Carolyn Ziegler from child safety experts Dream Baby shares her top baby safety tips for around the home.
Baby Safety Essentials
Never, ever leave a baby alone without parental supervision. It’s as simple as that. Make sure your child is within earshot when they are sleeping.
• Older siblings are a big hazard to babies. Don’t ever leave them alone with baby. They may have toys with small parts that could choke baby. Or they may smother them with love literally by kissing and fussing over baby.
• Watch out for pets too. They can also smother babies.
• A good idea is to install an extra-tall child safety gate at the entrance of baby’s room to help keep both older children and pets away from baby when they are sleeping
Common Mistake By New Parents
Parents often over fold a baby’s blanket to make it fit snugly around baby in a car seat, cot or crib. Never over fold a blanket. By over folding, you are basically putting baby under several layers of blanket. Babies have very underdeveloped cooling systems and can over heat easily.
One layer is probably fine in this climate although of course use your judgement if it is very cold.
How To Check If Nursery Furniture/Toys Are Safe
Make sure all your your baby equipment, including your cot and pram, meet government and industry standards. Try not to buy second hand if you can, as it is never easy to gage the wear and tear on items.
Also check to see if screws are tightly secured, both when you set up equipment, and afterwards as things loosen along the way. For instance, safety gates need adjusting on a regular basis.
• Always keep medicines out of the way of children and babies by keeping them up high in secured cupboards. Invest in child safety locks if you have older children in the home.
• Check you have a quick and fast way of administering medicine as well, such as a medicine syringe or dropper. And a thermometer is very helpful too.
• Invest in blind cord wind-ups. This keeps blind cords out of the reach of babies in their cots and from older siblings in general. Over-long cords can lead to strangulation. But remember to keep cots and beds away from windows and window fittings whenever possible.
• Make sure baby’s nails are kept short. Use baby scissors or clippers (don’t tear nails or bite them off even if they are very soft). Babies often put their hands up to their faces and can scratch their corneas and cut their faces if their nails are overly long.
More Information on Child Safety
Early childhood centres are a good start. Your GP and paediatrician are also invaluable when it comes to questions about their healthy well being.