Infant safety tips you need to know, baby proofing solutions and products new moms need to keep your baby safe—in your home and on the go.
Changing Table Safety
- Make sure the changing table is sturdy and has two-inch guardrails all around.
- The top of the changing table should curve in, with the sides slightly higher than the center.
- Don't leave your child alone on a changing table, even if there's a safety harness.
- Keep all baby supplies within reach (for you, not baby).
- Pieces of plastic diaper can be dangerous if your baby tears them off and swallows them.
Baby Car Seat Safety Tips
- It's a law in every state that infants must ride in a federally-approved car seat. Do not use one that's more than 10 years old.
- Learn how to install and use your infant car seat before your baby is born. You'll need to bring him home from the hospital in one.
- The most effective seat has a five-point harness, with two shoulder straps, a lap belt, and a strap that goes through your baby's legs. These harness straps should fit snugly against your baby's body. Make sure the restraints are easy to fasten and unfasten.
- The safest place to install the infant seat is the center of your car's back seat. Install it facing backward. When your baby gets older, you can move up to a forward-facing toddler or convertible seat.
- Never place a rear-facing infant car seat in the front seat of a vehicle with a passenger-side air bag. Not even if the vehicle has a switch that lets you to turn off the air bag.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions about threading seat belts through the correct slots. Your car's seat belt may require a special locking clip to hold it tight. If you rock the seat back and forth, there should be no movement at all.
Safety Guide for Baby Carriers, Backpacks and Frontpacks
- Look for a carrier made of sturdy materials that offers full back support for the baby. Make sure your baby can't slip through the leg holes.
- If your backpack has an aluminum frame, make sure it's well-padded in case your baby bumps into it.
- Inspect the carrier's seams, straps, and fasteners frequently.
- Never bend at the waist when using a back carrier. You'll risk back injury, and your baby could topple out. Always bend at the knees.
- Always use the restraining straps. Especially once your baby is about five months old (and restless).
Stroller and Baby Carriage Safety
- Choose a carriage/stroller with a wide base, to minimize the risk of it tipping over.
- Make sure any toys strung across the carriage are well-fastened.
- Always secure your baby with the seat belt and harness.
- As soon as your baby can sit up alone, it's time to stop using a carriage.
- If there's a basket attached to your stroller, it should be low and near the wheels, for better balance.
- Make sure the model you choose has easy-to-operate brakes on the wheels.
- If you need a twin stroller, get one with a footrest that extends all the way across both sitting areas, instead of one footrest for each child.
- When opening or closing a collapsible stroller, keep your baby's fingers away from the hinges.
- Be sure your baby can't reach the release lever on your collapsible stroller when you're stopped.
- Do not hang your diaper or shopping bags on the handles as it could make the stroller tip over. Use the carrying basket instead.
- Never leave your baby unattended.
Baby-proofing your home
- Make sure smoke detectors are installed and working properly.
- Put safety plugs into all electrical outlets.
- Don't leave electrical cords dangling where your baby can reach them.
- Unplug all appliances, like hair dryers or electric razors, in the bathroom.
- Install baby-proof latches on all drawers and cabinets.
- Keep toilet lids closed or use latches.
- Install safety gates at both the top and the bottom of stairs.
- Avoid using accordion-style gates for doorways or stairs (a baby's arm or neck can get trapped). Opt for horizontal gates with slats that are 2 3/8 inches apart.
- Remove poisonous plants or ones with sharp thistles.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.
- Turn your water heater down to below 120° to prevent scalding.
- Place a non-slip mat or strips on the bottom of your bathtub.