Besides being known as the official start of Fall, September is also the month that touts the title of Baby Safety Month. Even though when you have a growing infant or two (congrats on the twins!), it feels like baby safety month is every month. We take this time to get back to basics as they often can be overlooked in the rush to prepare for baby and then fall by the wayside of the sleepless nights and days that follow baby’s arrival.
With the importance of this topic, I will do my best to keep my quippy comments to myself and focus on the facts – safety first! Since my baby is now a “big girl,” I checked in with some friends and mommy groups to make sure I’m up on the latest safety products and medical conversations. It sounds like the age-old opportunities for emergencies are still lurking at large, generating anxiety randomly among parents, grandparents, and babysitters.
Safety Concern #1: Water
We live in South Florida. Our babies are generally around water, whether it’s our own pool, a friend’s pool, the beach, a boat, or the bathtub.
Ways to prepare:
- Never leave water standing in a tub or bucket. Children can drown even in a few inches of water. (Don’t believe me, look it up.)
- Keep the gate to your pool closed and locked with a baby-proof lock at all times.
- Lock the doors from your house to your backyard or pool area at all times. If you’re walking back and forth from inside to outside and have a crawler, close that door every time you pass through it.
- Work with a swim instructor to teach your baby how to flip over to float and get to the side of a pool should they fall in. You can find the list of United States Swim School Association’s approved schools across the country on the USSS website. If you’re local to South Florida and prefer private lessons given the current times, check out Learn To Swim with Jackie Nelson Doyle.
Safety Concern #2: Choking
I cannot tell you the number of times it felt like I waited ten minutes to hear my daughter take a breath after swallowing a carefully cut piece of grape. I was fortunate that she was rarely inclined to put tiny toys in her mouth, but mealtime, once we moved to real solids, was stressful as a first-time mom.
My friends pointed out a whole new hot bed of worry for me. Older siblings. You are no longer completely in control of what is and isn’t out of reach of your baby because there are now other kids making messes and leaving whole grapes fully accessible.
Ways to prepare:
- Educate older children on the importance of putting small toys away and out of reach of baby.
- Get trained by a medical professional how to assist a baby when choking and, if choking leads to the need for CPR, how to properly administer CPR while waiting for medical help to arrive. The American Red Cross has in-person and online training courses and Save A Life Card serves as a quick reference to keep on hand once you’ve been trained.
Safety Concern #3: Harmful Skincare and Household Products
I repeat. We live in South Florida. We are in the sun whether we want to be or not. Shout out to other sunny states like Arizona, Texas, and Colorado (someone told me Colorado has the most sunny days per year…adding it to my list of things to look up). It’s unavoidable.
Luckily, there’s been a big shift towards organic and responsibly produced products since our moms were putting colored zinc on our noses and dressing us in Body Glove swimsuits. Beyond sunscreen and lotions, everyday household cleaning supplies come in contact with your baby’s skin constantly.
Ways to prepare:
- Consider getting your household supplies through Thrive Market. They do the leg work of finding organic products that keep your household nontoxic, all shipped right to your door.
- Sample the Beautycounter Baby line and the Honest Company line to see if any of those products are approved by your little one (and you).
- Talk to your pest control and carpet cleaning companies to make sure they are using chemicals that are safe for your baby who may or may not tend to lick the floor.
Welp! Writing this post brought back a lot of scary moments from my daughter’s first 12 months on this earth. I don’t think it really sunk in until now that we have stairs and never had a baby gate. I repeat: Never. Had. A. Baby. Gate.
So, if you don’t have time to read the labels on every product you bring into your home or can’t find that one missing pair of dice that you know are living somewhere under your couch, it’s ok. Do the best you can, know what to do in emergency situations, and, when all else fails, wear your baby so they can’t go anywhere without you or grab anything that’s not meant for them. Seems reasonable, right?