20 Top Tips to Keep your Baby Safe

Give your baby a safe start in life with these top tips, based on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the FDA and Safe Kids.


1. All infants should be put down for sleep on their backs to reduce the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

2. Avoid the use of products in an infant’s crib or bassinet to reduce the chance of SIDS. Do not use infant sleep positioners of any kind, or pillows, blankets, sheets or quilts in a crib. Keep cribs bare of objects and toys. A firm mattress and fitted sheet are all you need for your baby’s crib.

3. Keep baby’s room at a moderate temperature and dress them in a way that they can’t overheat. This also reduces the risk of SIDS.

4. Make sure that when purchasing a crib, it meets current safety standards. Crib slats should be no bigger than 2 3/8 inches apart to prevent baby from trapping his head or limbs between the bars.

5. For many new parents, it can be reassuring to keep an infant close while sleeping. However, sharing a bed with an infant can introduce many dangerous safety risks such as rolling on top of them or suffocation. Consider putting a crib or bassinet next to your bed to allow you to keep your little one close-by, without being a safety hazard.


6. Learn to use your child’s car seat the right way. Children under age 2 should always ride in the back seat, in a rear-facing car seat made for his or her size and age. They should also be buckled up with snug harness straps. (Do the Pinch Test to make sure you cannot pinch any excess harness strap at your baby’s shoulders.)

Parents and caregivers: You can set up a no-cost private Child Passenger Safety checkup appointment with a local fitting station agency. For a list of sites near you, go to carseatsak.org and click on the “Checkup Locations” tab.


7. Never, ever leave your baby alone in the bath, even for a few seconds. A baby or toddler can drown in less than one inch of water, and accidents happen so fast. Make sure you have everything that you need to bathe baby at hand so that you don’t need to quickly go fetch something. If you have forgotten something, it is best to take baby out of the bath and with you while you go get that something.

8. Make sure the bathroom is comfortably warm (around 75 degrees), because little ones can get chilled quickly.

9. Set your water heater to 120 degrees to avoid scalds. It is common for water heaters to be set to temperatures above 140 degrees, but it takes just two seconds for a child to receive third-degree burns from water that is 150 degrees, and just five seconds if the water is 140 degrees.


10. Make sure you have both a working smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home, and in all sleeping areas. Test the alarms to make sure they work.

11. Don’t smoke or let others smoke around your baby. Infants exposed to smoke are three times more likely to suffer SIDS-related death. Even smoking “outside” is harmful for the baby because smoke particles can settle on clothing, hair and skin.


12. Place your baby’s crib and other furniture away from windows and blinds. Your baby is safer without any strings or cords within reach.

13. Anchor tall furniture such as dressers and bookshelves to the walls with braces to prevent them from toppling over on your child.

14. Do not leave your baby alone with a young sibling or a pet, even when your baby is sleeping.

15. Walkers are unsafe at any speed and at any age! Never put your child in a walker.

16. Always keep your hands and eyes on baby while he or she is on the changing table or other high surfaces.

17. Install electrical outlet covers.

18. Place safety gates at the head and foot of your stairs.

19. Use latches for cabinets and drawers that contain harmful products.

20. To prevent choking hazards, vacuum floors regularly and pick up loose change, paper clips or other small items.