The safety needs of your child change as they grow and develop. In the womb we protect babies from toxins and unhealthy substances. Infants need safe sleep and travel environments. As babies get more mobile, babyproofing becomes important. Children of all ages need sun protection and water protection.
Suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) are leading causes of death in children under one year old.
That is scary but consistently taking a few precautions will reduce the risk and bring peace of mind:
- Place your baby on their back for sleeping
- Remove everything from the bassinet or crib besides baby
- Mattresses and sleeping surfaces should be firm
For much more information on sleep safety, strategy and products see our complete guide on Baby & Toddler Sleep.
Most infants make their first trip in a car just days after birth as they travel home from the hospital. All car seats are safe but the best infant car seats have a myriad of features beyond safety. Check with manufacturers to see which seats are approved for flying on airplanes.
Travel systems let parents snap car seats out of a base installed in the car, and safely and easily snap the seat into a compatible stroller.
The NHTSA makes it clear that improper usage and installation of child safety equipment is the most common cause of travel-related accidents. Make sure to carefully read the instructions and have your car seat installation inspected by a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician.
Curious babies can find many opportunities to injure themselves. Common injuries and accidents include poisoning, choking, tipping furniture, burns, electrocution and smashing little fingers.
Common babyproofing methods include:
- Securing doors and cabinets
- Using furniture anchors to preven tipping
- Covering slippery surfaces with mats
- Using outlet covers
- Thick carpeting to soften falls
- Keeping choking hazards out of reach
- Installing baby gates on stairs
- Using cool-to-the-touch heating devices
- Securing pools and hot tubs
- Removing ropes, string and cords
Baby fences can be used to enclose areas for play or keep toddlers away from danger zones like fireplaces.
It’s important to choose toys and games that are age-appropriate and do not have small pieces that become choking hazards.
Baby monitors let you perform quick visual and audible checks on your baby and provide peace of mind. You may choose to invest in a baby monitor with multiple cameras or monitors that track baby’s breathing or vitals.
Today’s baby monitors include features like two-way sound/talking, room temperature monitoring, motion detection, pan and zooming, secure connectivity and multiple camera scanning. While video baby monitors can be an expensive investment, many adequate products are available at a very reasonable cost.
Every mom, dad and child wants and needs to get out of the house. One of the most important and overlooked outdoor safety disciplines is caution around vehicles. Keep children well out of range when cars are entering and exiting driveways and garages.
For crawling infants consider baby knee pads. Bigger kids on scooters, skateboards or hoverboards are going to need a helmet, elbow and knee pads.
Kids love bikes! Your child will probably outgrow both bikes and bike helmets at a surprising rate.
Swimming is the ultimate diversion for many kids and their parents. To stay safe you’ll want to choose from our list of the best baby lifejackets or floaties. Most kids enjoy goggles for eye protection and water shoes to protect their feet.
From infants to big kids the sun is a friend and an enemy. Some sunscreens are better than others for children. Sun hats, sunglasses, beach tents, and even car sun shades go a long way toward protecting eyes and skin over the long run.