Tips to Keep Your Baby Safe this Fall

Experiencing new seasons with a baby is so much fun! Creating new traditions and making priceless memories is part of what makes parenthood so wonderful. As you usher in the fall season, follow these tips to keep your baby safe and healthy.

Appropriate clothing

According to the CDC, babies and the elderly are at a higher risk of developing serious or even life-threatening health conditions because of the cold. To help keep baby warm despite the fluctuating weather, check the weather before you leave the house to get a sense of how to dress. Sometimes fall mornings can be very cold, but the afternoons warm up significantly. Consider dressing baby in layers so that you’re prepared for the cold but also able to keep baby cool if the temperature changes.

Car seat safety

This is important any time of year, but especially as baby may start wearing coats when you go out. Review the proper car seat buckling guidelines, specifically about wearing coats. As a rule of thumb, you should take off baby’s coat before putting him/her in the car seat.

Keeping germs away

With many kids going back to school, the spreading of germs is more of a concern in the fall season. Babies seem to get hit harder with colds and the flu, so if your baby is old enough it’s important for baby and your whole family to get the flu shot.

Follow the proper hand-washing protocol and include baby in the pre-meal ritual. Hold baby in front of the sink and wash his/her hands before eating to instill the habit. Keep hand sanitizer handy when you’re out and about and don’t have access to a sink to wash your hands.

Use safe food-handling techniques

Along those lines, make sure that the food that is prepared for all of those amazing parties that come with the fall season is prepared safely. Halloween, Thanksgiving, sporting events, etc. all often revolve around food, so be extra cautious not to cross-contaminate food, to be careful as you handle raw meat, and to thoroughly wash produce.

Frosty mornings

Although snow isn’t as common in the fall (but still a possibility in some places), frost is a reality. Early mornings are often accompanied by a beautiful, sparkly layer of frost covering the ground. As enchanting as it is to look at, frost can be a slippery hazard to drivers or walkers. Be mindful of frost on the ground if you’re planning on going out. Give yourself extra time to commute so you can drive slowly if necessary.

Stay Active

Avoid the urge to stay bundled up inside all fall as the cold weather sets in by finding ways to stay active with your baby. Set the example of regular physical activity regardless of your external environment. Bundle up for a stroller or baby carrier walk, design an at-home workout you can do with your baby (Instagram is a great place for mommy-and-me workout inspiration), and don’t forget to give baby plenty of tummy-time so they can get their workout in!

What do you do to keep your baby safe and healthy in the fall?

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Cutting the Cord on Dangerous Blinds

Window blind cords are a household danger hiding in plain sight. While these cords may seem harmless, they can pose a potential strangulation risk to your children. With baby safety month in mind, here five ways to cut the cord on dangerous blinds:

1. Replace all corded blinds with cordless blinds.

This is the most effective way to eliminate strangulation risk. However, if replacing all of your corded blinds with cordless blinds isn’t in the budget, there are other cost-effective ways to minimize risk, which are listed below. Another idea is to replace your blinds one window at a time, starting with the nursery and other more kid-friendly areas.

2. Tuck your cords.

This is mostly a temporary solution, as in, what you should probably do after reading this post. Tuck your cords up in an inaccessible location while you plan for a more long-term solution. And monitor your children around the tucked cords; older kids might be able to knock them down.

3. Invest in cord wind-ups or wraps.

Earlier this month, we shared five baby safety products for your home. One of these items was a cord-wind up. Cord wind-ups and cord wraps enable you to safely manage your cords in an effective and organized manner. Wind-ups are a good solution if you don’t want to attach any hardware to the wall, while cord wraps are typically mounted to the wall above your child’s reach.

4. Cut the cord loops.

Depending on which blinds you own, some will function the same with two cords rather than a looped cord. While this doesn’t completely eliminate the risk, it avoids the danger of the looped cord becoming a noose. Before you make the cut, ensure that the blinds will still function. To eliminate the loop, cut both cords above the tassel, remove the equalizer and the put new tassels on each cord.

5. Keep all climbable furniture away from windows.

Because a lot of kids like to climb, they may still be able to access wrapped cords by climbing onto the window sill or nearby furniture. So try to keep all beds, dressers and other climbable furniture away from the windows.

What ways do you cut the cord on dangerous blinds?

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Potential Safety Hazards in the Home

It’s never a fun conversation to discuss what could go wrong, but it’s an important conversation to have when it comes to keeping our children safe. Even if your child is still a young infant, it’s never too early to baby-proof and remove dangers that could threaten the safety of your baby, for you never know when the day will come that they roll over, begin crawling, reach for something dangerous, or pull themselves up onto something unstable.

