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Healthy Living >>> Newborn Articles & News

The Biggest Hidden Dangers For Newborns

By: Martin Simenc, P.E., ARM, MBA

It's easy to overlook potential falling-related dangers and a few general home safety issues. Falling-related dangers include your baby falling, the person carrying your baby falling, and objects falling on your baby. To help keep your baby safe:

• Keep heavy or breakable objects out of reach: Move objects such as picture frames and ceramic figures away from the changing table and crib so your child can't topple them.

• Place furniture away from hazards: Keep cribs and changing tables away from windows, window cords, and hanging mobiles to prevent your child from getting tangled, suffocating, or falling out or through the window. * Secure unstable furniture: If you live in an earthquake-prone area, make sure tall or unstable pieces of furniture are securely braced to the wall.

Pay particular attention to things that could fall on your child — bookshelves, armoires, and entertainment centers — and to those that could fall and prevent your escape or access to your child.

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• Check the changing table pad: Be sure the changing pad is secured to your changing table so your child is less likely to squirm off.

• Prevent falls: Parents, relatives, and sitters can fall while carrying a baby due to poor lighting, loose rugs, or loose or nonexistent stair railings. You're probably familiar with these hazards in your own home and will naturally compensate for some of them. But a relative or sitter may not be, and could take a tumble, potentially injuring both themselves and your baby. To help prevent that from happening, use nightlights liberally, put fresh carpet grips under your rugs, and fix or install stair railings.

• Make your home fire safe: Place functional smoke detectors in each bedroom, in the adjacent hallway, and on each level of your home. If your detectors are more than ten years old, replace them. You should have at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of your house and a carbon monoxide detector next to the sleeping areas.

You'll feel better if you take care of these issues before your baby arrives.


Editor's Note:

Martin Simenc, The Safety Guy™, is president of Home Safety Services in Redwood City, California. He has more than 12 years of experience in the safety and risk management industry. For more on Home Safety Services, check out the company's Web site at

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