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Safe Kids Canada: Safety tips for New babies (birth to 6 months)

From Safe Kids Canada

Babies learn new skills quickly. If you know what your baby can do at each stage of development, you can help keep your baby safe.

During the first months of life, most babies learn to:
  • wriggle and roll over
  • kick and push
  • put things in their mouths
New babies need special protection from:
  • falling off a bed, sofa, crib, or change table
  • choking on small objects
  • scalds
  • drowning
  • injuries from riding in the car
Safety check
Install smoke alarms (test them every month) and a fire extinguisher.
Make sure baby equipment meets Canadian safety standards. This includes cribs, strollers, toys, car seats, and high chairs. Check the labels for safety information. Make sure second-hand products meet safety standards, too.
Do not hold your baby while you are eating or drinking anything hot.

Car seat safety
  • Your baby needs a car seat every time you ride in the car. Never hold your baby on your lap.
  • Never place your baby’s car seat in the front seat if it has an airbag. That is very dangerous.
  • Read your car seat instructions carefully. They show you how to use the car seat the right way.
Keep one hand on your baby during diaper changes. This will keep him or her from rolling off the bed or change table. Keep diapers and clothing within easy reach of the changing area.

Make sure the sides of the crib or playpen are up securely.

Baby walkers with wheels are dangerous. Do not use them.

Use the safety strap in the high chair to keep your child from falling out.

Burns and scalds
It is not a good idea to use a microwave to heat a baby bottle or baby food. Food or drinks may feel fine on the outside but they will be very hot on the inside. Always shake the bottle or stir the food before you give it to your baby. Check the temperature first.

Bottles with plastic liners can explode. Do not heat them in a microwave.

Hot bath water can burn your baby. Always test the temperature with your hand before you put the baby in the bath. It should feel warm, not hot. Run cold water first, then hot, until you get the right temperature. Run cold water at the end to cool off the faucet.

Lower the temperature of the hot water in your home to 49 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit). Hot tap water can burn your baby. To learn how to lower your water temperature, call 1 888 SAFE TIPS or visit www.safekidscanada.ca.

Do not hold your baby while you are eating or drinking anything hot. Use a cup with a lid for all hot drinks.

Keep poisons out of your baby’s reach. This includes medicine, cleaning products, cigarettes, and alcohol.

If your doctor has said to give medicine to your baby, check the label and measure the medicine every time you give it to your baby.

Choking and suffocation
Put your baby to sleep on his or her back.

Do not use a pillow for your baby. It could smother him or her.

Keep small objects such as coins or buttons out of your baby’s reach. Teach older children to keep small toys away from babies.

Avoid ties or ribbons on baby clothes or toys. Never leave your baby alone with a bib tied around his or her neck.

When your baby begins to eat solid foods, make sure you give only very small pieces. Grate, blend, mash, or chop the food into very small pieces before you give it to your baby.

Check pacifiers regularly. Make sure the nipple part is firmly attached to the handle. If it is not, the soft part could come off, causing your baby to choke. Throw out the pacifier when the nipple part has cracks or when it becomes sticky.

Do not attach strings or cords to a pacifier.

Be ready for an emergency
Keep emergency numbers near your telephone (fire department, poison control, ambulance).

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

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