During the first year
- Vaccinations: Make sure you schedule the required vaccines at the right time.
- Hand washing: everyone that touches your baby should wash their hands first. This includes small children that play with your baby.
- Surface germ protection: As you change your baby's nappies, it is recommended to disinfect the area where you changed your baby as there will be a large number of microbes and other bacteria present. Always clean surfaces that are in contact with your baby.
- Toys: Read labels to make sure toys are age-appropriate for your child. Small parts can be accidentally swallowed. This label will contain information such as the required skills development or age group and a note on a potential swallowing hazard.
Term: 0 - 3 Months
Both inside the home and outside the home, it is always important to keep your baby's safety in mind.
- Cribs and baby carriers: Always ensure your baby is sleeping on their back to avoid the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
- Diaper changing table: Ensure that there is a railing on each side of the changing table cloth.
- Do not leave your baby unattended even for a minute: A newborn can easily rollover. This can happen when he’s being changed and be especially careful during bathtime.
- Never shake your new-born baby: New-born babies have very weak necks which cannot support their head properly. Shaking can damage your baby's brain and delay normal development.
Period: 4 - 6 Months
Health and safety
It is important that you keep everything out of reach from your baby now that your baby may be able to crawl and to continue with the general safety habits in your house.
- Cribs and baby carriers: When your baby is five months old, it is advised to remove the cradle as it carries a risk of choking the child as children can now balance themselves on their hands and knees.
- High chair: Always use safety straps on high chairs and other baby seats. Ensure that you wipe the high chair after each use and use a suitable detergent for baby products and furniture.
- Electrical hazards: Babies are now able to grasp and so it is recommended to change the location of wired devices which includes small appliances such as hair dryers and cellphone chargers. Ensure all open electrical outlets are securely closed with safety covers.
- Cleaning: Cleaning products need to be locked away safely in a cupboard or cabinet. Leave products in their original containers and do not remove the product label as the first aid instructions could vary per product.
Period 7 - 9 Months
Health and safety
Now that your baby is beginning to crawl or creep, it is important to keep any potential dangers away.
- Never leave your baby unattended: Your baby will want to touch everything that is within his reach.
- Electrical hazards: Babies can grasp and grab so it is advised to lift wired devices including small appliances such as hair dryers and cellphone chargers to an elevated area or change the location of these products to a more suitably safe space. Close all open electrical outlets with safety covers.
- Bathroom: NEVER leave your baby alone in the bathroom.
- Nutrition: As you continue to feed your baby with new food, talk to your doctor about any food allergies that family members may have that your baby may also have some susceptibility towards.
- Cleaning: Lock cleaning products in a cupboard or cabinet and store in their original containers with labels clearly displaying the product information, safety precautions and first aid instructions. These will vary depending on the product components.
Period: 10 - 12 Months
Now that you have an 'explorer' in your home, it is critical to maintain protection. Also continue to follow the general safety and good housekeeping practices.
- Furniture: Your baby uses furniture for support, so all sharp corners and edges of the furniture should be covered with a soft material such as foam or cloth to soften the impact that may occur if your child hits or bumps into the furniture.
- Ladder: Place the baby barrier at the top and bottom of all stairs.
- Windows: Secure by locking windows and shutters. Install a fence to prevent your baby from falling out of windows.
- Cabinets / Adult Products: Keep all products that are used by adults out of your child's reach. Put safety locks on all cabinets and drawers where the cleaning products and medicines are stored. Product information and first aid instructions vary depending on the product components so never remove the product label from these. Ensure that you have a first aid kit equipped so that you can access it easily (but not your child), and always keep the first aid kit in the same place.
- Toilet / sink / bath: Install locks to all closet doors and drain sinks and bath tubs immediately after use.
- Cleaning buckets: Never leave water in the bucket as a child can easily fall into it and potentially drown.
- Bathing: Always supervise your child during bath time.