In 2015, over 23,000 infant deaths were recorded in the United States, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Ranking in the top five leading causes was suffocation related to injuries.
September is not just a month to kick-off the Fall season, it’s National Baby Safety Month and a good reminder for new parents, parents-to-be and caretakers to infants to make sure their homes are prepared for babies.
Here is a list of tips to keep babies and infants as safe as possible in your home:
Kitchen: This room is perhaps one of hardest areas to keep safe. Between hot stoves, open cabinets and hazards all within reach, it’s important to take the right precautions. Never hold your baby while cooking near the stove. Besides the heat, babies are shrewd escape artists that can wriggle and break free from arms.
If you are cooking on the stove, turn skillet, or cookware handles in so that they will not get bumped and dumped on the floor. Additionally, invest in child-safe cabinet locks and a garbage with safety locks as well.
Stairs: The crawling stage leads to the toddling stage and both can be equally dangerous for falls. Install safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs and in doorways where other items that are dangerous are kept such as the laundry room.
Nursery: Cut curtain or blind cords so that they don’t present a strangulation hazard. Furniture should be moved away from windows. Bedding sets are pretty but having quilts and loose fitting crib sheets are dangerous. Always place baby on their backs while sleeping and check to make sure that there is not a space between the mattress and crib.
Automobiles: Car seat technology has come a long way, but installing them is half the battle. If you plan on being the driver, make sure the baby is secure. Never buy a used car seat because you have no proof that it has not been damaged in a car accident. Additionally, take your car seat to a fire station and have them properly install and show you how to install the seat.
Strollers: Speaking of technology, strollers have become almost a status symbol for new parents these days but make no mistake, they can all tip over. Avoid hanging a heavy diaper bag or purse on the handle. Instead, store bags under the stroller seat. And get in the habit of always locking the stroller wheels the minute it’s open and locked in place.