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Baby safety – Avoid accidents outside

Table of Contents

When you want to optimize your baby’s safety outdoors, there are a few we empirically know can be dangerous. 

Balconies

Never leave the child on the balcony unattended. Make sure that the door to the balcony is properly secure to avoid the child accidentally opening the door by themselves.

The railing around the balcony must be at least 120 cm tall. If bars are a part of the design, they should be vertical and the distance between each bar should be a maximum of 12 cm. Many balconies have railings with horizontal planks which may be used by the child for climbing. If you have such a balcony in your home, it can be secured by using chicken netting. Do make sure that the holes are small enough so that the child cannot secure a foothold. Even in cases where the balconies are secured as suggested, a child can still manage to climb onto tables and chairs, thus potentially gaining access to climb over the edge of the balcony. So always keep a close eye on the child.

Pram

The pram must be stable and safe to use. This includes but is not limited to:

  • The brakes must be effective and the metal loops for the pram’s belt must be solid.
  • The distance between the handlebars and the pram-box should be at least 23 cm.
  • Only an adult must be able to fold the pram to avoid the child getting their fingers pinched.
  • A rain cover used for the pram must properly fit the pram.

The pram must also be secured when in use:

  • Do make it a habit to check that the pram-box is securely attached to the chassis before placing the child in the pram.
  • Mount reflectors onto the pram.
  • Store items in a basket under the cart. The pram becomes less stable if heavy shopping bags are placed on the handle.
  • Use a mosquito net. It prevents insects, cats and other animals from getting into the pram.
  • Place the pram in the shade in both spring and summer. Children may be overheated if left in the sun as it can get very hot under a pitched canopy.
  • Only use a rain cover when you can keep a constant eye on the child. If the child is sleeping outside, place the pram under a canopy or a similar fixture. Never let the child sleep in the pram while the rain cover is on. The child may pull the rain cover into the pram and is thus at risk of getting suffocated by it. 

Crossing the street with a pram/ stroller

Both prams and strollers are not tall, making it difficult for drivers to spot them – especially if there are parked cars along the curb. As such, avoid pushing the carriage in front of you if you do not have a clear view. Instead, walk next to the carriage.

Stroller

There are many types of strollers. However, regardless of type, the following must be checked:

  • Any metal hoops for the harness must be securely fastened.
  • The stroller must have an extra safety control against collapsing.
  • The brakes must be effective and reliable, and the stroller must be stable.
  • Do not carry heavy shopping bags on the handle. Instead, place the goods in a basket under the stroller.
  • Do not let the child sleep in the stroller unattended as a stroller is not a safe place to sleep for the child.
  • Only use an umbrella/ light-weight stroller for short trips as these do not provide sufficient support for the child’s back.

Pram harness / stroller harness.

The stroller should be used from the time the child has started rolling or getting up to sit. A harness must always be used when the child is awake and sitting upright in the pram. If the child sleeps with the harness on, it should be under regular supervision as no harness is completely safe. The harness must be fastened in the metal loops on both sides, and the harness must be secured tightly across the bottom of the pram or stroller so that the child is not at risk of getting wrapped up in the harness, razor burns or, in the worst case scenario, suffocated by it.

Bicycle seat

 

The child must be able to sit securely by themselves before you set off on an adult bicycle. Choose a solid, secure bicycle seat with a fully moulded seat, adjustable footrests, straps to fasten around the feet, headrest and an H- or Y-belt.
Bring your child as well as your bicycle when choosing a seat. The seat must be mounted onto the bicycle frame itself, not just on the luggage carrier. The child’s weight must match the weight the chair is designed to carry. The bicycle must also be equipped with a coat protector to ensure that the child cannot get their feet caught in the wheel.
There should be proper protection put in place on the bicycle seat springs so that the child cannot get their fingers caught.

Bicycle helmet

Children should wear a safety helmet when riding their parents’ bicycle.
Under no circumstances should the bicycle helmet be used during play on the playground as the child risks suffocating if the straps get stuck or pinched.

If the car is equipped with an airbag by the passenger seat, the child must always be placed on the backseat as the force from a triggered airbag can break the child’s neck.

Car seat

Never place an infant on your lap in the car. In the event of sudden braking, collisions or other accidents, it becomes impossible to securely hold the child on your own.
The infant must be restrained in their own approved car seat that is securely fastened with their back against the travel direction. Purchase the chair in a store where you are able to get professional guidance. Bring both your child and car to ensure you get a chair that fits.
If the child’s car seat is used as a reclining chair at home, it should only be placed on the floor.

Dogs

Teach children to not pet dogs that they do not know. Not all dogs will like children and may bite or snap at the child.

Water

Water is very intriguing for children. Be extra aware when you’re in an area with water, even if it’s shallow – a child can drown in less than 10 cm of water. Take part when the child is playing with water, whether it is outdoors or indoors. Never let the child bathe alone with older siblings. If the child gets their head under water, they breathe in to scream and the lungs fill. With their head under water, the child cannot orient themselves and will not get back up.
Make sure that dangerous ponds and similar areas are filled in or fenced. Gardens with a swimming pool should be closed with gates that can be locked. Put up a fence if your neighbour has a swimming pool. Inflatable pool toys and floaties should only be in use when the child is being closely monitored.

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