Written by: Ellie Kim, Writer & Social Media Coordinator
Keeping your baby safe is a top priority for parents. However, accidents can happen in a blink of an eye so it’s crucial to take steps towards preventing them and be aware of exactly what actions to take when they do occur. The Family Care Office has outlined some frequently occurring accidents and what you can do as parents to keep your baby as safe as possible.
When your baby is around 3 to 5 months old, they will start to grab at everything. The kitchen can be an extremely dangerous zone, as hot liquids and food can be within the baby’s reach. Remember to keep hot drinks outside of their reach at all times, and never hold your baby while carrying a hot drink. If your baby gets burned, immediately soak the area with cold water and cover the area with a clean bandage that does not stick to the area.
For more detailed information on the type of burns and first aid for your baby, check out this FAQs page: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/all-around/Pages/First-Aid-For-Burns.aspx
Once your baby can roll over on their own, they become more susceptible to injuries due to falls. It’s crucial to never leave your baby alone on high surfaces, such as beds, couches, or changing tables. If you must leave them alone, even for a short period of time, leave your baby in an enclosed area, such as their crib.
If you live in a multi-story house, install baby-safe gates in all stairways (as accidents can happen as soon as babies are able to crawl) and window guards on upper floor windows.
As your baby gets older and can climb, be cautious of furniture that could lead to dangerous falls. For example, a chair left out next to a table or window can lead to your child climbing up onto higher surfaces using the chair, potentially leading to a serious fall.
This article outlines what to do if your baby falls as well as symptoms to look out for and actions to take if the fall is more serious.
Suffocation most frequently occurs when a baby is asleep, and you can’t always keep an eye on them (since parents need their sleep too!). To prevent potential suffocation overnight, follow safe sleep practices by letting babies sleep in their own crib (room-sharing but NOT bed-sharing) with no loose bedding or pillows and always laying them on their back.
To learn more about safe sleep practices for babies, check out our blog post: http://blogs.studentlife.utoronto.ca/intersections/2022/02/02/safe-sleep-for-babies/
As your baby grows and becomes accustomed to playing with water, leaving your baby alone near pools, bathtubs, or even small buckets of water can be extremely dangerous. Children can drown in less than 5 centimeters (~2 inches) of water, so always remember to empty any water or block off the area when leaving.
For more information on frequently occurring accidents and tips for prevention (i.e. car safety, poison prevention, and more), check out the following resources: