Print out this checklist and use part or all of it; keep it on the fridge, use it when you go out and leave the kids with a 'sitter, use when shopping for a crib or car seat. All the basics are covered and listed inan organised and straight forward way.

CRIB

  • Bars should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart
  • Railing should be at least 26 inches higher than the lowest level of the mattress support
  • Mattress should fit snugly into crib
  • All surfaces should be smooth
  • A bumper guard should be installed to protect infant from the hard railing
  • Do not place the crib near a hot radiator or cold draft
  • No pillow should be used in the crib

CHANGE TABLE

  • The table should be sturdy
  • It should have a strap to secure infant
  • Never turn your back on the baby while changing a diaper, even if using the strap

CAR SAFETY

  • Children under forty pounds should be placed in a car seat
  • Infants ride facing the rear of the vehicle _ Everyone over forty pounds should wear a seat belt with shoulder harness or use a booster seat with a seat belt

TOYS

  • Toys should always be appropriate for age
  • Avoid toys that have buttons or small objects that can easily be pulled off and swallowed
  • Don't give any child a toy with a sharp edge
  • ¬†Avoid toys that are breakable

BATHING

  • Water should be tepid. Check temperature carefully using your elbow or a bath thermometer
  • Never leave an infant or toddler alone in a tub.
  • Keep room draft-freer

FEEDING

  • Keep infant in upright position to prevent choking
  • Check temperature of formula or baby food carefully before feeding.
  • Never prop an infant's bottle

ENVIRONMENT

  • Remove poisonous houseplants (e.g. philodendron, poinsettia leaves, caladium, narcissus, daffodils)
  • Electrical outlets should be in good repair.
  • Install protective electric outlet covers to guard child if he/she is drawn to poking items into outlets
  • Instruct child never to play with matches. Keep matches and cigarette lighters well out of reach
  • Don't expose child to second-hand smoke. This can contribute to serious respiratory problems
  • Toddlers should be instructed about an emergency fire escape plan. Plan two escape routes
  • Every home should have smoke alarms
  • Every home should have a fire extinguisher
  • Never leave a baby unattended on a bed or sofa, even if the baby is strapped into a carrier
  • Never leave a child alone near a pool, pond or water source of any kind
  • Pets should be supervised closely around children
  • Handles on pots should be turned to the back of the stove to prevent a child from pulling on it
  • All low cupboards should be emptied of any solvents or detergents that are harmful if swallowed. Use lock-latches, if necessary
  • Keep vertical blind cords out of reach of children
  • Keep all cords, ropes and scarves away from children. Don't allow child to tie a cape of other costume garment around neck
  • Know the Heimlich maneuver
  • Keep all medicines out of reach of children
  • Use safety gates to protect child from stairs
  • Use a playpen or crib to protect the baby or toddler if distracted with a phone call or some other distraction

BABYSITTER

  • Take special precautions when selecting a babysitter. Is the sitter qualified? Does the sitter have experience? References?
  • Have the sitter visit beforehand to spend some time with you to become familiar with baby's routine
  • Prominently post the phone number of the place where you will be
  • Keep emergency numbers for fire, police, poison control center and doctor posted next to the phone
  • Always have a telephone that is in good working order
  • Check if the sitter knows the Heimlich maneuver for choking emergencies. Review this with sitter, if necessary

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