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Baby Safety in the Home

Besides making sure you have baby furniture and clothing for a new baby, parents should be safety conscious. Accidents happen, especially when the young are around.

Before a baby is brought home certain precautions should be made. Among the most important is checking the safety of the baby’s crib and other baby items. Many new parents receive hand-me-down baby items from family and friends. While saving money is good some products could be unsafe.

Check to see if parts are missing or loose. Unsafe cribs and other items can put your baby’s life in danger. Most brand new cribs and mattresses purchased in the United States are safe. Make sure the crib conforms to the current government safety standards.

Also, check to see if hand-me-down items, such as bassinets or portable cribs, have been recalled. Check for recalls and get information on buying a safe crib and mattress at the U.S. Consumer Product Information Safety Commission website or call them at 800-638-2772.

It’s a good idea to remove pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals from the crib to prevent your baby from suffocation.

Make sure smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. Place at least one smoke detector on each level of your home and in halls outside of bedrooms. Have an escape plan in case of fire.

Make sure your home or apartment number is easy to see so fire or rescue can locate you quickly in an emergency. Also, put emergency numbers, including poison control, near each phone.

Most babies begin crawling around six to nine months which brings many dangers to your baby. Here are some things to do before your baby is crawling:

  • Closely supervise your baby around a family pet. Pets need time to adjust to a new baby.
  • Cover all unused electrical sockets with outlet plugs.
  • Install safety gates at the bottom and top of stairwells or to block entry to unsafe rooms.
  • Keep chords out of a baby’s reach. Tack up chords to vertical blinds and move furniture, lamps, or electronics to hide chords.
  • Use safety latches on cabinets and doors.
  • Secure furniture and electronics, such as bookcases and TVs, so they cannot be pulled down on top of your baby.
  • Use protective padding to cover sharp edges and corners, such as from a coffee table or fireplace hearth.
  • Store all medicines, cleaning products, and other poisons out of a baby’s reach.
  • Remove rubber tips from doorstops or replace with one-piece doorstops.
  • Look for and remove small objects. Objects that easily can pass through the center of a toilet paper roll could cause choking.
  • Keep houseplants out of a baby’s reach. Some plants can poison or make your baby sick.
  • Set the water heater temperature to no higher than 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Water that is hotter can cause bad burns.
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