Advice Column, Baby, Bonitas, Breastfeeding, Health, Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby

Safe cribs and playpens to use when traveling

  • Bonitas
  • Category Advice Column, Baby, Bonitas, Breastfeeding, Health, Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby

The following information is to be used as a guide to and at the discretion of the end-user and should not replace a doctor’s opinion.

Make sure the mesh is less than 1/4 inch in size so it’s smaller than the buttons on your baby’s clothing. Make sure the mesh is in good repair without any tears, holes or loose threads that your baby can get caught on. Make sure the mesh is fully attached to the top rail and bottom of the bed so there are no holes for the baby to get caught in. Make sure there are no bare, missing or loose staples or nails. When in doubt throw it out – don’t use cribs or bedding that might pose a risk to your baby. It’s your job to keep them safe!

Fire safety for home with newborn

The following information is to be used as a guide to and at the discretion of the end-user and should not replace a doctor’s opinion.

Check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they have fresh batteries and are in working order – install them in your home if you don’t have them already. Check your fire extinguishers to make sure they are in working order – purchase them if you don’t have one on each floor of your home already. Make sure clothing and bedding meet fire safety standards – information on their fire safety rating should be on labels and tags. Insist that your home be smoke free to prevent your baby’s exposure to second-hand smoke and also as a fire prevention measure since cigarettes are a common cause of home fires. Review or update your fire escape plan to include your new baby – review the plan with everyone in the household. For more information on fire safety visit websites like the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Fire safety prevention in home with newborn

The following information is to be used as a guide to and at the discretion of the end-user and should not replace a doctor’s opinion.

Do a fire safety walk-through of your entire house, check for burnable substances near heat sources, frayed or damaged electrical cords, matches or lighters within reach of children and other situations that may be a fire hazard. Never leave space heaters of any type unattended and turn them off while you are asleep. Never store flammable liquids like paint thinner, charcoal lighter fluid or gasoline in the house and always keep them a safe distance from heat sources. Check all mattresses, bedding and sleep apparel for your baby to make sure they meet fire safety requirements – this information should be on the product label. Early warning of a fire is key to keeping your family safe, so make sure your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers meet local codes and are in working order. Be prepared and have a fire escape plan that is understood by and has been practiced by the entire household, it could save lives in a fire emergency. For more information on fire safety visit websites like the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Newborn safety tips

The following information is to be used as a guide to and at the discretion of the end-user and should not replace a doctor’s opinion.

Never leave your baby alone for even a minute unless they are in a secure place like a crib or playpen. Make sure you follow safe sleep recommendations when putting your baby to bed. When in the car always use a safety approved rear-facing car seat that is specifically made for newborns. Never ever leave your baby alone in a car – be especially careful during warm or cold weather. Always use safety approved car seats, cribs and toys – if they are hand-me-downs or you are buying them used, choose items that still have a safety tag attached and check to make sure they haven’t been recalled. To prevent burns never carry hot liquids or food while you are holding your baby.

Pet safety and newborns

The following information is to be used as a guide to and at the discretion of the end-user and should not replace a doctor’s opinion.

If you have a dog, know that certain breeds may require extra caution with a newborn – German Shepherds, Rottweilers and Pit Bulls account for more than 50% of fatal dog bites. Always closely supervise infants when in the presence of dogs even if they are not one of the above breeds – they may experience jealousy and have other unexpected reactions to a new member of the household. Keep in mind that some pet reptiles can carry infections, like Salmonella, so keep turtles, snakes and lizards away from children under 5 years of age to prevent the spread of infections. Small pets like rodents should be kept away from newborns and infants to prevent bites or the spread of Salmonella and other possible infections. Other issues: Make sure your pet is healthy – take them to the veterinarian for a check-up and any needed vaccinations before the baby is born. Keep your pet’s nails trimmed. For cats and dogs especially, you may need to work to prepare them for the new member of the family – for example, invite friends with babies over if your pets aren’t used to children – supervise their interactions as they learn about these new additions to their world. New situations can be stressful to pets so be patient and understanding with them as they adjust to the changes in their life – scolding and punishment will only add to their stress. There are many things you can do to ensure a smooth transition, so contact your local Humane Society or other animal-focused organization for additional suggestions on preparing your pets for the arrival of your new baby.

Newborns and sun exposure

The following information is to be used as a guide to and at the discretion of the end-user and should not replace a doctor’s opinion.

