Safety tips for new babies
Every year, nearly 300 children under one year old are admitted to BC hospitals for treatment of unintentional injuries.
- Keep a hand on the baby at all times during diaper changes -- a baby can roll and fall off a change table.
- Do not leave an infant in a bouncer chair on a table or counter -- a baby's feet can kick the chair over the edge.
- Do not leave a baby unattended in a grocery cart.
- Test bath with an elbow or forearm -- the water should be warm, not hot.
- Stir food heated in a microwave well and test the temperature before feeding it to your baby.
- Do not microwave human milk or formula. It is not necessary to warm bottles for term infants. For premature infants put the bottle in a bowl of warm water for up to 15 minutes, or hold it under warm running tap water. Be sure the water does not touch the cap, rim or nipple.
- Do not hold the baby while you are eating or drinking anything hot.
- Keep diaper creams, cleaning products, medication, tobacco, alcoholic beverages and other poisons out of baby's reach.
- If your doctor has advised medicine, check the label and measure every time you give it to your baby.
- Grate, blend or chop all solid food into very small pieces.
- Keep small objects such as coins, buttons, and earrings out of baby's reach.
- Discard any soothers (pacifiers) that have broken or chewed parts.
- Stay within arms’ reach of your child at all times when they are in the bathtub. If you have to leave, take your child with you.
- Infant bath rings and bath seats are not safe – your baby could slip into the water.
- A young child can drown in as little as 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water in just a few seconds.
Supervising your child at all times can save a life!
Prevent shaken baby injuries
Learn more about normal crying and how to soothe your baby
- Babies can cry up to 5 hours a day and still be perfectly normal.
- Crying, especially inconsolable crying is the main trigger for shaking an infant.
- Shaken baby syndrome occurs most often at two to six months of age.
- Shaking a baby can cause seizures, blindness or deafness, paralysis, permanent brain damage, developmental delay, and even death.
- Change or feed the baby
- Take the baby for a walk in a stroller or infant carrier
- Rub the baby's tummy
- Offer a pacifier (soother)
- But remember, sometimes healthy, normal babies cannot be comforted and that is OK.
- If you become too frustrated with the crying, put the baby in a safe place a walk away until you calm down.
- It’s more important to calm yourself, before you try to calm your baby.
- Learn more about normal infant crying at www.dontshake.ca.
- Never, ever shake your baby.
- Tell others about normal infant crying and the dangers of shaking.