Check out these surprising “don’t do” baby safety mistakes that many parents still do.
When it comes to baby safety, there are quite a few rules you probably know well: Put baby to sleep on his back, no bumpers or loose bedding in the crib, store poisonous items out of reach, never leave baby unattended on an elevated surface. The list goes on and on.
Even though you do all of those things (and more), you may still be making mistakes that put your baby at risk. Right these wrongs to keep your baby safe.
Your baby sleeps in his car seat or swing
The last thing any parent wants to do when a baby falls asleep in the car seat or swing is to wake him up by moving him. However, a 2015 study published in The Journal of Pediatrics found that letting infants and children up to 2 years of age sleep in so-called “sitting devices” can lead to injury or death.
When a baby sleeps in a car seat or swing, his head can fall forward, which can cause him to not get enough air or to be strangled by the straps. If your baby falls asleep in the seat while you’re driving, it’s not a big risk, as long as the car seat is secured in the car properly, and he’s buckled in correctly. Once you make it home, though, take him out of the seat and put him in his crib. The same thing applies if he falls asleep in the bouncer, swing, sling, or stroller. Relocate him to the safety of the crib.
Brakes on the stroller
The brake on your stroller doesn’t get enough use.
We all know we’re supposed to apply the brakes on the stroller every time we take our hands off of it, but many parents don’t. All it takes is turning your head for one second, and then somebody bumps the stroller, an older sibling pushes it, or depending on how big the baby is, her wiggling can make it move. That can be especially dangerous if you’re on an elevated surface, or if the stroller rolls into traffic, parked cars, or it flips over. It’s also crucial to use the brake when you are putting your child in or taking him out of the stroller, or if you need to access the storage.
It’s also crucial to use the brake when you are putting your child in or taking him out of the stroller, or if you need to access the storage basket under the stroller. Make a habit of using the stroller brakes whenever you remove your hands. To help, remember this quick phrase: “Hands off, brake on.”
You use a head support with the car seat
If it didn’t come with the car seat, don’t use it. After-market car seat products like head and body supports and strap covers are a safety hazard. If an item wasn’t designed specifically for that particular car seat, it wasn’t safety-tested for that seat and could alter the performance of the car seat in the event of an injury. If you want to use head or body supports, check with the car seat manufacturer to see if there are any add-ons made (and safety-tested) specifically for your seat.
Your child eats (and drinks) on the go
We get it: Giving your toddler a snack or sippy cup decreases crying during car rides. But if your baby chokes, you won’t be able to see her in a rear-facing car seat, and you may not hear her since choking typically has no sound. Even if you notice choking, it’s dangerous to try to quickly manoeuvre through traffic to be able to help her. If you have to feed her on the road, pull over to a safe spot and get in the backseat with her. If she must have something and you can’t pull over, an o-shaped food likes cheerios with the hole in the middle is a less risk for choking.