Baby's Care and Development
Is the room your baby sleeps in safe?
Click Here to learn what you can do to make the room your baby sleeps in is as safe as can be.
- 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. Click here for more information.
- 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.
- 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,
Baby! We want to keep you safe from secondhand smoke.
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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
Vaccines for Children Program The N.C. Division of Public Health's fact sheet explains eligibility for this program and other information pertaining to reduced costs for required vaccines for children up to 19 years of age.
Program Breastfeeding and Support WIC strives to increase the incidence
and duration of breastfeeding among women enrolled in the Program.
Poison Center - 1-800-222-1222
HEALTHYCHILDREN.ORG a new parenting Web site from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The site includes general information related to child health plus more specific guidance on parenting issues and is promoted as "the only parenting Web site backed by 60,000 pediatricians committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults."
For more health information, search MedlinePlus
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Last updated: January 2013