Your baby will spend a lot of time in the crib, napping during the day and sleeping at night. It's your job to make sure it's always a safe environment. In addition to always placing your baby to sleep on his or her back to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), here are some other important ways to ensure the safety of your littlest sleeper:
What to look for. Before placing your baby in any crib — whether a new crib or a hand-me-down; at home, in a childcare setting, or at a relative's home — make sure that:
If you're expecting a baby or you already have a child, it's a good idea to:
To check your childproofing efforts, get down on your hands and knees in every room of your home to see things from a child's perspective. Be aware of your child's surroundings and what might be potentially dangerous.
Completely childproofing your home can be difficult. If you can't childproof the entire house, you can shut the doors (and install doorknob covers) to any room a child shouldn't enter to prevent wandering into places that haven't been properly childproofed. For sliding doors, doorknob covers and childproof locks are also great for keeping little ones from leaving your home. Of course, how much or how little you childproof your home is up to you. Supervision is the very best way to help prevent kids from getting injured. However, even the most vigilant parent can't keep a child 100% safe at all times.
Whether you have a baby, toddler, or school-age child, your home should be a haven where your little one can explore safely. After all, touching, holding, climbing, and exploring are the activities that develop your child's body and mind.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: August 2013
|National SAFE KIDS Campaign The National SAFE KIDS Campaign offers information about car seats, crib safety, fact sheets, and links to other health- and safety-oriented sites.|
|National Safety Council The National Safety Council offers information on first aid, CPR, environmental health, and safety.|
|U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) This federal agency collects information about consumer goods and issues recalls on unsafe or dangerous products.|
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|Household Safety Checklists Young kids love to explore their homes, but are unaware of the potential dangers. Learn how to protect them with our handy household safety checklists.|
|Childproofing and Preventing Household Accidents You might think of babies and toddlers when you hear the words "babyproofing" or "childproofing," but unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in kids 14 years old and under.|
|Sleep and Newborns "Does your baby sleep through the night?" is one of the questions new parents hear the most. And almost always the answer is "No."|
|Cosleeping and Your Baby Cosleeping is controversial in the United States. Supporters believe that a parent's bed is just where an infant belongs. But is it safe?|
|Household Safety: Preventing Strangulation and Entrapment Kids can strangle or become entrapped in the most unexpected ways - even cords, strings on clothing, and infant furniture and accessories can be dangerous. Read how to prevent these dangers around your home.|
|Bedrooms: Household Safety Checklist Use these checklists to make a safety check of your home, including your nursery, child's room, adult's bedroom. You should answer "yes" to all of these questions.|
|Choosing Safe Baby Products: Playpens Choosing products for your baby can be confusing with all the gadgets available. But there's one consideration that must never be compromised when picking out stuff for your baby: safety.|
|Choosing Safe Baby Products: Cribs Choosing baby products can be confusing with all the gadgets available. But one consideration must never be compromised: your baby's safety.|
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