Health and Safety,Birth to 2 Years - Safety Measures Around the Home
To help you keep track of important safety features, see the topic Nursery Equipment Safety Checklist.
For more information about equipment standards
from the CPSC, see the Other Places to Get Help section of this topic.
Safe sleeping and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Sudden infant death syndrome is one of the most common
causes of death for babies 1 month to 12 months old. Most babies who die of
SIDS are 2 to 4 months old. Although SIDS cannot be predicted or completely
placing your baby to sleep on his or her back can help
prevent this tragedy. For more information, see the topic
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
You can prevent many falling
accidents by using common sense and appropriate equipment that meets all safety
standards. Recognize new hazards that your baby will encounter as he or she
learns to scoot, crawl, and walk.
- As soon as your baby can walk, lock doors to all dangerous
- Use sliding gates at both ends of stairs. Look for a gate with
openings no bigger than
2 3/8 inches (60 mm). Do not use
accordion-style gates, because a child's head could get caught.
- Install window guards. Or use a window stop so that sliding
windows won't open more than
4 in. (10 cm).
- Don't allow children to climb on high furniture.
- Do not use
- Be careful when using equipment such as
high chairs and
changing tables. Always use the safety straps, and
keep a close eye on your child.
Help prevent your child from choking by
offering the right kinds of foods and keeping an eye out for choking
- Learn to recognize the
signs of choking so you can react quickly. For
example, a child who is choking can't talk, cry, breathe, or cough. For more
information, see the topic
Choking Rescue Procedure (Heimlich Maneuver).
how to select and prepare foods. For example, choose soft foods that can be
cut up into small pieces, such as cooked carrots. Avoid round, firm foods such
as hot dogs, grapes, nuts, and raisins.
- Establish certain areas for eating, such as the kitchen table
or dining room. Teach your child to sit down while he or she is eating and to
Don't force a child to eat when he or she is not hungry. These practices will
also help your child to build lifelong healthy eating habits.
- Keep small objects out of your child's reach. In general, objects smaller
than 1.25 in. (3.18 cm) in
diameter and 2.25 in. (5.72 cm)
long are choking hazards. Examples include coins, buttons, and bottle caps.
- Do not allow your child to eat while he or she is walking,
running, playing, or riding in a car.
- Never leave rubber bands or deflated balloons around the house
where children can reach them.
- Do not allow young children to chew gum or eat hard candy.
Strangulation and suffocation