Tips for creating a safe environment for babies

Babies less than one year have a higher overall rate of unintentional injury-related death than older children. That’s why the Safe Kids Mid-Texas Coalition is offering some helpful advice to keep your young children safe at home and on the go.

Suffocation

Sixty percent of infants suffocate in their sleeping environment as a result of soft bedding blocking their airway.

Not only can overstuffed comforters and teddy bears obstruct breathing, but soft bedding has also been tied to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or “crib death.”

Healthcare providers don’t know exactly what causes SIDS, but most agree that babies sleep safer on their backs and sleep surfaces count. Simple safety rules for safe sleep include:

  • Place your baby on a firm sleep surface, such as on a safety-approved crib mattress, covered by a fitted sheet.
  • Remove soft objects, bumper pads, pillows, blankets and toys from the crib.
  • Your baby should not sleep in a bed with adults or other children. There is a danger of being crushed.
  • Do not smoke around your baby.
  • Do not let your baby overheat during sleep.

Scalding

Most scald burns in young children, especially between ages 6 months and two years, are from spilled hot foods and beverages.

When cooking or drinking hot beverages, make sure your child is safely in a bouncy seat or high chair.

Water danger

“Never leave your baby unattended in the tub or near sinks or containers filled water,” said Susan Burchfield, Safe Kids Mid-Texas Coalition Coordinator. “Babies can drown in seconds.”

Car Safety

“Also remember that for the best possible protection while traveling, your infant should be in a rear-facing child safety seat,” Ms. Burchfield said. “Keeping baby rear-facing until age two is the safest if the seat allows.”

For more information on crib safety guidelines, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission or call 1-800-638-2772.

About the author

Jessa McClure
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Jessa McClure holds a degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, TX, where she is currently an adviser for student publications. She has been a writer in the health care field since 2009.

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Tips for creating a safe environment for babies