Imagine the excitement of watching your baby get active. But the more active they get, the higher are the chances of them hurting themselves. You cannot curb their energy but you can take measures to prevent them from getting seriously injured.
Chances of injury increase with age: The older babies are more active and mobile. They begin to crawl, stand, walk, run and interact with their environment may be hazardous. Therefore, as a parent you should, you should pay close attention to your little one’s movements.
The role of parents in injury prevention: Strategies to prevent injuries continuously evolve, as your parenting should progress as your baby grows. Make sure you make wise choices as soon as your little one starts to walk around.
A safe home equals a safe baby: Injuries to your baby usually happen in and around her environment. Therefore, it’s very important that you know and understand your responsibility in making your home safe for your little darling.
Ways in which your baby can get hurt.
It’s easier to prevent your baby from getting hurt if you know the cause.
Falling: Most babies get hurt from falling. It’s perfectly alright to have minor falls while crawling, learning to walk or running. That is part of the learning process. Though it’s not necessary to run to her and tend to her every time she falls. Let her pick herself up and get going on her own. Too much attention will not help her learn to cope on her own. You will know it’s a bad fall, when you hear her scream out or cry hard. That is when you need to attend to her urgently.
Suffocation/Choking: Babies are very prone to risks of choking or suffocation while eating or playing with small toys. And it can be fatal for both adults and babies. Babies are especially vulnerable to choking hazards by food, when they are asleep and are being fed or when they are just beginning to learn to chew on their food. Their curiosity makes them liable to put anything and everything they find in their mouth.
Food Borne Illness: Ill feeding of any kind can be extremely hazardous for your baby. It may be food poisoning as a result of high levels of toxins in the leftover food. Always provide with fresh preparations. Or it may be poisoning from toxic products that may have been left around in your house. So keep a close check on your babies movement.
Scalds/Burns: Your little one may scald herself and it can be bad enough. It’s not always fatal but it can be very painful. Burns need to be tended immediately. You should always have a first aid kit at hand to deal with burns.
Vehicular injury: Babies get hurt the most during travelling. You need to follow rules and all instructions for travelling with a young one while travelling. Preferably use car seats for babies and babies and young children should always be seated in the back seat.
How can I prevent my baby from getting hurt?
Take all measures you can take ensure that your baby does not get hurt. There are a number of things you could do.
Never leave her unattended: You should always be with your little one when she is on a raised or a high surface, such as a changing table, a counter top, a dining table or a high chair. She may to slip or lose her balance and fall if you are not around to keep a watch. Don’t make her sit on counter tops or tables either.
Choose a safe place: Change your baby’s diapers on a changing table or on the bed. Try not to leave her till you are done or you can keep her safe by surrounding her with pillows on the bed.
Don’t leave large stuff toys inside the crib: Don’t leave your young one alone with stuff toys inside the crib or in her playpen. It won’t take them long to figure out ways to use their toys as support to climb out of their cribs. They may also suffocate her.
Pull up the sides of the crib: Make sure the sides of the crib are pulled all the way up, so it prevents your baby from climbing up and out of the crib.
Don’t let her stand on a chair: It’s never safe to make your baby stand on a chair. It’s very easy to lose balance and fall.
Keep your doors locked: Install safety latches at the top and bottom of your stairways. Doors are almost never enough. Your little one learns to open doors soon enough which will increase her risk of falling off. Place baby doors on stairs to avoid your baby going up or down the stairs.
Keep your home child-safe: You don’t want your baby to figure out ways to climb up to a window or the railing of a balcony. Keep them locked. When she’s a little older and allowed to play in the balcony, make sure she understands she cannot climb up the rails. Better still, don’t leave her unsupervised in the balcony or the roof top.
Choose safe footwear: When your little one starts walking, opt for rubber soled canvas shoes or sandals instead of leather shoes. They can be stiff and hard to walk in, causing more frequent falls.
Prevent too much running: It’s not a very good idea to let your little one run around inside the house a lot, especially if you have a lot of furniture. She may bump or trip over them and fall.
Cover furniture edges: If you have furniture with sharp edges, make sure they are covered with child-safe and child-proof covers.
Ensure a safe playing area: Make sure your little one’s play area is absolutely cleaned out of any kind of glass, rusty or sharp objects which may cause injury.
Strap her in safe and tight in her seats: Always remember to strap your baby in when you put her in the infant seat while driving.
How to Prevent injuries from choking?
Keep her away from plastic bags and sheets: Make sure that the mattresses and pillows used by your baby have no plastic. Babies are likely to nibble plastic and choke on them. All thin plastic containers should be safely stored out of your little one’s reach. When you throw out plastic bags, tie a tight knot at the mouth.
Prevent too much baby powder: Ensure you don’t use too much baby powder. When inhaled in large amounts it can cause suffocation. So keep it safely out of your little one’s reach.
Do not pin or tie the pacifiers to your baby: It’s easy enough for the strings to wrap themselves around your baby’s neck and cause some discomfort. It can get more serious.
Tuck in the mattress tight into the crib: Find the right mattress size for your little one’s crib. You don’t want it too small with the sheets left loose in the crib. Babies can get hurt from getting their heads, legs or arms stuck between the mattress and the side of the crib if the mattress is too small.
Keep cellphones out of her reach: Babies always find cellphones an attractive object to put in their mouths. Keep your cellphones away, from your babies reach.
Feed safe food: Take care when you are giving your baby finger food to snack on. Be careful with nuts, popcorn, grapes, hard candy and carrots. It is advisable to give big pieces of vegetables, grapes to be sliced and nuts to be given as paste or in puree form.
Be careful with balloons: Make sure your young one never goes out of your sight when there’