When you include your child in your activities, be sure to recognize the related safety issues. And focus on your child's comfort and safety.
Always use a car seat and have your child ride in the back seat of your car. Car accidents are the leading cause of death and injury in young children. Follow basic guidelines established by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). See the AAP website at www.healthychildren.org.
Never leave your child alone in a car. Heat inside the car and other factors could cause long-lasting injury-or death-in a matter of minutes. Keeping the car windows down won't protect your child in hot or warm weather. Other injuries could also occur from a child getting stuck in the trunk or setting the car in motion.
Monitor air pollution when planning to take your child outdoors. Children's lungs are especially sensitive to pollution. You can check your newspaper or local weather station for details about air pollution levels.
Watch for physical signs that show it's safe to gradually include your child in your activities. When children can run or climb, it's usually a good sign that they are getting stronger and can keep their balance. Before and after these signs appear, use good judgment for your baby's comfort and safety.