Every year approximately 2 million children are brought to Accident and Emergency departments with injuries in the UK and Ireland and some will die as a result of their injuries. We have outlined here the main points to be aware of to help you keep your baby safe.
Prams/ Carry Cots
- Should have a depth of at least 7½’’ / 19 cm
- Should have a solid base and good ventilation
- Should have a carry handle or handles that you can hold with one hand
- Carry as little as possible in the pram. Pillows for example, can cause instability and pose a suffocation risk.
- Harness should secure both shoulders, go around the waist and between legs
- Swivel wheels provide better maneuverability and tracking.
- LINK brakes are better as they lock both back wheels by means of a single lever.
- Buggies need the main locking device and secondary locking unit acting directly on the folding mechanism.
- Make sure all safety locks are on before putting your baby in
- As your child grows and becomes more mobile, teach them not to stand up or lean out of the pram or stroller
Most accidents happen when children fall out!
- Babies should be transported in a car seat for every car journey
- It is not safe to carry a baby on your lap or to put an adult seatbelt around a child and yourself
- Electric windows can be dangerous to toddlers
- You might think sure I am only driving for 10 mins what could happen! but Most accidents happen within the first 5 minutes of leaving home
- Children should NEVER travel with no restraints whatsoever
- Newborns should NEVER be kept in a car seat for prolonged periods
- Check it fits
- Manufacturers recommend that a trained retailer ensures the car seat is compatible with your car
i-Size (ECE R129)
i-Size is a new regulation for child car seats that will run in parallel to the current regulation (ECE R44/04) for the next few years. It has been in force since July 9th 2013. We were a major contributor to its development and believe that it will greatly increase protection for little ones across Europe.
- GROUP 0/0+ (Birth to 13Kg) are rearward-facing in the front or back seat of the car and are held in place by an adult lap and diagonal seatbelt or Isofix system. Must never be used in the front of the passenger seat with an active airbag
- GROUP 1 (9 to 18Kg): Two-way car seats, go rearward facing from birth to 9/13Kg, and forward-facing from 9Kg to 18Kg. Use in the rear seat. Secure with lap and diagonal belt or Isofix system. Extended rearward-facing group from 6 months up to 7 years (25kg)
- By law, under legislation S.I. No. 240/2006 - Safety Belts and Child Restraint Systems in Motor Vehicles. All children under 150 CMS in height or 36 kgs (79 lbs.) in weight must use a child restraint system (CRS) suitable for their height and weight while traveling in a car or goods vehicle (other than a taxi).
- Most accidents happen when a parent falls
- Wear sensible shoes
- Don’t cook while carrying the baby in a sling
- Familiarize yourself with the different buckles and straps because using it for the first time
- Rule of thumb never use a second-hand mattress even if it is from an older sibling study's have shown that perspiration that cannot be seen on a mattress can contribute to SIDS
- Moses, crib mattress should have be at least 3.5cm to 5cm in depth. Must fit properly, no bends or gaps and fitted sheets work better than flat sheets
- Cot mattresses will be used for 2 to 3 years. Make sure it is a good firm. Sprung and pocket sprung are good choices
- Cotbed mattresses will be used up to 6 years again a good firm one like a pocket sprung works really well as the child gets heavier, they are less likely to feel the springs poking through
- Natural fibre mattresses work really well for children who suffer from allergies
- Look out for sharp ends on hard wicker baskets
- Ensure that fingers cannot be crushed between hard handles and basket
- Material cover should be one single piece of material covering sides and floor of the basket
- Never use a second-hand mattress even between siblings
- Where possible only use cotton cellular blankets or Gro bags with the right tog to suit the room temperature
- Must have minimum depth 23½’’/59 cm
- Round bars should not be more than 2.3’’/6cm apart
- Flat bar no more than 2.9’’/7.5cm apart
- The gap between mattress base and sides should not be more than 1’’/2.5cm apart
- Avoid horizontal bars and sharp edges
- If your cot has 4 wheels you must be able to lock at least 2
- If you have an old style cot that has drop sides never forget to pull the sides back up when the baby is in it.
- Cot mattress should fit well
- There should be a space of no more than 1½’’/4 cm
- Fiber and sprung interior mattresses are firmer and cooler to sleep on than foam plus foam with indent at some stage and will have to be replaced
- Babies under a year do not need pillows
Cot Bumpers & Toys
- Make sure that string and ties are no more than 8’’/20 cm
- Remove bumpers and large toys which aid older children to climb out
- Use Specific toys that have a safety strap that allows you to secure it safely to the cot
Reducing the risk of cot death
- Lay your baby to sleep on his/her back
- Do not allow baby to get too warm
- Ideal temperature of baby’s room is 18°C/65°F
- Do not smoke or let anyone smoke near your baby
- Do not bring a baby into smoky rooms
- Never reuse a mattress even if its belong to a sibling
In the nursery
- Avoid cords on curtains or blinds
- Keep cot well clear of heaters and flex from lamps, windows and cupboards
- Keep electrical wires out of reach
- Never leave your baby unattended in a bath
- Scalding is the most common cause of accident- Put cold water in first
- Suitable from birth
- Most accidents happen when they fall off a raised surface e.g. table/worktop
Travel Cots/Play Pens
- Should be 2ft/60 cam deep
- Mesh should be very fine which cannot trap fingers or buttons
- The top padded rail should be covered
- Never add an additional mattress to a travel cot as it will reduce the safety depth
- Most serious accidents happen when children fall out
- Use a harness that goes over both shoulders
- When positioned at the table be aware of hot drinks and sharp objects
- If your highchair has wheels make sure they are locked at all times
- Cause more accidental injuries than any other single item of equipment. Even going over the saddle board can cause these to topple over and studies indicate they hinder rather than help development
- These act as a barrier to prevent your child from falling downstairs but they will also fit into doorways
- Always buy ones that have a seconadry locking device
- Poisoning in the home peaks most between ages 1-3.
- The most common substances are medicines, bleach, detergents, weed-killer, etc
- Get medicines in child resistant containers (CRCs) and store them in securely locked cupboards
- Keep scented oil diffusers up well away from little hands
- These should have a top as well as sides and hooks to enable them to be fixed to the wall
- Cooker Guards/ Electric sockets/ guards/ Kettle Guards/ Cupboard locks are all necessities in every home
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