Safe Home, Happy Baby

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All parents want their children to be safe and happy. Knowing common safety issues for infants can lead to both.

You certainly want your baby to be content and happy, and her safety in the home is a top priority. What common safety issues are you and your family aware of for your little one? The following list covers some of the common safety issues.

1. Falls—Your child will fall often while learning to walk or navigating the house. It’s important that you be mindful of his surroundings during this crucial stage of development. Stairs will be the most dangerous, as your child won’t be able to resist crawling on them, so baby gates are essential. Furniture with sharp corners may need to be covered or stored away during this stage of development.

2. Tip-overs—Injuries and even death caused by furniture tipping over are more common than you may think. Remove items and toys from high places to ensure your child isn’t tempted to climb a bookshelf or dresser. If she still climbs, then be sure that furniture, shelves and TVs are securely anchored to keep them from tipping.

3. Pets—It’s cute to see a child snuggle and play with a family pet, but animals can be unpredictable no matter how well-trained they are. Avoid bites and scratches by never allowing your baby to play in the floor with an animal or by keeping them in separate rooms.

4. Cribs—Your baby’s crib is a place for rest, but safety in and around his crib should be taken into consideration. Ensure your child’s crib is properly assembled and fully functional. A crib gate that doesn’t latch completely is a hazard, as is a crib that is improperly assembled. Place his crib away from windows with blinds to avoid the temptation to play with the strings.

Outside the Home

It’s just as good an idea to be aware of safety issues in the great outdoors. Babies younger than 6 months should ideally be kept out of the sun. If you have to apply sunscreen, limit the amount; only apply to areas such as the cheeks, nose and the back of the baby’s neck.

Ensure, too, that she is adequately hydrated. Infants younger than 6 months should not be given water. Since your baby’s sweat glands are still developing, you can’t rely on the absence of sweat to recognize signs of dehydration. Lastly, dress her in light-colored clothing to reflect more of the sun’s heat.

McKenzie-Willamette Birthing Center offers a variety of services for expecting parents and postpartum support. Call (541) 741-4649 for more information or visit McKWeb.com.

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