Your child's safety is your responsibility. The following tips should help you keep your baby out of harm's way from birth through his toddler years.
Baby Safety in the Car
- Always use a federally approved car safety seat when traveling in a motor vehicle.
- Carefully read safety seat instructions to ensure that the seat has been properly installed.
- NEVER carry your infant in your lap while you ride in a car.
- For the first two years of a baby's life, car seats should face the rear of the vehicle. The safest location for the car seat is the middle of the back seat.
- NEVER put the baby in the front passenger seat of cars, especially those with airbags. If you have a truck with no back seat, you should disengage the airbag while the baby's seat is in the car.
- If you have questions about safety seats, call the Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (1-888-DASH-2-DOT).
To minimize the risk that a child will accidentally be left behind in a car or get trapped inside:
- Leave a purse, briefcase, or cell phone in the back seat. That way, you get in the habit of checking in the back seat before leaving the vehicle.
- Make an arrangement with your child’s daycare to have them call you if the child doesn’t show up as expected.
- Always lock your car and car trunk, even if the car is parked in the driveway at home, and always keep keys and fobs out of the reach of little ones.
Preventing Baby Falls
- If you use an infant carrier, always place it on the floor, never on a counter or tabletop.
- Never leave your baby alone on a bed, couch, changing table, or infant seat from which he or she can fall or roll off.
Baby Safety, Smoking and Fire Safety
- Do not smoke and do not allow smoking around your baby.
- Install a working smoke alarm on every level of your home. Change the batteries of your smoke detectors every six months.
- Have at least one fire extinguisher on every level of your home.
- If your home uses gas heat, install a carbon monoxide detector.
Preventing Baby Burns
- Do not hold hot liquids while holding your baby.
- To prevent burns, do not microwave baby's bottle. Many microwaves heat unevenly, creating "hot spots" in your baby's formula that can burn your baby's mouth. Instead, warm the formula by running warm tap water over the bottle or submerging the bottle in a bowl of warm water. Make sure you test the temperature on your hand or wrist before feeding it to your baby.
- Keep your hot water heater's thermostat at no higher than 120 degrees Farenheit.
Preventing Baby Accidents
- Keep sharp objects (knives, scissors, tools, razors) and other hazardous items (coins, glass objects, beads, pins, medications) in a secure place out of baby's reach.
- NEVER shake a baby or throw your baby in the air. This can cause brain damage or blindness.
- Do not leave your baby alone with a young sibling or a pet, even when your baby is sleeping.
- Walkers are unsafe at any speed and at any age! Never put your child in a walker.
- Make sure that your baby cannot pull lamps or other electrical objects on top of him or herself. Use electrical tape to secure electrical cords along baseboards.
- Eliminate tablecloths that can be pulled from the table.
- Make sure all drawers have stops, so that your baby or toddler can't pull the drawer out on top of himself.