1. Follow car safety rules. Babies should ride in the backseat in a rear-facing car seat. Prior to installing, read the instructions carefully. Your local police department can help too.
2. Go for new baby equipment. Before you re-use any hand-me-down baby accessory, be sure it meets the most up-to-date safety standards and guidelines. Recently, the consumer protection agency has banned the use of drop-down cribs because of safety concerns.
3. When your baby isn’t being held, make sure they are in a safe place such as a crib or pack and play. Remember babies become mobile very quickly so stay close when they are on the changing table, beds or couches.
4. When they’re on the move, get those safety gates up. Babies begin crawling as early as 6 months old. Secure all staircases and close all doors where you don’t want your baby to venture such as bathrooms. There’s way too much temptation in there!
5. Examine your home from a baby’s point of view. Experts recommend parents get on their hands and knees to go into each room andsee what baby can see. Think electrical cords, breakable decorations and sharp edges.
6. Leave the cooking to the chef. It can be tempting to multi-task but never try to cook when holding a baby. Burns can happen easily. If it does, run cool water over it immediately and contact your pediatrician.
7. Keep the small stuff away. Babies explore with their mouths and can choke on anything smaller than an opening of a toilet paper holder. Regularly check your home for objects that could pose a danger.
8. Create a safe sleeping environment for baby. Place your baby on his or her back on a firm tight-fitting mattress in a crib that meets safety standards. You should not have pillows or blankets in a crib with an infant.
9. Visit your pediatrician for well-visits. Pediatricians recommend that these visits occur seven times in the first year of life, three times in the second and annually throughout the school year.
10. Buckle up. Don’t’ skip on fastening the safety belts in strollers, swings and other moveable playthings. Babies wiggle a lot.