Bringing a new life into the world is a rewarding but sometimes terrifying experience. You worry about your little ones constantly and always want to protect them from harm. Even though infants might not move around very much at first, they learn fast and develop quickly. So you can never just assume that they aren’t going to wiggle off the couch or reach for that hot cup of coffee. With these things in mind, we’ve put together some safety tips to help you ensure your baby’s safety.
Child Safety Seat
Car accidents are a threat to your child’s safety, and the use of a car safety seat greatly minimizes your child’s risk of injury.
Use it every time you get into the car. You must always use a child safety seat, no matter how far you are driving. Always put your baby in an approved safety seat, even if it’s traveling just a couple of blocks.
Get the correct size. Make sure to purchase the correct size seat. Seats that are too large or too small might not provide adequate protection, or they might allow your child to slip out of their harness and become injured.
Install properly. Be sure to install your infant’s safety seat according to the manufacturer’s directions, in the car’s back seat and facing toward the rear of the vehicle. Never put your child in the front seat of the vehicle where a deployed airbag could cause harm.
In addition, the National Safety Council (NSC) also has a lot of great information about child passenger safety.
Suffocation and Choking
As they begin to explore their world and grasp objects, the first thing every parent finds out is that objects will inevitably end up in their baby’s mouth. This is why it is so important to keep anything that is small enough to be a hazard away from an infant. Small toys, popcorn, peanuts, grapes, and any small food that could get lodged in their little throats should always be kept away from your child. Of course, never feed small, hard foods to your child, and consult your doctor about the proper procedure to follow if your baby begins to choke.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) has been recognized as a real danger to infants. To lessen the risk, always have your baby sleep on their back in a protected crib that does not contain any stuffed animals or pillows. Also, never leave your baby on a water bed, bean bag chair, or other soft surfaces that could envelop them and cause suffocation. Bassinets and cribs should meet current safety standards, and mattresses for these items should fit snugly against the sides of the bassinet or crib.
One usually thinks about burns as something that would mainly be a danger to toddlers who are able to reach for hot pots on the stove. However, babies are also susceptible to other types of burns. To help protect your child from burns:
Never hold your infant while cooking,
Never hold your infant while handling hot liquids such as coffee, and
Adjust your hot water heater so that the hottest temperature is no more than 120℉.
If your infant does accidentally get burned, run the burn under cold water for a few minutes until it cools off. After that, cover the burn lightly with a clean cloth or dry bandage and call your doctor.
Soon after babies are born, they begin to wiggle and push against things. Even if they aren’t yet able to crawl, they might easily wiggle off of a piece of furniture. This is why you should never place a child unguarded on a changing table, sofa, bed, or any raised surface. Never step away from the infant when they are on a raised surface — not even for a moment. Either use the straps on the changing table to keep them secure or take them with you if you need to step away.
As your child begins to crawl, be sure to use baby-proof gates on stairs. Also, it’s best to refrain from putting your child in a baby walker. While these devices are fun for infants, they pose safety risks. They might tip over or allow your child to get to unguarded stairs. Walkers also allow your child to reach higher than normal, which could lead to them pulling down a tablecloth and spilling hot or dangerous items onto themselves. This greater reach also allows them to possibly grab dangerous items like hot coffee cups or kitchen knives.
When giving your baby a bath, use a plastic dishpan or infant tub with a non-skid mat to keep your baby from slipping. Always test the water with your elbow first to avoid burning their delicate skin.
Babies have drowned while using bath seats, so you should always keep your baby within your reach. If you do use a bath seat, stop using it when your baby is old enough to start pulling up to a standing position. The seat can come loose from the suction devices that attach the seat to the bathtub bottom. Baby bath seats are not safety devices and do not take the place of adult supervision.
Help in Times of Trouble
We at the Jarbath Peña Law Group love to see happy, healthy babies and families. But life happens, and sometimes families break up. That’s where we can help. We have the skills and experience to guide you through a divorce and protect your rights post-divorce. For example, what if you think your ex-spouse might abscond with your child to a different country? We know how to put your ex on a passport watch list to keep them from doing just that. Put our years of experience in family law work for you, and let us be your eyes and ears before, during, and after your divorce.
Our experienced attorneys are here to help the residents of Coral Gables and the surrounding Miami area with all of their family-related legal matters. You can reach us at 305-615-1005 or through our online contact form.