Baby Safety Tips
Make your child's world safe with our top baby safety tips!
- Lock all lower cabinets, especially ones that have knives, glass containers and china.
- Never leave toxic chemicals in an unlocked lower cabinet. More than 92% of all poisonings occur in the home. Keep Poison Control's number handy in case of an accident: 1-800-222-1222.
- When cooking on the stove, use the back burners so curious little hands won't accidentally touch a hot surface.
Tip: Reserving one cabinet full of Tupperware or pots and pans for your child to play with will alleviate their desire to get into other cabinets in the kitchen.
Right Start Recommends: Cabinet & Drawer Locks
- Set your water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or less to prevent burns from scalding water.
- Place a non-slip mat in your tub to prevent falls.
- Using toilet lid locks prevent baby and toys from falling in.
Tip: Test bath water with your wrist or elbow to ensure that the water temperature is not too hot before placing your child in a bath or washing their hands.
- Make sure all electrical sockets are covered with safety covers and all electrical cords are placed behind furniture or out of the way.
- Use safety locks on all windows and never allow kids to play near an open window, especially if not on a ground floor.
- Install window guards to prevent windows from opening wide enough for a child to crawl through.
- Place window cords up high or use cord shorteners to avoid a strangling hazard.
- Safety gates should be put at the top and the bottom of stairs to avoid falls. If your stairs won't accommodate a gate, invest in a play yard.
- Use safety gates to block off rooms, parts of a room, fireplaces and more.
- Place safety bumpers and safety corners on all coffee tables and fireplace edges to protect little ones as they begin to explore.
- Bolt bookshelves and other heavy furniture to the wall. Many babies try to pull up on these items when learning to walk unassisted.
- Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on a monthly basis.
- Place childproof door locks on all doors that lead outside, to the garage and even to some closets.
- Invest in a fence to go around your pool to prevent accidents.
Tip: When you think your baby proofing is done, get down on all fours and look for potential hazards to get a baby's eye view.
- Place baby on his or her back while sleeping.
- Do not put comforters, pillows, blankets or toys inside the crib or in the bassinette.
- Use swaddles and sleep sacks to keep baby cozy and safe while sleeping.
- Firm mattresses are best for baby. Read our mattress guide to help you choose the right mattress for your little one.
Tip: Remove mobiles that have hanging strings by the time your baby is 5 months or is able to push themselves up to hands and knees.
Right Start Recommends: Sleep Safety
Car Seats & Strollers
- Purchase your car seat before baby is born. Many hospitals will refuse to let you leave without one.
- Have a certified child passenger safety technician help you install your car seat to make sure it's secure and safe.
- Use your stroller's brakes when staying in one place and check to make sure any locks are secure.
- Always check car seat manuals and stroller manuals before use to make sure your child conforms to any age, weight or height specifications.
Tip: Each state's car seat requirements are different; make sure you know what your state requires. http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/childsafety_laws.html
- Always have a first aid kit in your home for emergencies or accidents. Also, many families have back up first aid kits in their vehicles so they're prepared when on the go.
- Make sure all items in your emergency kit are up-to-date and are not expired, including an emergency contact list.
- Ask your pediatrician about any medications, such as children's ibuprofen or antihistamines, that should be included in your emergency kit, especially if your child has food allergies or a medical condition.
Tip: Start with an emergency kit from an organization like the Red Cross
Right Start Recommends: All Healthcare
Important Numbers to Know:
- Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222
- Emergency: 911