While young babies are born with several reflexes that help them eat, breathe and react to their new surroundings, they are completely dependent on their parents to take good care of them. One of the most important jobs a new parent encounters is keeping their baby safe. Since 1991, The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, Inc. (JPMA) has designed September as Baby Safety Month, to remind and educate parents and caregivers on the importance of baby safety.
One important reminder is since babies spend most of their time sleeping, it is important to focus on a safe sleep environment to help reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). The actions listed below are based on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Task Force on SIDS.
1. ALWAYS put your baby on its back to sleep; every nap and every night.
2. Use a firm sleep mattress with a fitted sheet.
3. Baby should sleep alone.
4. Remove all soft objects from the crib, including bumper pads, blankets, pillows, & stuffed toys. If you feel the need to use a bumper pad, use the mesh “breathable” kind.
5. Baby should wear a onesie, sleeper, or sleep sack for warmth rather than being wrapped or covered with blankets.
6. Do not allow smoking in your home or around your baby.
7. Do not allow your baby to overheat. Room temperature should be between 68-72 ◦ F.
8. Avoid the use of positioners & other products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS.
9. Check on your baby frequently.
10. Consider the use of a pacifier during sleep. If breastfeeding, wait approximately one month for breastfeeding to be well-established prior to introducing a pacifier.
11. Check your crib and other products to make sure they meet federal safety standards.
Car seat safety is also an extremely important parental responsibility. For the best protection, keep your baby in a rear-facing child safety seat in a back seat for as long as possible. As of March 2011, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations urge parents to keep children rear facing up to at least the second birthday or up to the height or weight limit of the seat.
Shingletown Medical Center (SMC) Board Members and Staff wish you a “Happy & Safe” September!