Safe Homecoming

A Safe & Healthy Homecoming for Your Newborn

Bringing home your baby from the hospital or perhaps the adoption agency for the first time is a thrilling and emotional moment to remember.  National Child Safety Expert & Professional Childproofer Kimberlee Mitchell says, “Creating a baby/child safe home environment is one the first responsibilities you have as a new parent.”  Here’s a to-do list for before the baby comes:

CHECK ALARMS

Although emergency alert devices like smoke/fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should always be in working order, pre-baby homecoming is a good time to confirm.  Install them on each level of the house near sleeping areas, install new batteries and check them every three months.  Vocal smoke detectors play your recorded voice to calmly instruct children during an emergency. Although these will work better for children over 2 years who often sleep through alarms, time flies and it’s a good idea to install them now.

 

CLEAN THE UNSEEN

Mommies are nesting for months before the baby is born however there are some areas that are often overlooked.  Before winter, have your chimney and heating system professionally checked. Clean ducts and if necessary replace air-conditioning/heating filters every season. A built-in or portable air purifying system is a great addition to the child’s nursery to ensure the cleanest air possible.  I still use a portable one in my son’s room to keep his air clean and to create white noise during his naps to drown out the door bell, phone and dog barking. My neighbor has an air purifier system in his little girl’s room – she didn’t catch her first cold until she was almost one!
SAFE DECOR

As you decorate your child’s nursery, another delightful right of passage, be sure not to place heavy items over the crib that could fall on your child.  Of all nursery products, cribs are responsible for the most infant deaths so do your due diligence when researching your purchase.  Check all crib screws and hardware regularly and tighten them if necessary. To prevent suffocation, never place soft bedding or soft toys (blankets, fluffy comforters, pillows, plush toys) in your baby’s crib. Baby monitors are also recommended.

 

HUMAN HAZARDS

Old habits die hard and most new parents need to change something.  Use the handrail when walking down stairs with child in your arms.  One of my customers slipped in his socks descending the stairs carrying his newborn and he fell breaking his newborn’s leg. If you have other children always monitor their interaction with the newborn.  I discovered raisins in my newborn’s mouth after his two year old “big” sister shared her snack. Read up on post partum depression and call your doctor immediately if you think you are suffering from it.

EDUCATION

The hospital is a great resource for learning about how to take proper care of your newborn.  Most offer classes for new and expecting parents on everything from bathing to breastfeeding to burping as well as infant SIDS prevention, CPR, first aid and home safety. Ninety percent of unintentional injury resulting in death or a trip to the ER could have been prevented.  Arm yourself with safety information and protect your child from unnecessary harm!

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