How to Keep Baby Safe at Home

New to this whole Mama thing? Experts give their tips for keeping your sweetie safe during bath time, bedtime, and more.

Secure the Nursery

Mobile

Toss out airborne amusements that have strings longer than 7 inches. Remove even mobiles with shorter strings once Baby can sit up and might be able to reach them.

Changing Table

More than a third of injuries from falls occur when babies tumble from furniture, says a study in Pediatrics. That safety strap is there for a good reason. Buckle up!

Crib

"Check that your crib meets current safety standards and has all the right pieces," says Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. "If the sides go down or you can fit a can of soda between the slats, it's not a safe crib for your baby. Stuffed animals, bumpers, and cute accessories may make a baby's crib seem warm and cozy, but they can do more harm than good. A firm mattress covered with a tight-fitting crib sheet is all you need to make your baby sleep safe and sound."

Bedding

About half of all crib deaths occur when infants suffocate on bedding -- such as blankets, pillows, and bumpers -- according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). And skip sleep positioners, too; babies can slide off and suffocate.

Batten Down Your Bathroom

bathroom

Splashing in the tub: good times! However, this room is safe only with supervision. Keep the door shut so Baby can't wander in without you. Tots can drown in just 1 inch of H2O.

Grooming Products

Even lotions, oils, and soaps that are made for babies can be toxic if consumed, so stash them far from reach. Keep items that pose a cut or burn risk, such as razors, curling irons, and hair dryers, in a cabinet with a childproof latch.

Medications

Childproof packaging isn't enough to keep your kid safe -- little fingers can be nimble! "Secure all vitamins and drugs in a locked drawer or cabinet that's out of reach," urges Joel Clingenpeel, M.D., a pediatric emergency room physician in Hampton Roads, Virginia. "And never refer to any pills as 'candy.'"

Bathtub

A cushioned guard on the spout will prevent bumps, and a skid-resistant pad on the bottom of the tub can stop slips. Also, adjust your water heater to 120 degrees F if you haven't yet done so -- any hotter and Baby could get a burn.

Toilet

"A curious infant could easily fall headfirst into a toilet and drown," Dr. Clingenpeel says. A potty lock might seem more than a little inconvenient (especially when desperate houseguests call out for your assistance lifting the lid!), but it's definitely worth the bother.

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