Avoiding accidental injury is a concern for children from their first days. It is required to have a government-approved rear-facing infant car seat when leaving the hospital with your newborn. Though it may take some time for your baby to be mobile, he is able to wiggle and push, and therefore, should never be left unattended on a changing table, bed, or any other raised surface in order to avoid injury from falls. Cribs and playpens must be free of pillows, blankets, bumpers, fluffy toys, and loose bedding as these are risks for suffocation. Crib slats must be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart.
Childproofing your home begins early. Watch for small objects and plastic wrappers or bags that can be choking hazards as your infant starts picking up objects. When he becomes more mobile, it is vital to childproof your home and any caregiver's home. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Gates at top and bottom of stairs
- Outlet plugs
- Cabinet locks
- Window guards
- Keep hot water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit
Never leave your child unattended in the bath or pool, and all pools should be fenced in on all 4 sides. Medications and chemicals/cleaners should be placed in a locked cabinet and completely out of your child's reach. If any accidental ingestion occurs, call: