Baby Safety Month:
Tips For Parents and Early Learning Providers
September is baby safety month, a time dedicated to educating parents and caregivers on the best safety practices for babies. Whether you’re a parent expecting a newborn, or a child care provider who takes care of babies every day, it’s important to refresh yourself on the best safety protocols.
Babies take so much time and your undivided attention when caring for them. This article will give parents and providers a refresher on how to keep the babies in your care safe.
Tips for Parents
If you’re a parent with a new baby at home, chances are your anxiety levels are sky-high. You’re always questioning if you’re doing the right thing for your baby. Here are some tips to help ease your mind as you focus on safety.
Choose Quality Infant Care
Before signing your baby up for child care, visit the facility and assess whether or not they offer high-quality care. Pay attention to how the caretakers interact with the babies in their care. They should be physically and verbally present with the babies all day. The program should also provide age-appropriate toys that don’t pose a safety choking hazard.
Baby Proof Your Home
Remember that babies are curious and they’re going to want to touch and chew anything they can get their tiny hands on. Baby proof your home by getting on your hands and knees and crawling around like an infant. This will help you see things from their perspective. Take care of exposed electrical sockets, chords and anything that can be yanked down from a table and fall on your baby.
Practice Safe Bathing
You should never leave your baby alone during bath time. If you have to leave the bathroom for even a minute, take the baby with you. It’s too dangerous to leave a baby unattended near water as they could slip and drown. Always check the temperature of the water before placing your baby in the tub. Try not to use water that’s any hotter than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tips for Providers
When you’re a child care provider taking care of more than one baby at a time, it can be difficult to give each one your attention. Follow these baby safety month tips to make sure your program is a safe place to be.
Keep Adult to Baby Ratio Small
It’s important for child care programs to keep ratios in mind when it comes to all children, but especially babies. Babies are unable to care for themselves in any way or ask for what they need. Remember that the state of Indiana mandates a ratio of a minimum of 1 adult for every 3-4 infants.
Use Age-Appropriate Toys
Be sure your child care program is equipped with age-appropriate toys and products for babies and read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Clean and sanitize toys that will be shared among babies to minimize the spread of germs.
Understand Safe Sleep Practices
Make sure your sleep policies are up to date and in line with national and state guidelines. In Indiana, babies are no longer allowed to be swaddled in child care settings. Babies should always be laid to sleep on their backs in a crib with sheets that fit tightly against the mattress.
Follow These Baby Safety Month Tips
The tips above will help you have more peace of mind when taking care of babies in a child care program or at home.
To read more baby safety tips for providers and parents, check out our blog on signs ofsafe sleep in childcare centers.