Here are some common safety hazards to watch out for in your home.

Chalk

Cute, decorative chalkboards are a popular trend in home décor, but chalk is a choking hazard for young children who love to put everything in their mouths. Be sure to keep all chalk in a child-locked drawer, cupboard, or high shelf out-of-reach.

Dishwasher

Locking away the knives is a given, but keeping the dishwasher closed may not be. It can be easy to get distracted while loading or unloading the dishwasher and leave it open for a few moments – giving your curious baby or toddler enough time to grab something dangerous. From the detergent to the sharp utensils, the dishwasher is a safety hazard and caution should be used if you have a baby in the home.

Oven door

I learned this one from personal experience. After placing child-proof latches on all drawers and cupboards, I was shocked one day to watch my 1-year old son grab onto the handle on the oven door and try to hang, causing it to fall open. Thank goodness the oven was off and I saw it happen, but needless to say, I was traumatized. Don’t assume your oven door is too heavy for little arms to open – it’s not.

Pet food and toys

Keeping pet food out of reach is difficult because if your child can’t reach it, your pet probably can’t either. Consider placing your pet on a schedule, if they’re not already, so that they eat at specific times when your baby is napping or out of reach.  Keep pet toys contained and away from your children to prevent choking and the spread of germs.

Your purse

You wouldn’t leave coins on the floor or at baby-height, but you may do it inadvertently by leaving your purse accessible to your baby. Casually dropping it on a couch, entry bench, or even the floor by the door means baby can access all of its contents, which are likely hazardous. I don’t know about you, but my purse literally contains almost the entire list of hazardous items for babies – coins, bobby pins, batteries, pills, hand sanitizer, even a mini screw-driver. Needless to say, I had to designate a safe place to hang my purse to keep it out of reach of my baby.

Fridge magnets

Fridge magnets are often brightly-colored, fun-shaped and right at eye-level to your curious baby, but can be a serious choking hazard because of their shape and size. Consider keeping them high or finding an alternative place to hang your fridge items until your baby is grown.

Garbage can

Another lesson I learned from personal experience – the garbage can is enticing to babies and toddlers. Seeing food go into the garbage can or simply grabbing things to use to stand makes the garbage can a hazard to babies who can tip it over and access its dangerous (and disgusting) contents. We now keep our garbage can in the pantry where baby can’t access it.

What potential safety hazards would you add? Are there any that you also missed when your baby discovered it first?

 

 

 

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Safe Sleep with a Sick Baby

Having a sick baby can be heartbreaking, especially if congestion is present. It’s difficult to see your child struggle and you might not know exactly how to help her. On top of that, ensuring that your infant sleeps safe during this process can be nerve-wracking. However, it’s important to make sure that you’re maintaining a safe sleeping environment for your baby. And we’re here to help!

Here are a few suggestions to help you achieve safe sleep with a sick baby presenting cold-like symptoms:

Try a warm bath before bed.

A warm bath will help soothe your baby by easing her aches and pains, and the steam from the water can also help ease congestion. Less congestion equals better sleep.

Use a cold-mist humidifier.

Using a cold-mist humidifier or vaporizer can help alleviate your infant’s congestion while she’s sleeping. The mist can also soothe a dry or sore throat. Make sure you are continually cleaning out the filter and water to ensure that no mold develops, and use a cold-mist instead of a warm-mist humidifier, as warm-mist humidifiers can cause scalding.

Ensure that your baby is drinking enough fluids.

If you’re breastfeeding your baby, doing so more frequently can keep your little one properly hydrated. If you aren’t breastfeeding, increasing formula feedings throughout the illness with have the same effect. Fluids help thin mucus buildup, thus making it easier to breathe, and making sure that your baby can sleep with a clearer airway.

Slightly elevate her head… with specific methodology approved by your pediatrician.

While elevating your child’s head is an effective way to help clear her airway, you need to do so under the direction of your doctor. Adding anything to the crib is potentially hazardous, so you’ll most likely be advised to place something underneath your baby’s mattress to cause a slight elevation. But seriously, consult your pediatrician before doing this on your own.

Use an Owlet Smart Sock to help monitor oxygen levels.

Using the Owlet Smart Sock 2 during your baby’s illness can help ease your stress because it measures your child’s pulse oximetry levels. Pair it with the new Connected Care app to gain additional insights into your infant’s health over time.

*Owlet is intended to provide peace of mind. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, mitigate, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.

 

 

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