Your Child’s Safety

Car Seat Safety

All children under 12 should be securely fastened in the back seat when traveling by car. Never place a child or a child safety seat in the front seat of the vehicle. Air bags can cause death or serious injury to young children.

If the vehicle has rear side-impact air bags, check with the vehicle manufacturer for the safest way to install the car seat.

The safest car seat is the one that fits your child’s size, is properly installed, and is used every time. The back seat is the safest place for any child under 12 years of age.

» Rear-facing seats should be used until the age of one and weighs up to 20 pounds. Even if the baby weighs more than 20 pounds before age one, the rear-facing seat should still be used until his/her first birthday.

Recline at a 45 degree angle, harness slots at or below baby’s shoulders and the harness chest clip at armpit level.
If the infant is not one year old yet, but weighs over 20 pounds, use a rear-facing convertible seat.

» Forward-facing seats can be used for a child that is at least 1 year old and weighs at least 20 pounds. This seat should be used until the child weighs 40 pounds and is at least 4 years of age.

Harness straps should be at or above the child’s shoulders (use the top harness slots) and the harness chest clip should be at child’s armpit level.

» 
Booster seats can be used after your child weighs more than 40 pounds. Use with the adult lap and shoulder belt, never use with lap belt only.

The shoulder belt should cross the chest, resting snugly on the shoulder, and the lap belt should rest low across the upper thighs. Never have the lap belt high across the child’s stomach.

Car Seat Safety Checks

» Is the seat belt attached properly to the car seat?

» 
Make sure the harnesses are snug and flat

» 
Check to assure that the correct harness slots are being used

» 
Place baby blankets around the baby AFTER adjusting the harnesses

» 
Never leave a child unattended in a car seat !!

Finding Good Child Care

Choosing a day care or babysitter is an important decision. There are different kinds of child care providers to choose from and you must decide which is best for you and your child’s needs. Make sure you get recommendations or references from someone you know. After making your selection, follow up and keep a close eye on any signs of a potential problem.

If you know ahead of time that you will need child care, start looking before the baby is born. This will give you plenty of time to find the right place.

Types of child care include:

» Child Care Centers – commercial child care facilities
» Family Child Care – child care within an individual’s home
» In-Home Caregivers – child care in the child’s home
» Care Provided by Relatives, Friends, or Neighbors

If you are considering a Child Care Center or a Family Child Care, visit the site and ask plenty of questions.

» What is the ratio of children to caregiver? Babies should have a ratio of 1:4 (one adult for every four babies). Older children will be okay with a 1:10 ratio.

» How many children are at the facility and what are their age groups?

» What are the caregivers’ credentials (education, training, etc.)?

» What is the turnover of employees working as caregivers?

» Are drop-in visits welcome?

» Is the facility clean and well kept?

» Do you agree with the discipline procedures?

» Do they have references you can call?
If you are considering an in-home caregiver or care provided by relatives, friends, or neighbors, make sure the caregiver has the experience and training (example: CPR or first aid training) necessary to care for your child.

After you have made a decision, continue to be vigilant in watching for signs that may indicate a problem or a change in the care of your child.

Safe Home Environment


A safe home environment is essential to your child’s safety and well-being. More than 4.5 million children are injured in their homes each year. Also, injuries from accidents are the leading cause of death in children today.

THE NURSERY

» DO NOT place the crib next to a window, heater vent, or electrical outlet
» DO NOT place stuffed animals or pillows in the baby’s crib

» DO use a crib with slats that are no more than 2 and 3/8 inches apart and has a solid headboard and footboard
» DO make sure the mattress fits snugly in the crib
» DO remove mobiles from the crib once your child can reach them

OTHER ROOMS

» Keep plastic bags away from the baby or child
» Place safety gates at the tops and bottoms of staircases
» Remove furniture with sharp edges
» Do not place furniture under a window
» Shorten cords on drapes or blinds
» Place poisonous products on upper shelves and install safety latches on the doors
» Place trash can/waste baskets in a locked cabinet or outside
» Put “child proof” covers on all electrical outlets
» Cook on back burners of stove

» DO use a crib with slats that are no more than 2 and 3/8 inches apart and has a solid headboard and footboard
» DO make sure the mattress fits snugly in the crib
» DO remove mobiles from the crib once your child can reach them

OTHER ROOMS

» Keep plastic bags away from the baby or child
» Place safety gates at the tops and bottoms of staircases
» Remove furniture with sharp edges
» Do not place furniture under a window
» Shorten cords on drapes or blinds
» Place poisonous products on upper shelves and install safety latches on the doors
» Place trash can/waste baskets in a locked cabinet or outside
» Put “child proof” covers on all electrical outlets
» Cook on back burners of stove

DO:

• Place your baby on her back in a crib with a firm mattress
• Use tight fitting sheets
• Tuck the baby’s blanket in on the bottom and sides of the crib

DO NOT:

• Allow your baby to sleep in your bed
• Allow your baby to sleep on a sofa or waterbed
• Put stuffed animals or pillows in the baby’s crib
• Put loose quilts or blankets on the baby

If you want to be close to your baby at night, put her crib next to your bed and place her in the crib. Do not place her in your bed. Placing a baby in an adult bed may result in the baby rolling off the bed, suffocation from the comforter or pillows, or suffocation from the adult rolling on top of the baby.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death for infants younger than 1 year of age.  SIDS has no specific symptoms and is usually diagnosed after all other causes have been ruled out.

There is no single risk factor, but instead several risk factors combined that may increase the risk of SIDS occurring.

Although the cause is unknown, statistics reveal that more incidences occur in colder weather; more boys than girls are affected, twice as many African-American babies and three times as many Native American infants are affected than Caucasian infants.

Reducing Risks

» Place the baby on her back to sleep

» Use a firm mattress and do not leave pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals in the baby’s crib

» Avoid overheating the baby while she is sleeping by using light blankets; keep the baby’s face and head uncovered

» Do not sleep with your infant in your bed

» Do not expose the baby to secondhand smoke

» Breastfeed when possible. Breast-fed babies have a lower SIDS rate than formula-fed babies

» The use of pacifiers have been associated with decreased SIDS rates

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