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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on August 26, 2013
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