There are different levels of sun exposure from casual exposure while out on a sunny day to intentional full body sunbathing. The amount of exposure possible will depend on your location and the amount of available sun. Short periods of casual exposure are best. Your baby makes vitamin D in their skin through exposure to the sun, so a small amount of daily sun is healthy. Breastfeeding infants get vitamin D either from the sun or their mothers breast milk, whereas most infant formulas contain vitamin D. The most damaging rays of the sun are strongest from 10 am – 3 pm so avoid the sun during those times to limit sun damage to skin. Use sunscreen specially formulated for babies if you expect your baby to be out in the sun for longer than 20 minutes at a time. Buy a carriage or stroller with an adjustable sunshade or umbrella to keep your baby protected when you are out for long periods of time. If you have any questions or concerns talk to your baby’s doctor about what’s right for your baby.

Protect newborn from long-time sun exposure

The following information is to be used as a guide to and at the discretion of the end-user and should not replace a doctor’s opinion.

Avoid the sun during its peak, which is between 10 am and 3 pm. Have back seat window shades to protect your baby while in the car. Buy a stroller or carriage with an adjustable protective sunshade or umbrella. Keep a sunshade or umbrella with you to use whenever your baby needs protection from the sun. Dress your baby in loose protective clothing when they will be outside for long periods of time, this includes clothing that covers arms and legs, a hat that covers the top of the head and infant sunglasses. Use sunscreen specially formulated for babies if you expect your baby to be out in the sun for longer than 20 minutes at a time. If you have any questions or concerns talk to your baby’s doctor about what’s right for your baby.

Causes of lead poisoning

The following information is to be used as a guide to and at the discretion of the end-user and should not replace a doctor’s opinion.

Exposure to lead can cause learning disabilities, anaemia, growth problems in infants and children. Infants and children are most exposed to lead by eating paint chips or dirt contaminated with lead.

Lead was an ingredient in paints up until 1977 so you will need to have your house checked for lead contamination if it was built before 1978.

Lead may also be contained in old plumbing so have your plumbing checked for lead if you live in an older home with metal water pipes.

Lead contamination can also enter your living area if someone works in high risk areas like house repair, bullet making, radiator repair, battery manufacture or repair, stained glass that uses lead solder, plumbing, industrial machinery or equipment or the smelting industry – special precautions will need to be taken to prevent exposing your newborn to contamination from people who may carry it in to your home on their shoes, clothing or skin.

Lead can also find its way into your home though imported glazed pottery containing lead, nutritional pills, medicines and home remedies made in some countries, foods canned in some countries outside the States, and some cosmetics like surma or kohl.

Keys can contain small amounts of lead so don’t let your baby chew on them. If you have any questions or concerns about lead exposure and your baby contact your nearest public health department or access websites like the U.S. Centres for Disease Control’s Lead Prevention Tips.

Prevention of lead poisoning

The following information is to be used as a guide to and at the discretion of the end-user and should not replace a doctor’s opinion.

If you live in an older home or have other reasons to suspect you may have lead in your home or water supply, contact your nearest public health department to find out about lead testing and ways to prevent lead exposure.

Think about lead safety in other places your baby will spend a lot of time, like grandparents or babysitters’ homes. Babies and young children should not be present in housing or other structures undergoing renovation if they were built before 1978 since lead may be present in debris and dust from lead paint.

Avoid traditional home remedies and cosmetics that may contain lead.

Make sure all food storage containers, cookware and dishes are lead free. Make sure jewellery and all infant toys are lead free and check lead recall lists since contamination is sometimes identified after you purchase items.

Avoid eating candies imported from Mexico and other countries that have a history of lead contamination in their candy.

Be sure that anyone who works in areas where they may be exposed to lead showers and changes clothes before coming into contact with your baby.

For more information on preventing lead exposure contact your nearest public health department or access websites like the U.S. Centres for Disease Control’s Lead Prevention Tips.

Baby proofing home

The following information is to be used as a guide to and at the discretion of the end-user and should not replace a doctor’s opinion.

Baby proofing your house can get exhausting. Here are some tips to help ensure your baby’s safety comes first.

  • Crawl through your home to get a baby’s-eye view. Remove anything you see that could be dangerous to your baby.
  • Turn down your hot water heater to approximately 49 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit). This can help to prevent burns.
  • Remove anything from the outside of the refrigerator, such as magnets, that are small enough to choke on.
  • Remove mobiles and other hanging toys from the crib as soon as your child can reach up and touch them.
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