2011-09-24 / News

September is ‘Baby Safety Month’

NEWARK – “September is ‘Baby Safety Month’ “, according to Licking County Health Commissioner, Joe Ebel. “ September is a good time to look around in your home and go over a safety plan for children.” There are a few things you can do to make your home safer for babies:

• Make sure your car seat, stroller, and baby carrying apparatus are appropriate for the baby’s age: babies don’t have neck control until about six months so you need to protect them.

• Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees F and keep baby’s bathwater around 100 degrees F.

• Never leave a baby in a tub unattended.

• Anchor bookshelves and any other unstable furniture that a curious child might want to climb. Thousands of children are injured every year by heavy furniture.

• Keep cribs, beds and chairs away from windows and window coverings.

• Keep chemicals, cleaning products and solvents stored properly and out of reach.

• Take a CPR class so that you know what to do in an emergency.

• Never leave animals and infants unsupervised together.

Also, be careful about the type of sunscreen you use on your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests just a dab of sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher can be used on a newborn’s cheeks and hands when clothing and natural shade doesn’t provide sun protection. They recommend these tips for protecting newborns and young babies from the sun:

• Have baby wear a brimmed hat that shades their neck.

• Keep baby covered in loosefitting, tightly-woven clothes.

• Keep baby in the shade when out and about, and remember that the sun easily reflects off of sand, snow, and sidewalks.

• For toddlers and infants older than 6 months, it’s considered safe to liberally apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher, one that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Apply the sunscreen even on cloudy days, and remember to get those easyto forget spots like the rims of the ears, the lips, behind the knees, and the tops of the feet and hands.

One more item that parents need to pay attention to is smoke detectors. Install smoke detectors in your home according to the directions. Check them monthly to be sure that the battery still works.

To ensure that you have caught all of the baby dangers in your home, try getting down to your babies’ level. By crawling around on your hands and knees and inspecting what you see from their height, you may be able to ward off hazards and keep your baby safe.

For more information visit www.lickingcohealth.org or www.aap.org.

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