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Safe Kids Canada: Safety tips for Older babies (6 to 12 months)

From Safe Kids Canada

Babies this age are on the move!

As babies grow and learn new skills, they can move faster and reach higher. This means that your baby can get into danger very quickly.

Older babies need special protection from:
  • falls
  • pulling things down on themselves
  • choking on food or small objects
  • scalds
  • drowning
  • injuries from riding in the car
Safety check
Install safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs.
Make sure your child’s food will not cause choking. Grate, mash, blend, or chop food into tiny pieces. Do not give your baby hot dogs, nuts, popcorn, or candy.
Keep medicines, cleaning products, and other poisons locked up.
Install smoke alarms (test them every month) and a fire extinguisher.

Car seat safety
  • Your baby needs an infant-only car seat until he or she weighs 9 or 10 kilograms (20-22 pounds, depending on the model of car seat. Check your instructions.)
  • Your baby’s car seat must face the back of the car until he or she is one year old and weighs at least 20 pounds. If your baby grows too big for the infant-only car seat before one year of age, you need a new car seat. You can buy a type of car seat that will face the back of the car when your baby is less than one year old, and then can face forward when he or she is older.
  • Never put your baby’s car seat in the front seat if it has an airbag. That is very dangerous.
Use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs to stop your baby from falling. Make sure that gates at the top of your stairs are anchored to the wall or banister. Do not use a pressure gate at the top of stairs. This type of gate could fall over if your child leans on it.

Do not use a baby walker with wheels. Falls involving baby walkers can cause serious head injuries. Use a stationary activity centre without wheels instead.

Use the safety strap in the high chair to keep your baby from falling out. Do not let your baby stand up in a high chair or climb up the sides of the chair.

Make sure there is no furniture near windows or balcony rails. Your baby could climb on the furniture and fall out.

Put window guards on all windows on the second floor and above. These act like a gate in front of the window. Or fasten the windows so that they cannot open more than 10 centimetres (4 inches). The window screen will not stop your child from falling.

Keep large toys and stuffed animals out of the crib or playpen. Your baby could use them to climb over the side.

Use the safety strap to keep your baby safe while in a shopping cart.

Choking and suffocation
Keep small objects out of your baby’s reach. These include:
  • coins
  • toys
  • buttons
  • pins
  • earrings
Cords from curtains and blinds can strangle your baby. Tie cords up where your baby cannot reach them, or cut them off.

Home safety tips
Use outlet caps and plug covers to protect your baby from electrical shocks. Do not let your baby put cords in his or her mouth.

Make sure bookcases, lamps, televisions, and other heavy furniture are fastened to the wall so that your baby cannot pull them over.

Bathroom safety
Always stay with your baby when he or she is in the bath. Test the bath water with your hand before you put the baby in it. The water should feel warm, not hot.

Lower the hot water in your home to 49°C (120°F) to stop your baby from being scalded by hot tap water. Tap water that is too hot can burn like fire.

For more information, call Safe Kids Canada at 1 800 SAFE TIPS or visit www.safekidscanada.ca.

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