Essential infant safety tips

Infants are delicate, and new parents often feel overwhelmed with the immense responsibility of keeping their babies safe. We empathize with these challenges. At West Hills Hospital, our compassionate maternity team is committed to empowering families with the knowledge and resources they need to become confident caregivers for their babies.

Crib safety
Crib safety standards are updated from time to time, which is why many new parents prefer to purchase a new crib. If you do buy a used one, check that it meets the current safety standards. Drop-side cribs can no longer be sold in the U.S., due to serious safety risks.

After selecting a safe crib, use the following tips to protect your baby from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

  • Always place your baby on his or her back
  • Use a firm, tight-fitting crib mattress
  • Do not use crib bumpers, pillows, sheepskins or blankets
  • Only use a fitted bottom sheet over the mattress
  • Do not place stuffed animals in the crib
  • Dress your baby in a sleeper outfit if it’s chilly

You can put your newborn to sleep in a bassinet by the side of your own bed. This helps make breastfeeding more convenient at night. But never co-sleep with your baby in your own bed, as this can cause suffocation.

Car seats
All youngsters should only ride in a rear-facing car seat until at least the age of two, but preferably until they can no longer fit into the seat based on their height and weight. When your child outgrows an infant car seat, or is at least two years of age, he or she should be securely strapped into a five-point harness in a forward-facing car seat.

Toy safety
Not every toy on the shelf is safe for children. Always check the recommended age range, and look online to see if it’s been recalled, or whether safety issues have been reported. Avoid toys with the following hazards:

  • Small parts that children may choke on
  • Older toys that might have lead paint
  • Batteries that a child could remove
  • Projectiles that can cause eye injuries

If you have any concerns about toys for your baby, your pediatrician will be happy to offer guidance.

At West Hills Hospital , we are privileged to have helped so many families in our community welcome their children into the world. Our state-of-the-art hospital in West Hills brings together compassionate care with medical expertise to give every infant the healthiest possible start in life. Call a registered nurse at (818) 676-4321 and let us know how we can help your family.

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