Virtual Pediatric Hospital: CQQA: Infant Safety Tips
Pediatrics Common Questions, Quick Answers Infant Safety Tips
Donna D'Alessandro, M.D.Peer Review Status: Internally Reviewed
Lindsay Huth, B.A.
Creation Date: June 2002
Last Revision Date: June 2002
What are some common risks?
When do injuries usually happen?
Injuries often happen when children are not supervised. Children need to
be watched all the time, especially children under age 3.
Children are not as alert when they are tired or hungry. They are more likely
to injure themselves before eating or before bed.
Injuries are more likely to happen when children are somewhere they haven't
been before, especially if the new place is not baby-proofed.
How can I baby-proof my home?To baby-proof your home, point out possible risks and take steps to protect
your children from them.
Explore your home from a child's point of view. Get down on the floor and
look around. What could he pull on, tip over, climb up on, break, or put in
Baby-proof your home ahead of time. Lock cabinets before children are able
to climb. Put gates up before children can crawl. Recheck gates often as your
Cover electrical outlets with plugs.
Lock windows or cover them with window guards so children can not fall through.
Set hot water temperature to 120 degrees F (49 degrees Celsius).
How can I prevent injuries?
Children are eager to try out new skills, such as rolling over, crawling,
walking, and climbing. Parents need to think ahead to what new injuries could
result from these new skills.
Talk to your doctor for more safety tips. As your child gets older, your
doctor will point out new risks.
Supervise your children at all times.
Never leave your child alone even to answer the phone or the door. Take
your child with you or ignore the phone or visitor.
Never leave babies and young children home alone.
Go over a safety
checklist with babysitters.
Think ahead. Be prepared for emergencies.
Have emergency phone numbers posted by the phone (poison control, fire,
Learn CPR and the Heimlich maneuver.
Have an emergency plan in case of fire or bad weather.
Children should always sit in the backseat.
Young children should always sit in a
safety seat (such as a car seat or booster seat). Older children should always use a seatbelt.
Never leave your child alone on a high place, such as a changing table,
high chair, or sofa.
Only use safety gates and walkers that are approved by new safety standards.
Cover the ground under play equipment with soft material.
Children should wear helmets when riding bikes, skateboarding, etc.
Lock windows or cover them with window guards so children cannot fall
Fire safety and burns
Always test the temperature of the water before letting your baby touch
Keep hot liquids out of your child's reach.
Supervise children in the kitchen.
Keep matches and lighters out of children's reach.
Use smoke detectors in every bedroom.
Learn more about
Keep plants that could be poisonous out of your child's reach.
prevent poisoning, keep home
cleaning products and medication out of children's reach. Lock medications up in a small toolbox. Put a combination lock on it.
Keep it stored in a high place.
Test your home for
Never leave your child alone near water (in the bathtub, pool, at the
beach, or even near a bucket of water or the toilet).
Pools should be fenced in and the gate should be locked.
Always take pool toys out of the water when you're done swimming. If
left in, children may try to get them and drown.
Wading pools should be emptied at the end of playtime.
Keep rainwater out of wading pools.
Keep small objects out of your child's reach. Give him small, soft pieces
of food. Read about
foreign bodies. Read warning labels before giving your child a toy. Follow these
safety tips. Never tie any strings around your baby's neck, even to hold a pacifier.
Do not let children walk around with suckers, spoons, popsicles, etc.
Use a crib made after September 1986.
Keep cribs away from windows and cords.
Do not use stuffed animals and soft bedding in your child's crib.
For more safety tips about cribs and sleeping, read about
Infant Death Syndrome.
Childhood injuries often result from car injuries, falls, burns, drowning,
poisoning, and choking.
Injuries often happen when children are not supervised, when they are tired
or hungry, or when they are somewhere new.
To baby-proof your home, explore it from a child's point of view. What could
your child pull on, tip over, climb up on, break, or put in his mouth?
Children are eager to try out new skills, such as crawling and climbing.
Parents need to think ahead to what new injuries could result from these new
To prevent injuries, think ahead. Make your home a safe place for your child
to explore. Supervise your child at all times.
CaringForKids. Child Safety at Home and in the Car. Canadian Pediatric Society.
2002 January 29 (cited 2002 March 28).
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Wellness: Infant Safety Tips.
1998 August (cited 2002 March 28).
Cronan, K and Dowshen S. Babyproofing Your Home. 1999 March (cited 2002
Additional pediatric resources: GeneralPediatrics.com | PediatricEducation.org | SearchingPediatrics.com
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