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9/1/21blog post

top 6 safety tips for new and expecting parents

guest blog by Alexa Wene, injury prevention coordinator at Dayton Children's Hospital 

Are you a new or expecting parent and feeling completely lost on what to do? You are not alone! Dayton Children’s Hospital is here to help ease your mind as you start this new and exciting journey in your life. From general safety tips to car seat installation appointments, we are here for you every step of the way.

Recently, I encountered some parents expecting their first child. They came to get their baby’s car seat checked at one of our seat check events. Both parents were nervous about getting everything right for their first child. I was able to walk them through the car seat installation and how to use the seat properly so they both felt comfortable doing it on their own. As we were finishing the check, one of the mom's asked where to place a mirror in the car so that she could see the baby. When I stated that we don’t recommend those due to it becoming a projectile in the event of the crash, I could see the look of concern come across her face. She instantly turned to her partner and frantically said, “we need to take that off the registry right now!” The parents mentioned that they did not know it was a safety hazard as it had been recommended to them by other parents.

With so many new products for children coming to the market it can be overwhelming to track what is safe, or not, for your baby.

Here are some general safety tips as you start your new role as a parent.

  1. ABCs of safe sleep. Anytime your baby is asleep, they should be alone, on their back, and in a crib. Your baby is safest on their back, with nothing in the crib and on a firm mattress. For more information on safe sleep click here.

  2. Pacifiers. You do not need fancy pacifiers. Although cute or convenient, pacifiers with the big bulky stuffed animals or with the clipped strings can become a suffocation or strangulation hazard for your baby. Keep it simple. For more information on how to choose the right pacifier click here.

  3. Car seat installation check. Make sure your car seat is installed properly. Attend a car seat check event or schedule an appointment with a certified child passenger safety technician.

  4. Non-approved car seat safety products. Non-approved products for your car seat include mirrors, window clings and loose toys. These items can become projectiles in the event of an accident.

  5. Never leave your baby alone in the car. We know the first few months are going to be filled with new routines and sleepless nights. It is easy to lose track of what is going on. Always make sure that you are taking your baby out of the car, even if you’re just quickly running in to get something. Safe Kids Worldwide suggests keeping a stuffed animal or other memento in your child’s car seat when it’s empty and move the toy to the front seat to note as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat.

  6. Keep it simple. There are so many baby items on the market you can do without. Need help picking products? Check out these guides to choosing safe baby products.  

Starting your journey as a new parent can be scary. We hope these tips can help alleviate the some of the stress of becoming new parents. For more information on injury prevention visit childrensdayton.org/safekids. While you may feel overwhelmed at times, becoming a parent is an exciting new adventure. You’re going to be great!