Thursday, September 22, 2016

Keeping Baby Safe: Sometimes You Need More Than Cotton Wool

Image: Pixaby
We’ve all heard the saying about wrapping children up in cotton wool. And while we want our children to gain independence as they grow, when they are babies, they rely solely on us for their safety and protection. Babies are a lot more malleable than first-time parents think. So we don’t want you to over-worry about the usual bumps and scrapes. But there are dangers that you do need to know about when it comes to keeping baby safe. And there also practices you can put in place to avert these dangers. Let's take a look at how to keep your baby safe, secure and gurgling away.


Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is also known as SIDS or ‘cot death.’ It occurs when an otherwise healthy baby passes away unexpectedly. SIDS is rare but it does happen, so it always best to be aware of what you can do. And to take all the precautions outlined. SIDS is most likely to occur in the first six months of your baby’s life and usually (although not solely) when they are asleep. It is not known exactly what cause SIDS, but it is believed to be an amalgamation of things. A lot of these factors are environmental. And sometimes the stresses of environmental problems cause baby's heart rate, temperature and breathing to not regulate properly. What precautions can you take against SIDS? Always make sure your baby sleeps on their back. Adopt the ‘feet to foot’ pose and place your baby with their feet at the very bottom of their cot or sleeping basket. Make sure they are dressed coolly and that the room is at a moderate temperature. Overheating can cause SIDS. But also make sure your baby is not too cold. Have your baby sleep in their cot in your bedroom for the first six months. Use a firm waterproof mattress and always keep your baby’s head uncovered.


There will at some point be a time when you are ready to venture back into the big wide world and leave your baby happily at home. No matter how confident you feel, there will still be worries at the back of your mind. Rely on close friends and family to babysit in those first few months. But if you are employing a babysitting, always make sure to call a reputable agency or use a reliable friend’s recommendation. For extra security look online so that you can buy the best nanny cam available. A nanny cam is a device that enables you to dial in and watch what is going on at home. They have 2-way conversation access so you can talk to your babysitter or sing to your baby as they fall asleep. A nanny cam provides you with extra comfort and security while you are out. Some nanny cams also come with night vision, temperature sensors, and motion alerts.


If you are traveling with your baby in the car, always make sure you buy a car seat that is federally approved. For the first two years, your baby should sit in their car seat facing the rear of the vehicle. You can attach an extra mirror in the car so that you can still check on your baby while driving. Also position the car seat in the middle of the back seats, not on either side, if possible. If you are going on an airplane, the best way to carry your baby is in a front carrier sling so that she feels safe and secure. If you are traveling on both planes and in cars, invest in a stroller that incorporates a car seat. Carry blackout blinds for the hotel room and a baby sun pod if you are going somewhere hot. Also, make sure your stroller has a sun canopy too.

Choking and Strangulation

Never put strings or necklaces around your baby’s neck, even to hold a pacifier. Make sure none of the blinds in your house have chords. And also be sure that there are no lamp cords that baby can reach. Check baby clothing carefully for button and strings and avoid at all costs. Thoroughly inspect your baby’s toys to make sure they are unbreakable and have no small parts. Always make sure all toys are bigger than your baby’s mouth. Mash and spread all food that you give to your baby. Babies are unable to cough forcibly enough if they are choking and therefore can’t dislodge anything caught in their throat. Also keep small everyday objects out of reach. Do a sweep for loose coins, pen caps and buttons. The best way to do a sweep is to crawl on the floor at baby height to search for any hazardous objects. And always make sure you and your partner have taken a first aid and CPR course as a precaution if anything does happen.


Baby Falls

To prevent falls, make sure that your baby carrier is placed on the floor and not on a table or counter top. Never leave your baby unsupervised on a bed, sofa or changing table. Another great precautions is wearing flats when carrying your baby. If your baby does fall and hits their head, don’t panic. If it’s a small fall onto a soft surface, they will most likely be fine. Keep a close watch on them for 24 hours and observe any changes. If you ask around, you’ll find that baby falls are not uncommon. However, if your baby falls and hits a hard surface, it is best to seek medical help straight away. Babies are tough, but a fall on a hard surface can cause retinal hemorrhaging, swelling, brain damage or internal bleeding. These cases are rare, but it is still better to get baby checked out, just in case. If they do not cry after a fall, then something is likely to be wrong. And while most people worry about baby’s head, also check their arms and legs to make sure they are all moving fine too.

This is a collaborative post written by a contributor 

Post is not meant to give medical advice: Always speak to your pediatrician/a medical professional with any concerns you have for your baby and his/her care. 

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