1. Health

Your Baby Week One

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Updated December 12, 2007

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Baby Proofing and Safety
A newborn going home from the hospital safely in her car seat.

A newborn going home from the hospital safely in her car seat.

Photo © Melissa Carroll
Ideally, your home will be well baby proofed before your baby is born. In fact, it is a policy in most hospitals that you show that you have a properly installed car seat before you are allowed to bring your baby home. In addition to a car seat (a rear facing infant or convertible car seat in the back seat), you can baby proof your home and make it safer for your newborn baby by:
  • Making sure her crib is safe: Have no more than 2 3/8 inches between the bars. The mattress should be firm and fit snuggly within the crib. Keep it away from windows and drafts. Avoid placing fluffy blankets, stuffed animals, or pillows in the crib as they can cause smothering. You should also remove pillow-like bumper pads. In fact, some experts recommend not using bumper pads at all, as they are mostly decorative and can possibly increase a baby's risk of SIDS.

  • Making sure that used or hand-me-down equipment, such as car seats, strollers and cribs, etc, haven't been recalled for safety reasons. Call the manufacturer or the Consumer Product Safety Commission for an up to date list of recalled products.

  • Setting the temperature of your hot water heater to 120 F to prevent scalding burns.

  • Installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and using flame-retardant bedtime clothing.

  • Making your home smoke-free so that your baby isn't exposed to secondhand smoke. Simply smoking outside is not enough to reduce your baby's risk of SIDS, ear infections, asthma, and other conditions.

  • Reviewing your home's risk for causing lead poisoning, especially if it was built before 1950 or before 1978 and you plan on having it remodeled.



Sources:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Health Effects of Exposure to Secondhand Smoke.

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