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Your babys safety

Baby safety – avoid accidents in the home

Baby safety at home starts with meeting you baby at their level. A great method is to move around on your knees. This will allow you to easily spot the dangerous places as well as objects that are at a childs height. 

Baby safety at home: Nursery

  • Children can be very lively from the moment they’re born. A sudden movement paired with a moment of inattention may be enough for the child to fall head-first onto the floor.
  • The changing table must be stable and solid. It does not necessarily have to be installed in the bathroom.
  • The necessary items must be within reach. If there is not a faucet next to the changing area, a water bowl or a thermos with lukewarm water can be used in its place.
  • The child must never be left alone on the changing table. If you need to leave the changing area, you should always take the child with you or place the child on a rug on the floor. Avoid leaving the child in your own bed or on the sofa as the child is in danger of falling off.

Bed and sleep

  • The child’s bed must be securely designed with a solid bottom, sides and ends, and must not have exposed ornaments, screws or anything of the sort that the child might peel off and swallow.
    The distance between the bars must be between 4.5 and 6 cm.
  • The sides must be at least 60 cm tall when the base of the bed is in the lowest position. And 30 cm when the bottom is in the upper position. To prevent falling accidents, remove the sides once the child is able to crawl over these by themselves.
  • If the crib is equipped with a slatted base, the distance between the slats should be a maximum of 6 cm.
  • The distance between the bottom and the sides/ gables should be no more than 2.5 cm.
  • Other openings, including openings for screws, must be either less than 0.7 cm or between 1.2 and 2.5 cm.

Prevent crib death

Always follow these four tips, which significantly reduce the risk of crib death.

    • Always put the child to sleep on their back.
    • Do not let the child sleep between their parents.
    • Do not expose your child to cigarette smoke.
    • Avoid the child being too hot when sleeping.

Duvet and pillow 

Let the child sleep with a light baby duvet, that fits the measurements of the bed, that the baby can kick off, and that they will not get caught or be suffocated in.
The child should not have a pillow. This allows for the child to move their head more readily while sleeping. Furthermore, avoid loose blankets. Avoid toys and other things that the child may be caught in while sleeping.

The mattress 

The mattress should be relatively firm and reach the end of the bed. Avoid using plastic as it may cause the child to suffocate.

Baby lift

Baby lifts must have rigid sides and a hood. The lift needs to be at least 20 cm deep. The straps must reach all the way down to the bottom of the lift. A number of infants get injured every year because the adult has not managed to get a proper grasp of both straps. Or as a result of one strap slipping out of their hand, causing the lift to fall.
Remember to make sure that you have a proper grasp of both handles before lifting the baby lift.

Baby safety at home: Pacifier and pacifier chains

Always pull at the pacifier before it is handed to the child to ensure that the pacifier is not tender, but safe.
Avoid the use of pacifier chains. They are prone to breaking. There is a risk of the baby swallowing smaller parts or getting them stuck in their throat. Never let the baby sleep with a pacifier chain. The baby is at risk of being suffocated by the chain. In addition thereto, never tie the pacifier down with ribbons or other strings. That may suffocate the child during sleep.

Baby chair/ highchair

The reclining chair can be used when the child is approximately 2 months. But it should only be used for short periods of time for the sake of the child’s motor development. Make sure that the chair is always on the floor – if it is placed on the kitchen table, or other tables, the child may cause it to slide over the edge of the table by moving around a lot.

Baby safety at home: Highchair

No highchair is safe from tipping over. Choose a chair without wheels and test that it is stable, even when you are rocking it. It should be equipped with a tummy tuck and a strap between the baby’s legs so the baby cannot slide down. Footrests that can be adjusted in height ensure that the child is comfortable when sitting in the chair.

Walking chair

Baby safety at home means you should think carefully about using a walking chair. They do pose a distinct risk. Walking chairs also inhibit the child’s natural motor development and distance perception. The child may run down stairs, and ram into things that are at the risk of falling down on top of them. Moreover, by using the walking chair, the child may be able to reach things that were otherwise out of the child’s reach, e.g. dangerous items such as the cord from an iron.
If the child is in a walking chair, do not leave the child unattended.

