Think you're an ace at keeping your kiddo safe? Experts share the top safety tips you're probably not following.
Your kitchen cabinets have safety locks, your unused electrical outlets are outfitted with covers and your coffee table now sports foam edges. Congratulations! You've successfully passed Child Safety 101.
But you're not totally in the clear—yet. Take a little advice from seasoned safety professionals Denise Fields, author of Baby 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for Your Baby's First Year, and Alison Jacobson, The Safety Mom, and make sure you don't miss these 10 not-so-obvious tips to help keep your baby safe and sound.
- Make it harder to leave your baby in the car. Forget your baby in the car? Never...until it happens to you. Keep your purse or diaper bag in the back seat near your baby's car seat to ensure that you check before you get out of the car.
- Give in-case-of-emergency info. Place a neon-colored sticker with your child's vitals—blood type, allergies to medications, and an emergency contact phone number—on the side of her car seat. In the event of an accident, the EMTs will have a better idea on how to treat your child.
- Pack the right equipment when you travel. Before you lug a car seat on an airplane for your baby, make sure it says on it that it's certified for use in aircraft. Otherwise, you might have to check it as baggage—and not be able to use it to help your baby travel safer on the plane.
- Always slather on the sunscreen. Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean your baby can't get sunburned. Apply sunscreen to her face and any other exposed parts before heading outdoors.
- Don't overdo the cold weather gear. Babies under one year can have trouble regulating their body temperature and may become dehydrated quickly if they are overdressed. A good rule of thumb is to dress your baby in the same number of layers you are in.
- Strap your baby in. Falling causes most high-chair accidents. Choose high chairs with a safer five-point harness, and make sure you always use it.
- Know what food is safe. When you're trying new foods with your baby, avoid foods that aren't considered safe, such honey and soft cheeses, which may contain harmful bacteria that lead to food poisoning.
- Ensure your baby's safety in other people's homes. Need to babyproof a friend's home—fast? Secure cabinets by positioning a couple of cookie cutters around the knobs or handles.
- Repurpose items to keep your baby safe. Babyproof your fireplace hearth with connect-a-mat floor puzzles or crib bumpers (since you know those bumpers aren't safe in your crib anyway).
- Avoid pinched fingers or suffocation risks. If you keep your little one's toys in a chest, make sure it has a child-safe hinge to keep it open and prevent little hands from getting hurt. Drill holes in the back of the toy chest, in case she does become trapped inside.