For Newborns

  • Bring your baby home from the hospital in an approved car safety seat and use it on every ride. Your baby should be in a rear-facing infant or convertible car safety seat for at least one year. He/she should continue to ride rear facing, as long as possible, up to two years old or more depending on your child’s size. Always check the height and weight restrictions on your seat to make sure your child is riding safely.
  • Be sure your baby’s crib is safe. Crib slats should be 2 3/8 inches apart or less. The space between the mattress and the crib sides should be less than the width of two fingers.
    safe crib image2
  • Keep the crib and playpen away from drapery and blind cords; your baby might strangle on them. To avoid blocking your baby’s breathing, do not keep pillows, large floppy toys or loose plastic sheeting in the crib.
  • Check with your baby’s doctor about sleep positioning. Most babies should be placed on their back to sleep. Babies who sleep in that position are less likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
  • Babies should sleep in cribs or on firm surfaces. Never put your baby down to sleep on a pillow, cushion, bean bag chair, or in bed with you. Your baby may suffocate.
  • Be gentle with your baby. Don’t shake, swing or throw your baby in the air.
  • Keep your newborn and the entire family safe by installing smoke detectors on every floor of your home, including the basement. Check smoke detectors once a month.
  • Always check bath water temperature with your elbow before bathing your baby.
  • Create a smoke-free home. Don’t allow anyone to smoke in your home or car. Smokers should smoke outside, wash their hands and face and change their clothes before picking up your baby. For tips on how to deal with secondhand smoke, download Oh Baby! We want to keep you safe from secondhand smoke. (If this piece downloads too slowly, try the plain text version.)

For Older Babies

Babies who can turn over, crawl, pull themselves up or walk can get into trouble in no time at all.

  • Keep an eye on your child at all times unless they are in a secure area (like a crib).
  • Keep all medicines, cleaning supplies and houseplants out of your baby’s reach.
  • Do not store gasoline, kerosene or cleaning supplies in soda or milk bottles Post the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222 phone number somewhere you can always see it.
  • Never leave small objects where your baby can reach them. If swallowed, your baby might choke.
  • To prevent falls, install and use safety gates at the top and the bottom of stairs
  • Avoid the use of walkers – especially if there are stairs in the house.
  • Cover unused outlets with safety caps or electrical tape to prevent electrical burns or shocks.
  • To prevent drowning, never leave your baby alone in a bathtub or near other water (even water buckets). Keep the toilet lid down.
  • When cooking, keep pot handles turned toward rear of stove. Never carry hot liquid or food while you are holding your baby.

Additional Resources