Keeping Your Baby Safe

Do you know that the major cause of death in children under four years of age is Accident - preventable accident in almost every case. Before your baby is crawling, pulling himself up, or walking, most of the dangers are near him or come to him. It is well to remember that his tiny arms and hands have strength enough to pull or push things which are near him.

What then are these things that can come to him?

Is His Cot Safe?

(1) A mosquito net should completely cover the cot. The hem of the net should be edged with elastic so that it will remain under the edge of the cot which must also be lined with mosquito netting. Flies, spiders, ants and other insects can harm your baby if his cot is not protected in this way. But more serious still, a friendly cat can climb into the cot - this has been the cause of smothering.

(2) A two-winged screen with a triangular piece of canvas across the top should be placed with cot, when it is outside. The screen protects your baby from odd sparks from a neighbor's incinerator, from too strong sunshine and from being frightened by twigs or papers blowing on to him.

What About The Cot Making?

The Sister at your Baby Health Center will advise you about cot making and precautions for safety in his cot. You will learn how to put the large size blanket in first so that maximum warmth is obtained - how to gauge the proper sizes of the mattresses - how to tuck baby in safely and comfortably, and about his pillow too. When hot water bags are used, they must be tucked into pockets in the cot lining.

What About His Toys?

1. Are there any small parts which can be inhaled or swallowed? Either can prove fatal if skillful help is not available at once.

2. Be sure that paint used on any toy is free from lead. Make sure that no lead toy is used - such as toy soldiers, etc. Lead poisoning is a very serious illness and can cause death.

Fire is an all-age risk and parents always remember the quick unexpected movements of a child. No electric, gas or wood fire should ever be without a guard. Never forget that a sudden puff of wind or draught, which could blow over some clothes airing near the fire or the skirt of a pretty party frock which can easily come too near.

At all ages remind your children of the appalling accidents that can be caused by carelessness and by unguarded fires.

Plugs should be removed after using electrical appliances and cords connecting electric irons, etc., should not be allowed to trail on the floor. Never leave a radiator plugged in because with a snap of the switch by a prying finger, heat can become an unexpected risk.

Burns and Scalds
Boiling water and many other things in the kitchen present risks to children. Burning and scalding accidents are to toe avoided at all costs. Matches, cigarette lighters and any lighted cigarette can at any time be dangerous.

All poisons, insecticides, etc., and all bottles labelled poison by law should be kept in a locked cupboard. Keeping, them out of reach on open shelves is not enough - toddlers can climb on to chairs or tables to reach a lethal bottle.

Open Water Areas
Drains or fish ponds how ever shallow are especially dangerous to young children and should have protective covering.

Don't overprotect your child. Make your plan for his safety and then stop worrying about possibilities of danger. Being happy yourself will make you better able to give him all the loving attention he needs. All of this care and attention in the guarding and protection of your baby and young toddler is part of the quiet, safe security needed by every child all the time but especially when they are young. If you know they are safe from so many of these dangers, you will have a calmer and more peaceful home atmosphere, as a result.

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