Hot drinks

A number of scalding accidents occur when the child sits on the lap of the parent and accidentally gets hot coffee or tea spilled all over them. The baby’s skin is sensitive and scalding may happen by liquids at just 40° C.

  • Make sure to keep tea and coffee cups out of the reach of children.
  • Use mugs instead of cups as mugs are more stable on flat surfaces.
  • Avoid thermoses with loose rocking lids.
  • Please be aware that plunger jugs, teapots and similar items must be out of the reach of children.
  • Avoid tablecloths and placemats that may easily be pulled down by the child.

Carrots, peanuts and similar foods

You should only serve the child whole, raw carrots, peanuts and other similar solid foods when the child is approximately 3 years old and able to chew such foods properly. It is the child’s development rather than their age that determines when this is appropriate.
Be aware that grapes should be cut into pieces from top to bottom rather than side to side to avoid the child getting a piece stuck in their throat and risk suffocating. At the same time, make sure to remove the grape seeds. They may cause severe pneumonia if the child gets them caught in their throat.

Knives, scissors and cleaning agents

Go through all drawers, cupboards etc. that are accessible to the child. Remove anything that could potentially harm the child. Make drawers and cabinets secure by mounting special closing devices. Place plastic bowls, utensils and other safe kitchen equipment on the lower shelves, and all other items on the upper shelves. Keep knives and scissors out of the reach of children to upgrade baby safety at home.
Store plastic bags in wall cabinets. Make sure to remove cleaning supplies and similar items from the cupboard under the sink. This also includes dishwashing tablets which are often wrapped in glittering, candy-like paper.

Avoid unoriginal packaging

Never pour cleaning supplies, coolant, insecticides or similar into another container with different packaging like soda bottles. This action regularly causes serious cases of poisoning in both children and adults.

Coffee machines and household appliances

Keep coffee machines, electric kettles and cords out of the reach of children. Other household appliances should likewise be stored in a place that is out of reach of the child. Always take care to unplug the power cord after use. If the socket is not childproof, you can use a plug socket cover.

The stove

Children may risk being scalded if they manage to pull a pot with boiling liquids down from the stove. Get used to putting saucepans and frying pans away by facing the handle inwards, and preferably use the rear burners.
Ensure that the cooker is tilt-proof to avoid it from tipping over. Do also make sure that the oven door is childproof so that it cannot be used as a ladder by the child.

Bath

When it is time for the child to have a bath, the water must be lukewarm. The risk of scalding is great. First, pour the cold water into the tub, then pour the hot water afterwards. Be careful to check that the temperature of the water does not exceed 37° C. Use your elbow or a thermometer – your hand is not sensitive enough! A number of scalding accidents occur when the child accidentally turns up the temperature on the tap. This can be avoided by installing thermostats in the bath, shower and sink.
Never leave the child alone in the bath, not even if the child is in a bath seat or chair as these are not safe. Do not let older siblings care for the child while you are away for a moment. Young children are at the risk of drowning in a few inches of water. Place a rubber mat at the bottom of the tub to avoid the baby slipping. Remember to bring everything you need with you before bathing the child.

Household chemicals

Poisoning by household chemicals is common between the ages of 0 – 3.
Most accidents involving cleaning supplies occur when the chemicals are in use, or right after they have been used. Take care to screw the lid back on immediately after use and place them back in their rightful place. Chemicals should always be kept out of the reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard. Purchase products with child safety locks, and avoid pouring the products in containers with different packaging. Store the tablets for the dishwasher in a cupboard. Do also place the rinse.

Baby safety at home: Toys

Toys must be suitable for the child’s age and be made of suitable materials. Symbols or text printed on the packaging indicate which age group the toy is suitable for. Toys designed for children under the age of 3 must not contain small parts that the child could put in their mouth. Do also check that the child’s toy has no loose parts – check the eyes and nose of any stuffed animal.
Older siblings’ toys often contain small parts. As such, make sure to keep older siblings’ toys away from the child. Do not let the child play with balloons as the child is at risk of getting suffocated by them. 

