You want to keep your baby safe, but baby proofing your home takes more than just covering up a few electrical outlets. There are many hazards lurking in your home that can pose a threat to your bundle of joy. From bathtub safety to toxins from cats, discover seven newborn dangers in your home.
Giving your newborn a calming bath can turn fatal without the right safety precautions. Stay within arm’s reach when your kiddo is in or near the water, even when the phone rings. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), parents can prevent bath water scalds by turning down their hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
>> Find out more about kids and bath safety
Carbon monoxide damage
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas free of color, taste or odor that can deprive your newborn’s brain and other organs of oxygen and result in suffocation in a matter of minutes. “I always make sure that my new parents have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors,” shares Pediatrician Dr. Heather Lubell of St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. Before you bring baby home, have a professional inspect your furnace and chimney for leaks and blockages to keep your newborn safe.
You may think of your cat as a member of the family, but your cute little kitty can expose your infant to the risk of contracting toxoplasmosis, which can be found in the litter box. Whether you empty the litter box or let your cat climb on the counters, be safe and wash hands and surfaces exposed to your cat and their feces well before your newborn comes in contact with these parasites. In addition, Dr. Lubell urges parents to create a safe zone for your newborn away from all family pets.
>> Learn how to prepare your pet for the new baby
According to CPSC.gov, each year, CPSC receives about 15 reports of choking deaths to children under the age of three, mainly in part to small objects not intended for use by children but that accidentally end up in your newborn’s hands and mouths.
“Parents and caregivers should stay on the lookout for small parts breaking off of toys or young children getting their hands on items intended for older siblings,” said CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton. “Marbles and balls are the most recognizable hazards; but everyday household items also pose choking dangers.”
Infant falls from furniture are a common danger, from changing tabletops to couches and beds. Since all babies develop at different rates, you can’t be sure exactly when your newborn will master the skill of rolling over. Be sure to stay by your youngster’s side to ensure his safety.
One of the hottest topics in newborn safety is co-sleeping. When you choose to have your infant sleep in an adult bed, clear the sleep surface from hidden hazards such as risk of suffocation from soft bedding like mattress pads, pillows and comforters and entrapment between the bed and wall or the bedframe, headboard and footboard.
>> Discover 7 ways to reduce the risk of SIDS
Recalled baby products
Advances are always being made to increase the safety of baby products, from cribs to toys to feeding gear, so ensure that you immediately follow any recommendations by the manufacturer when to keeping your baby safe from recalled products.
Read up on baby proofing
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Baby proofing tips for your bathroom