We’ve all seen the so-called “helicopter moms” that hover over their kid every single minute they’re at the playground, never letting them out of their sight for even a fraction of a second. Moms who are over-protective may stifle their kid’s ability to make friends. Don’t worry. You’ll have plenty of time to fine-tune your parenting skills as your child matures. For now, though, you’ll want to protect your brand-new little one every way you possibly can. Here are some super-smart safety strategies every new parent needs to know:
Protect your baby at home
The National Institutes of Health conducted a study on at-home childhood accidents. Although the study looked into the behavior of 174 kids in Dublin, Ireland, the statistics can be readily applied to kids in North America, as well.
The NIH reports that boys are nearly 10 percent more likely to suffer injury as a result of an accident at home. 66 percent of at-home accidents involved children younger than five years of age. Half of the childhood accidents analyzed involved falling, around 22 percent were burn accidents, and almost 8 percent involved poison or other toxic substances. Any way you look at it, the home can be a very dangerous place.
Newborn babies and infants spend a lot of time sleeping, so be sure your infant has a safe and secure crib with side slats installed no wider than 2.5 inches apart. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission notes that when it comes to baby bedding, “Bare is Best.” Remove decorative pillows and stuffed animals from the crib prior to tucking baby in for the night.
Looking out for your little one in the yard
Before you let your little one crawl around in the yard, scour the ground for potential hazards like bottle caps, broken glass, and animal waste. Toddlers especially have a way of finding these kinds of things on their own, so it’s best to eliminate them from the yard before playtime.
Stack firewood well away from the play area, and never allow a toddler or child to use your wood pile as a playground. It should go without saying that pools, fountains, and water features must be securely fenced and gated, but we’ll remind you all the same.
Road accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in kids who are not securely seated in a moving vehicle. Sticking a festive “Baby on Board” sign in the back window of your Dodge Grand Caravan is not enough to protect your precious child. Always use an approved, age-appropriate child seat and double check to ensure that it’s fully secured to the seat. Experts recommend placing the baby carrier in a back seat, facing backwards.
When it comes to being a new parent, trust your instincts. If a situation seems hazardous, keep your child out of harm’s way. Your kids count on you to keep them safe from dangers they may not even know about.
Olivia Sharp is a freelancing Mom who enjoys blogging. She often writes about travel, parenting and other lifestyle topics which appear around the web.