Vitamins and medicine

Vitamins, iron tablets and similar consumables should be kept out of the reach of children as they are a common cause of poisoning in young children. Baby vitamin pills are often tasty and may tempt the child to keep eating past the recommended amount. Do also pay attention to iron tablets, which often have no flavour, and may as such be consumed at a tremendous rate which results in severe poisoning.
All medicines should be stored in a locked medicine cabinet. This also applies to any pills and all over-the-counter medicines such as painkillers. Painkillers are the most frequent cause of poisoning in children under the age of 4.
Chewing vitamins must not be provided to the child before the child can chew and should be offered, at the earliest, from the age of 1½ years. Children under the age of 3 dealing with illness should be provided their medicine in the form of crushed pills, oral solutions or suppositories to avoid incorrect swallowing.

Oil lamps and other ignition material

Oil lamps continue to be one of the top causes of serious poisoning accidents. It is recommended to store these separately until the child is older. Do pay attention to whether there are oil lamps when you are visiting – being unaware often leads to accidents.
Never pour lamp oil into containers labelled differently and take care to place lighter briquettes for the grill up high – they may be confused with marshmallows and can tempt the child, which may result in serious chemical pneumonia.

Shelving units

A lot of children love to climb and may consider any shelving unit as an exciting challenge. Any shelving unit should be fastened at the top to ensure that it does not fall over and crushes the child.

Electronic cords and plugs

The floor is the best play area for a small child. As such, check how everything is laid out at the child’s height. Control that there are no electronic cords, including extension cords laying around.
If your home does not have childproof sockets, you should make sure to guard yourself by purchasing socket protectors, so-called plug socket covers, that are impossible for the child to pry out.

Indoor stairs

Stairs are an exciting but dangerous challenge for a child that has reached the crawling age.
Mount baby gates at the top and bottom of the stairs. The baby gate must be at least 65 cm tall. There should be a space of between 4.5 cm and 6 cm between the bars, and no cross strip across the middle as this may be used for climbing. Do not use retractable scissor grids. Install gates that only shut inwards to ensure that the child does not easily fall down the stairs.
Teach the child to crawl/walk up and down the stairs while supporting them. If someone accidentally forgets to close the gate one day, the child may be able to avoid a serious fall if they have practiced manoeuvring the stairs. 
Open staircases are accident hotspots for young children. Children are at risk of falling through the open steps and getting their head caught in the gap.
Fill in the open steps with plates or mouldings It is a good idea to mount an extra handrail at child height to support the child with something to lean on when they begin to use the stairs on their own.

Windows

The child’s head is rather large compared to the child’s body, and it does not require much for the child to lose their balance and fall over. Children should not be left unattended in rooms with open windows. Install a child safety lock on the windows so that they cannot be opened more than a few centimetres.
Do not place furniture close to windows, especially not in the child’s room. The child may use these to climb on.

We hope these tips will help you to improve baby safety at home.

Windows at floor height

In homes with small children, glass should be avoided as a building material for fixtures that are located less than 110 cm above the floor. If there are windows at floor height in your home, these should be screened to make sure the child does not fall into the windowpane during play or otherwise and gets injured by the broken glass.

Categories
Your babys safety

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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Your babys safety

In case of an accident

Table of Contents

Falling accidents

Observe the child’s behaviour to check for possible concussion. Call the doctor if the child has been unconscious after the fall, vomited violently, has become lethargic or irritable, or behaves differently than usual. Call your local emergency service if the child is unconscious.
If you suspect that an arm might be broken, the fracture should be supported with a scarf or similar support before going to the emergency room.
When you suspect that a leg might be broken, let the child lie down. Support the leg with a duvet/ blanket or similar items. The call your local emergency service.

Contact accidents

If something has fallen on top of the child’s head or toes, make sure to check for any signs of concussion or a fracture as mentioned above.

