Keeping Your Baby Safe

Protecting babies’ skin from the sun is easy:

  • Keep baby in the shade where possible – or use umbrellas or tents.
  • Apply and reapply sunscreen to your baby’s face and body.
  • Keep your baby’s head cool with hats and caps that have neck flaps
  • Dress them in bodysuits and t-shirts that deflect the sun, or that have UV protection

Expanding horizons

  • Everyone in your house, including young children should know how to dial 111 in an emergency.
  • Don’t leave your baby alone on any surface such as a changing table, kitchen bench or sofa.
  • Never leave your baby unattended for even a few seconds when he is in water, he can drown in a few centimetres of water.
  • Never carry your baby whilst you are also holding a hot drink.
  • Watch for small objects, pieces of leggo, bits from older children’s toys that may be within reach of your baby.
  • Keep your baby out of walkers – they have been responsible for many accidents.
  • Keep your baby out of direct sunlight in the middle of the day.

Car safety

  • Always buckle your baby into the car seat, not matter how short the journey.
  • The safest place is the back seat.
  • Never leave your baby unattended in a car; a child left in a car on a warm summer day can rapidly develop heatstroke and could die.
  • Never leave matches or anything dangerous in the glove box.
  • Second hand car seats need checking in case there has been damage in an accident.
  • Seek professional advice regarding upgrading the seat as your child grows.

Explorers on the move

Time to cruise round the house at child level.

  • Check for top heavy items like table lamps, bookshelves, chairs that might fall if pulled by your baby.
  • Any electrical cords or outlets within reach? Install plastic plug fillers to keep prying fingers out.
  • Check there are no electric jug, or iron cords dangling.
  • Cords attached to drapes and blinds?  Hook them up out of reach of your baby.
  • Time to dispense with table cloths and use mats instead.
  • Fireguards need to be in place.
  • Use safety gates on stairways.
  • Fit safety glass in low level glass doors.
  • Your bedroom; are there any pills lying around?

In the kitchen

  • Cleaning materials, bleach, dishwasher powder – all need to be in a cupboard out of reach.
  • Keep sharp objects such as knives and glass out of reach.
  • Never leave pots with the handles extending over the edge of the stove.
  • Never allow young children to play with matches.

Bathrooms

  • Medicines should be in a high, locked cupboard.
  • Cleaning materials need storing well out of reach.
  • Always empty the bath immediately after use.
  • Unplug hairdryers in the bathroom.
  • If possible have a door handle or latch out of reach of your “cruiser” so that the door can be shut.

Outside

  • Ensure there is a safe, fenced area away from the drive for outdoor play.
  • The swimming pool must fully comply with council fencing requirements.
  • In addition to pool fencing, ensure there are no pot plants or other objects a child could use to climb over the fence.
  • Always supervise when your child is in a paddling pool.  The water should be emptied immediately after use.
  • Keep garden tools in a locked shed.  Always keep paint cleaners and pesticides in their original containers, never store them in soft drink bottles.
  • Take care not to plant poisonous plants.
  • Make sure there are no matches left round a barbeque for children to play with.
  • Be sunsafe, wear hats, cover up between 11-3pm and apply sunscreen.

Dog safety

At home

  • Never leave your baby (or young child) and dog alone together even to answer the door or go to the toilet – take either one of them with you.
  • Supervise children at all times when interacting with a dog – especially visiting children.
  • Discourage children from disciplining a dog.
  • Teach children: not to approach a dog that is eating, sleeping, has puppies or is hurt.
  • Teach children: no to hug or kiss dogs, face to face contact is a common cause of bites to the face.
  • Teach children: that not all dogs are as friendly as their own dog.
  • Teach children: never to tease or annoy dogs – they are not toys!

Out and about

  • Never tie a dog leash to the baby’s pram – hold it in your hand.
  • Always ask the owner’s permission before patting their dog.
  • Keep away from stray dogs.
  • Stay as still as a statue if a strange dog approaches – don’t scream and run away or stare a dog in the eyes (dogs will usually sniff you and go away).

[notice]It is recommended that babies should be taken out of car seats at the end of a journey, even if it means waking them. Car seats are important in cars, but shouldn’t be used as household beds.[/notice]