University Health Care System
(706) 722-9011

Baby Safety Guidelines

September is Baby Safety Month, and this is a great time to baby-proof your home/car. Remember, it's never too early to think about baby-proofing your home if you're pregnant. These are tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Commission and The American Academy of Pediatrics:

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Bedroom

  • Put your baby to sleep on his back.  Be sure to educate any caregivers including grandparents on the importance of putting the baby to sleep on his back. Tummy time for your baby is important and should be when the baby is awake and being observed.
  • Use a firm mattress that fits the crib. You should never allow a gap larger than two finger widths at any point between the sides of the crib and the mattress.
  • No soft bedding or stuffed animals in the crib.
  • To prevent suffocation, never put the baby to sleep on adult beds or water beds
  • The crib should be sturdy without loose hardware. You also don't want to use old cribs that could have been painted with lead-based paint.
  • Do not place the crib near window blinds or curtain cords -- to prevent the baby getting strangled on the loose cords.
  • Remember to keep the drop side of a crib in the "UP" position when the baby is in the crib.
  • Mobiles should be removed when the baby can pull himself up.
  • When using changing tables, if the table is provided with a restraint system, always use it when changing the baby. Always keep one hand on the baby. Never turn your back when reaching for baby products. Never leave the baby unattended on a changing table.

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Bathroom

  • Keep medicine and cleaning products in containers with safety caps and keep them locked away.
  • Always check the bath water temperature by placing your wrist in the water before placing the baby in the water. The ideal water temperature is 90-100 degrees.
  • Set the hot water heater to a maximum of 120 degrees and mix hot and cold water in order to prevent scalding.
  • To prevent drowning, never leave your infant/child alone in the bathtub or near a swimming pool. An infant/toddler can drown in 1-2 inches of water. Get in the habit of never leaving water in the mop bucket -- an inquisitive toddler can lean in to check and get off balance and fall in.
  • Keep toilet lids down to prevent access to water.

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Kitchen

  • Don't leave your baby alone in a highchair and always use the safety straps. Never depend on the feeding tray to restrain or protect your baby.
  • Keep pot handles turned to the back of the stove so a toddler can't reach up and pull the pot off. Also, keep children away from table cloths, so they can't pull them off the table along with hot dishes.
  • Lock household cleaning products, knives, matches and plastic bags away from children.

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Other living areas

  • Install smoke detectors and change the batteries yearly.
  • Use safety gates to block stairways.
  • Use safety plugs to cover electrical outlets.
  • Keep tiny toys away from young children.
  • Balloons can also be a choking hazard for small children.

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Car seat safety

  • Proper use of the car seat helps keep children safe.
  • Infants should always ride rear facing until they are at least 1 year of age and weigh at least 20 pounds. Car seat usage is a law.
  • The best place for an infant is in the middle of the back seat.
  • Never place an infant in the front seat -- the airbag can seriously injure or kill an infant.
  • Read on installing/using the car seat prior to delivery. All car seats are different, and the hospital staff is not allowed to help with installation.

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Infant Seats/Bouncers

  • Never leave a baby unattended.
  • Never place baby on sofas, beds or other soft surfaces.They could cause the seat/bouncer to roll over or fall causing injury or suffocation.
  • Always secure the restraining straps.
  • Baby's movements can slide an infant seat. Be sure not to place it near edges of countertops, tables or other elevated surfaces.
  • Never use a bouncer seat on an elevated surface.

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Stationary Activity Centers

  • Never leave your baby alone in the activity center
  • Keep away from stairs, plants, doors, windows, lamps, TV, fireplace, heaters or coffee tables.
  • Keep curtains and blind cords out of reach.
  • Be sure to follow manufacture's guidelines for age, weight and height.

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Updated: 8-25-09

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1350 Walton Way, Augusta, Georgia
(706) 722-9011