Squeezing, stings and cuts

The wounded area should be cooled with ice wrapped in a tea towel. If the damage is severe, take the child to the emergency room.
Superficial wounds can be cleaned at home. Use soap and water followed by bandages. More severe wounds must be treated in the emergency room. Stop the bleeding and bandage the wound with a clean bandage before leaving.
For stings or cuts: Press your thumb directly against the bleeding area until the bleeding has stopped. In the case of more severe bleeding, call your local emergency service. Continue to apply pressure to the wound until the paramedics take over.

Burns and scalding

Rinse immediately with cool water. The water must not be too cold as it may result in cooling the wound too drastically and cause discomfort for the child. If necessary, remove loose-fitting clothes from the burned area. Rinse until the pain subsides; however, you should rinse the burn for at least 30 minutes and preferably longer, if necessary. Seek medical attention if blisters have formed after 30 minutes of cooling.
In case of major burns: Start cooling the burn and call your local emergency service. Make sure that the child does not freeze as a result of the cooling. Wrap the child where possible.

Poisoning

In case of poisoning, call your local emergency service. If the child has ingested a corrosive product, it should never be forced back up – as such, never attempt to make the child throw up before you have sought proper guidance from your own doctor or the emergency room. Always bring the packaging of whatever product your child has ingested with you to the emergency room.

Choking accidents

If your child is breathing, can say something and cough, ask them to cough as hard as they can.
When the child is under the age of 1 and cannot breathe or cough, place the child as shown in the drawing and complete 5 blows with a flattened hand between the child’s shoulder blades. If the foreign object does not come back up, then turn the child on its back and do 5 compressions on the lower 1/3 of the sternum. Switch between the 5 blows to the back and the 5 compressions to the chest until the foreign object is successfully removed.
If the child is over the age of 1 and cannot breathe or cough, alternate between completing 5 blows to the back and 5 presses to the stomach by holding the child as shown in the drawing: curl your fist and place it with your thumb inwards between the navel and the bottom of the ribs. Place the other hand on top and press up and down quickly. Try to remove the foreign object if it is visible to you.
Call your local emergency service if you cannot remove the foreign object, or if the child becomes unconscious.

Categories
Your babys safety

The hazardous life of being baby

Caring for a baby is a full time job. Their curiosity and lust for life, can bring them into numerous lifethreatening situations. This book will give you tips to prevent this.

Most accidents happen at home.

For children, accidents often happen at home, in the garden or in the courtyard. Statistically, accidents are the most prominent threat to a child’s health. As a result, small children should never be left unattended by adults.
Children need challenges and excitement. They should also have the opportunity to learn from their own mistakes. As a parent, your children must be prevented from being involved in serious accidents. Accidents can be prevented by providing the child a safe environment to grow up in. This allows for the child to develop at their own pace and with the kind of curiosity that comes with it.

Facts:

  • For children less than 1 year of age, two–thirds of injury deaths were due to suffocation.
  • Drowning was the leading cause injury death for those 1 to 4 years of age.
    CDC – 2008

Children develop quickly.

Most accidents involving small children happen when they learn something new and the parents are unprepared. When small children begin to crawl and to walk, they do not yet have full control over their movements.
They do not have full balance in their bodies and cannot judge distance, which increases the risk of accidents. Children in the crawling stage may suddenly find themselves coming up a flight of stairs, and they investigate everything they find on the floor and on the tables by putting it in their mouths. This opens up the risk of the child choking or poisoned by, for example, cigarettes or medicines that have been left out.

The most common accidents.

  • Falling accidents – the child rolls down from the changing table, from the sofa or reaches too far forward in their high-chair, accidentally making it fall over. These accidents often occur as a result of a poorly designed changing area or a lack of supervision. The most serious accidents happen on stairs, out of windows or from balconies.
  • Contact accidents – accidents where, for example, something falls on top of the child’s head or onto their toes.
  • Squeezing, stings and cuts – the child gets their fingers pinched in doors, or accidentally stabs themselves on a sharp object, or cuts their fingers.
  • Burn accidents – such as scalding with coffee, tea or boiling water.
  • Poisoning accidents – through means such as medicine, vitamins, cleaning products and so on.
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