Tips To Keep Your Baby Safe

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Tips To Keep Your Baby Safe

For any parent with children at any age, the top priorities are to make sure their kids are healthy, happy, and safe. While your pediatrician checks in on overall health and happiness levels during appointments, there are many other things we don’t get to cover during an appointment that concern your child’s safety.

Especially for our smallest patients, there seem to be even more rules to keep them safe! Since September is Baby Safety Month, we want to take time to review some of the most important ways to keep your baby safe during the first few years of life.

If you are a new parent, or if you are welcoming another child into the world, we will cover these and more topics at our upcoming New Parent Classes, which will be held at the following locations:

Germantown Clinic
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 6:30pm
Drs. Irwin and Hussain will be speaking

Bartlett Clinic
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 6:30pm
Drs. Smith & Benaim will be speaking

Follow our guide of most common topics parents ask us about, and ask us your own questions at our new parenting class or at your next appointment!

Safe Sleeping Tips for Baby

One of the most worrisome aspects of parenting a newborn is their safety while sleeping. With the worries of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), parents are always looking for ways to keep their children safe, especially while everyone is asleep.

While monitors that detect sound, movement, video, heartrate, and breathing are all valuable, there are some other practical tips that can keep your baby as safe as possible:

  • Have baby sleep on his or her back for the first year; especially for the first 1-4 months
  • Keep baby’s room at a comfortable temperature and make sure baby is not too hot or cold in clothing
  • Remove any extra items from baby’s crib, such as pillows, toys, soft bedding, blankets, stuffed animals, or baby bumpers
  • Give your baby a pacifier and wrap in swaddle to help sleep
  • Never share a bed with a newborn; if you fear falling asleep during feedings, do not sit in a chair or couch
  • If your baby falls asleep in another item, such as a swing or carseat, move baby to a flat position as soon as you can

Safe Eating Tips for Baby

When it comes to a new parent’s worries, eating is a close second to sleeping when it comes to worry and concern. Of course, parents always wonder if their baby is eating enough, too much, or the right thing.

However, these worries can often interfere with safety while eating. While your baby is nursing or bottle feeding, the likelihood for problems is low. As long as the baby is kept in a good position while feeding, has normal swallowing patterns, and can breathe well during feedings, there are not many red flags to see.

The greater worries begin once your child starts having solid foods. Your baby can first start trying solid foods around 6 months of age. It is important to stick to foods that are easy to swallow and digest, leaving larger foods that require more chewing for later. It is important to always be prepared with the basics of childhood CPR, which we cover in our new parent classes.

Another important aspect of eating safety is an important one: your child may try to eat things that are not food. Especially as your child begins to teeth and puts almost anything in his or her mouth, the risk increases for choking or poisoning. Investing in items like teething rings, necklaces, or other mouth-friendly toys can decrease the likelihood of larger problems.

Baby Safety in the Home

When your baby is not eating or sleeping, he or she will continue to grow and be fascinated by people and things around the home. While the traditional methods of “baby-proofing” the house with electrical outlet covers, baby gates, and cabinet locks works well, there are some other culprits you would not expect that can harm kids.

As your baby begins to move about, there are so many things they want to grab and try on for size. One of these things is cords, especially on window blinds, or drapes where your child can get tangled up.

Other common household injuries include the bathtub. When your baby starts to become more mobile, slipping and sliding in the tub can become an issue. Keep a slip-proof, rubber safety mat in the bottom of the tub, along with a cover on the tub’s spout. Since there are still other areas where a child can slip and fall, including the side of the tub or on a soap dish, it is important to encourage a calm bath that avoids too much squirming!

Another common issue comes from pieces of furniture you use each day: changing tables and cribs. Make sure that each of these items are sturdy and are not missing any pieces. Also, other heavy furniture items such as book cases or TV consoles should be anchored into the wall to prevent children from pulling up onto them, and pulling the furniture on top of them.

Around the home, it is an important reminder to never walk away from a child who is on the changing table, a bed, or the couch. Babies can move quickly and one wrong turn can leave them on the floor! Even if your baby is in a carrier, do not leave the baby unattended on a high surface, such as a bed or counter. Injuries can be profound when a baby falls from a high place.

Car Safety for Baby

When you leave the home, the safety precautions are not left behind! In fact, car safety is one of the most neglected aspects of childcare.

The general rule of thumb is to keep car seats facing the back of the car for the first two years of life. Additionally, it is very important to get a car seat that is federally approved, and that you follow all instructions when installing the seat. Make sure the size of the car seat fits your child and that your child is securely fastened during every car ride.

Additionally, especially in the hot Southern temperatures we experience in Memphis, it is of vital importance that your child is not left in the car. One easy way to always remember to take your child out of the car is to begin the habit of putting your purse, briefcase, or gym bag into the back seat of your car. That way, when you get out of the car, you will notice that your child is still there and needs you to remove him or her from the car seat.

Even when you are not in your car, it is important to always keep your car doors locked and secured. As your child grows, you do not want him or her to open a car door and crawl inside.

Baby Safety, Today and Tomorrow

As your baby begins to grow, goes to other people’s homes, and eventually does not always have you around to help, it is important that your child learn how to stay safe for the years ahead.

That’s where your pediatrician can continue to help. We are here to help you navigate childhood, as your baby grows, becomes more aware, walks, talks, and interacts with the world around him or her. We can continue to offer guidance on safety measures that span traffic safety to talking to strangers to calling emergency phone numbers. For tough conversations, we can offer the talking points you need to make a lasting impact on your child.

While this blog post offers just a brief overview of the many important safety decisions for your child, we are here to discuss specific details with you. Always be sure to call us or ask questions about your child’s safety during your appointments – we are here for you!

For a partner in your child’s safety today and tomorrow, look no further than Pediatrics East. We look forward to your next appointment and, if you are expecting, please join us for our New Parent Classes. Again, those dates are the following:

Germantown Clinic
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 6:30pm
Drs. Irwin and Hussain will be speaking

Bartlett Clinic
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 6:30pm
Drs. Smith & Benaim will be speaking

Posted by Tim Flatt at 11:29 AM
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