Are You Making These Baby Safety Mistakes?
Did you know that September is Baby Safety Month? To commemorate, here are some baby safety mistakes that you do unwittingly that could put baby at risk.
Did you know that September is Baby Safety Month? When it comes to baby safety, there are some rules you probably know already: Never leave baby unattended on an elevated surface, no bumpers or loose bedding in the crib, lock away poisonous and sharp objects, and so on.
However, there may still be some baby safety mistakes that you do unwittingly that could put baby at risk. Like:
Letting baby sleep in the car seat
When you're driving with baby, it may seem like a blessing that baby falls asleep in the car seat. You'll do anything not to wake them! But this study published in the Journal of Pediatrics found that letting infants and children up to 2 years of age sleep in so-called "sitting devices" can lead to injury or death because their heads can fall forward.
This can cause the baby to not get enough air or to be strangled by the straps. It's not a big risk if they fall asleep while you're driving as long as he's buckled in correctly. Just relocate him to the crib as soon as you get home.
You don't brake the stroller
The brakes on a stroller are there for a reason, although most of us are guilty of not using them every time we take our hands off. But accidents can happen at anytime, at the blink of an eye.
This can be especially dangerous if you're on an elevated surface, or if the stroller rolls into traffic, parked cars or flips over. It's also important to use the brake when you are putting your child in or taking him out, or getting something from the storage basket. This is a good rule: "Hands off, brake on."
You're using accessories with the car seat
If it didn't come with the car seat, don't use it. This applies for your own pillows or head and body supports and strap covers sold separately. If an item wasn't designed specifically for that particular car seat, it wasn't safety-tested for that seat and could alter the performance of the car seat in the event of an accident.
Your child eats and drinks on the go
Giving your toddler a snack or sippy cup may keep them busy and decrease crying during car rides. But if your baby chokes, you won't be able to see her in a rear-facing car seat, and you may not hear her since choking typically has no sound. Even if you notice choking, it's dangerous to try to quickly maneuver through traffic to be able to help her.
As for hard spouted sippy cups or hard plastic straws, they can cause facial lacerations if you need to brake quickly. If you must give them a snack and drink, try an o-shaped, meltable cereal and use a straw cup with a soft, silicone straw.
Your toddler loves to greet animals
Little kids gravitate naturally to animals. Their first instinct when they see something cute and fuzzy is to run over and give them a pat. But this is not the best idea because animals can be unpredictable. And small kids have no idea if they are behaving in a threatening or aggressive manner.
So even at an early age, we should teach our children how to interact with animals. Get them to ask you permission first from you and the pet owner, and talk to her about always being gentle. Even at this early age, you should begin teaching your child how to interact with animals.
Covering the stroller to protect your baby from the sun
In such a hot country, it may only make sense to cover your baby's stroller with a blanket to reduce sun exposure. But according to researchers in Sweden, covering the stroller with even the thinnest blanket can be quite dangerous because it reduces air circulation and the temperature in the stroller can get dangerously high, putting your baby at risk for heat stroke, suffocation and even SIDS. Babies can overheat in a much shorter time than adults. So if it's really hot, consider staying home or using an umbrella that clips to the stroller. Check your baby frequently for signs of discomfort.
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