Each new learning stage for your baby requires increased attention on
your part to prevent an injury. It may surprise you how fast your baby can move
from one stage to the next. Being aware of your baby's abilities and what
skills he or she is likely to develop next will help you prevent
Always be gentle with your baby. It is important to protect your baby
from a brain injury.
Shaking or slapping a baby in anger can cause an
injury to the brain. If a baby has been shaken or slapped, it is your
responsibility to notify your health professional.
Be aware of your baby's risk of falling:
Never leave your baby unattended in high places,
such as on a tabletop, in a crib with the sides down, or even on a bed or
Do not leave your baby unattended in any infant seat or
"sitting" toy, such as a swing or jumper. Use all the safety straps
Take steps to prevent falls:
Use stair gates to block stairways. Use gates at
the top and bottom of the stairs, and use the gates properly. Choose a gate
that slides to close, rather than accordion-style gates. Some older gates have
openings large enough that a baby's head could get caught. Look for a gate with
openings no bigger than
2.4 in. (6.1 cm).
Do not use baby walkers. Walker injuries can include
pinches and falls. Walkers can cause severe accidents, such as a fall down a
flight of stairs.
Keep your baby away from elevated porches, decks,
Watch your toddler when he or she is outside. Uneven
grass, sloping lawns, and hills may increase your toddler's risk of falling.
Make your home safe from falls by removing hazards that might
cause a fall.
Establish good safety habits early so your child will continue them
when he or she is older:
Place children in an approved child car seat when
traveling in a motor vehicle. Follow the manufacturer's directions for
installing and securing the seat. Set a good example by always using your seat
belt when traveling in a motor vehicle.
Have your children wear
helmets and other protective clothing whenever necessary, such as when they are
passengers on a bike or riding a tricycle on their own.
keep firearms in your home. If you must keep firearms, lock them up and store
them unloaded and uncocked. Lock ammunition in a separate area.
Primary Medical Reviewer
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.