Infant Safety and Security

Infant Safety and Security

Infant Safety and Security

Many of the accidents that claim the lives of babies and children each year can be easily prevented. Try to anticipate any potential risks ahead of time and take necessary precautions.

Social Media and Internet Sites

Use caution in creating a blog for your baby or posting photographs of your baby on social media. When doing so, limit access to those you know personally and trust. To limit anyone else’s potential misuse of a photograph of your infant, carefully consider anyone’s request to take a picture of your baby and only share photographs of your baby with those you personally know and trust.

Birth Announcements

Be very careful when you announce your baby’s birth. Birth announcements should include only your first name and should not include your address.

Outdoor Decorations

The use of outdoor decorations, including balloons, large floral wreaths and wooden storks to announce your baby’s birth is not recommended. These decorations alert others that you have a new baby in the house.

Visitors

Many well-meaning friends and family members will want to visit you and your baby once you are home from the hospital. Try not to let this disturb your baby’s sleeping or feedings. Babies can become fussy if their routines are interrupted. Do not feel obligated to entertain and try to limit the number of visitors you have during the first few days. After birth, you should be taking time to enjoy your newest addition and taking time to rest and take care of yourself, too. Let others know how they can help. Ask visitors to wash their hands prior to touching your baby. Ask friends and family members who are sick or who have been around others who are sick to wait and visit when they are well. It’s not only the new baby who needs care.

Visitors in the Home

Do not allow anyone into your home if they say they are employed by Woman’s unless they have proper identification. Before you leave the hospital, you will be told if a home visit is necessary. Only allow persons into your home who are well known by the mother. It is not advised to allow anyone into your home who is just a mere or recent acquaintance or known only online such as in social media and other online forums, especially if met briefly since you became pregnant or gave birth.

Outings and Public Places

If you must take your baby out, whenever possible, take a trusted friend or family member with you as an extra set of hands and eyes to protect and constantly observe your baby. Never leave a child alone in a vehicle. Always take the child with you. Never let someone you don’t know pick up or hold your child. There have been cases in which initial contact with a mother and infant was made in other settings such as shopping malls or bus stations. Unless your baby has health problems, you may take him out when you like. Generally, short trips to the doctor, homes of family and friends and around the block are less tiring for the two of you than more extended outings. Many doctors advise against taking a new baby to crowded places during their first two months to lessen exposure to germs and illnesses.

 

Backseat Reminder Leaving a child in a vehicle can have devastating consequences. Always check the backseat before you exit your car.

• The real temperature in a car can rise 20 degrees in only 10 minutes.

• A child’s temperature heats up to five times faster than an adult’s.

• The risk of dying from a heatstroke in a vehicle is increased when a child is too young to communicate.

 

Car Seats

Car crashes are the leading cause of death and injury among children in the United States. Almost all of these deaths are preventable. When used properly, car seats that meet federal safety standards have been shown to reduce death and serious injury from auto crashes by as much as 70 percent. The child safety seat protects your child by preventing him from being thrown into the dashboard, the windshield or out of the vehicle. In the event of a crash or sudden stop, it will also spread the force over the strongest parts of your child’s body. Louisiana law requires that you use a car seat. Therefore, your baby should have a safety car seat for the very first ride home from the hospital. Babies and children must be properly secured, according to manufacturer’s instructions, in an age – and size-appropriate child restraint. Be sure you have a car seat installed and ready when you bring your baby home from the hospital.

Car Seat Safety Guidelines:

• The safest place in a car for all children is in the back seat.

• Ideally, the car seat should be placed in the middle of the back seat.

• Child safety seats should meet all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards. This information is usually included in the manufacturer’s instructions.

• According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents should keep their babies in a rear-facing car seat until age two, or until they reach the maximum height/weight limit for their car seat.

• Never place a rear-facing car safety seat in the front seat of a vehicle with a passenger-side air bag.

• Never leave your child unattended in a car safety seat, in or out of the car.

• Never leave an infant or child unattended in a car, not even for a moment.

• Always keep the car window rolled up (closed) and the door locked nearest your baby.

• Children should not ride in the front seat of a vehicle until age 13.

• When the maximum height/weight limit is reached for the rear-facing seat, children should move to a forward-facing seat with a harness until they reach the maximum height/weight limit for that seat.

• When a child outgrows the forward-facing seat with a harness, he must ride in a belt-positioning booster seat with a lap-shoulder belt.

• Children should remain in a booster seat until the adult belt fits correctly (usually 4’9” in height and 8-12 years of age).

• Keep a small blanket or hand towel in the car and cover the car seat buckle so it will not be hot when you place your baby in the car seat.

 

Toys

Choose toys that are too large to swallow, too tough to break, have no small breakable parts and no sharp points or edges. Toys should be at least 1¼ inches by 2¼ inches around until your baby is 3 years old. Toys should not have knob , heads or objects on them that can be pulled off. Don’t Forget “Tummy Time” Place babies on their stomachs when they are awake and when someone is watching. This will help your baby gain normal strength in his head, neck and upper body. This also helps prevent flat spots on the back of your baby’s head.

Household

• Plastic bags may should not be placed on your baby’s mattress or pillow.

• Keep plastic bags in a place that your baby cannot reach.

• Never go-ahead  your baby alone with young children or animals

. • Never place your baby on a watershed.

• Do not pour hot water when your baby is close by.

• Do not allow your baby to stay in the sun for more than a few minutes.

• Do not leave your baby in a parked car.

• Wash blaze-retardant clothing according to the label directions.

• Do not leave medications within your baby’s reach. Use a medicine box with a safety lock.

• Store cleaning products out of your baby’s reach.

• Get rid of any houseplants that could be poisonous.

• Keep the telephone numbers of your baby’s doctor, ambulance/ rescue squad and poison control center posted near your telephone. In Louisiana, the Poison Control Center’s phone number is 1-800-222-1222.

• If you have gas appliances or heat in your home, install a carbon monoxide detector.

• Consider taking an infant/baby CPR course and first aid class. Visit the American Red Cross website at redcross.org for training information.

Fire Safety

Use the  tips below to protect your newborn from fire:

• Never leave your infant alone in the home – not even for a minute.

• Install a fire detector on every level of your home and in your baby’s room.

• Keep a chair or rope ladders on upper floors to allow escape.

• Locate several escape routes from each area of the house, including your baby’s room, and plan a meeting place once outside.

• Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen room and out of children’s reach. In case of fire, get everyone outside immediately – do not stop or try to put out the fire. Most deaths occur from suffocation due to smoke, and not from direct burning. Call 911 from a neighbor’s house.

 

Enjoy Your Journey!

You and your baby are going home. While you may be excited, you may also be nervous, especially if you just gave birth to your first child. When you get home, you may realize that you have many questions that you did not think to ask while at the hospital. Hopefully, this guide will help answer most of your questions. Contact your healthcare provider if you still have unanswered questions or concerns. Remember, each baby is unique. A great deal of how you nurture and love your baby comes true. Please know that real parenting is a process that requires you to constantly learn. You will invent new skills and insights along the way that will allow you to learn what works best for you, your baby and your family. At the end of the day, it all comes down to love. Your love for this new precious life will guide you in making the right decisions.

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