Springfield experts give tips on baby safety for National Baby Safety Month | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – It’s National Baby Safety Month, and Springfield injury prevention specialists are sharing multiple tips on how to keep your child safe all year long.

Sleep Safety

It’s important to make sure your baby is sleeping safely each night and during nap time, and making sure they are is as easy as ABC.

When talking about sleep safety, ABC stands for Alone, on their Back, and in a Crib.

For alone, that means with no other people who could roll over and crush a baby, but it also means with no other objects as well. Blankets, toys, crib bumpers, and anything else other than a mattress with a fitted sheet should be left out of the crib. They can cause suffocation hazards.

If you’re worried your baby is going to get cold, you can put them in a sleep sack to keep them warm.

While many people were taught to lay babies on their stomachs to sleep, that can actually be dangerous. Babies should sleep on their backs.

Finally, in a crib. An adult mattress, couches, or other places aren’t safe spaces for babies to sleep, according to experts like Becky Spain, injury prevention specialist for Mercy Hospital in Springfield.

“Once again, alone, on their back, and a crib. We love to see you sharing a room with your infant, even up to the age of a year. It’s great to have them in the room with you. That’s healthy, that’s wonderful. You’re right there if they need you or if you need them. But to have them in bed with you, it’s just too dangerous,” said Spain.

Choking Hazards

Another important thing to be aware of is choking hazards for your child.

This can include with food. All food should be cut up small enough for a baby to eat.

The other concern with this is toys. Children should only play with toys appropriate for their age, according to Spain.

“You may have a smaller child and a toy that says that it might be appropriate for older than that child is, and we’re like, oh my child is so bright, we’re just gonna go ahead and get it for them anyway because they’ll know how to play with that. Well, the other reasons that that is age-appropriate for that child. Sometimes it is because there are small parts in there that a child could swallow. But sometimes it’s because a smaller child doesn’t understand how to safely use that,” said Spain.

Another hazard you should watch out for are button batteries. Those can burn through a child’s esophagus, and are extremely dangerous, though they’re in many toys, car key fobs, and more.

“So if you have a child that you think has swallowed a button battery, don’t induce vomiting, don’t give them something to drink, grab them and get them to the emergency room immediately,” said Spain.

Cooking Safety

Staying safe while cooking around children is crucial as well. Spain recommends not having a child on your hip while you’re cooking. It makes it easy for them to kick something over or accidentally touch something hot.

“Make a three-foot around the stove as a safety zone. This is mom’s area, and no one gets close. lesser than three feet around the stove, that keeps all of our children of all ages safe from the fires and the spills, hot liquids being tipped over and children, which is a lot of the burns, that we do see,” said Spain.

Spain says many child burns are from pulling over hot dishes or liquids onto themselves. Make sure everything is pushed back where a baby or child can’t reach up and grab it.

Finally, when it comes to Crockpots or other heavy kitchen machinery, make sure those cords are tucked up where a child cannot grab them. A baby may pull on those cords and pull the heavy machinery down onto themselves.

Poison Safety

One thing parents might not consider is poison safety, but many babies get poisoned every year from ingesting medications, cleaning supplies, or other toxic materials.

Spain says to make sure all of these items are locked so a child cannot get to them.

The best thing to do is store all medications and cleaning products out of a child’s reach, like high on a shelf.

Bath Safety

Bath time is another important time to consider safety tips.

Spain recommends making sure you have everything you need, from shampoo to towels, to fresh clothes, all before you put baby in the water. That way, you aren’t leaving the baby alone, which is a drowning risk.

Next, you want to make sure the water is not too hot.

“We want to check that temperature on the inside of our wrist and make sure that that just feels warm and not hot. And if that is a comfortable temperature on your wrist, then that’s the right temperature for our child to take a bath before we put them in the water,” said Spain.

Car Seat Safety

Finally, car seat safety. It’s important to keep babies safe while on the move as well.

Children should stay rear-facing as long as possible, according to Spain.

“As far as safety goes, we really want to keep them rear-facing as long as possible to the maximum height and weight of what the car seat that you’re using allows. And the reason is because it’s so much safer, should you be in a car accident, that rear-facing allows that child to be cuddled, and then the force of the accident to ride down with that baby so that you have all of that energy is rocking that baby and riding down that energy from that crash,” said Spain.

You also want your child to be in a car seat for as long as possible before a booster seat. Booster seats only keep the seat belt in the right spot on a child, they don’t protect from crashes, so keep your child in a car seat for as long as possible so they’re protected in case of a crash.

Mercy has plenty more baby safety tips that you can read up on for Baby Safety Month. You can find more on their website here.

To report a correction or typo, please email [email protected]


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