Baby Safety Month: time to plan

This look at a children’s health or safety issue comes from Dayton Children’s Hospital. Email:

The first year with a new baby is an exciting, joyful time. However, it’s also a time when new parents have to think about safety. September is Baby Safety Month, a good time to plan ahead to make safe spaces for babies at home, at play and on the way.

Focus on the ABCs

Ohio ranks among the states with the highest number of baby deaths before the first birthday — also called infant mortality. One of the most preventable reasons is due to where and how the baby is sleeping.

Fixing that problem can be as easy as ABC. “Babies should sleep A-Alone, on their B-Back and in a C-Crib,” says Jessica Saunders, director of Dayton Children’s Hospital Center for Child Health and Wellness. “Remove pillows, soft bedding and toys from the crib and make sure the slats are close enough together so baby can’t get trapped — you shouldn’t be able to fit a soda can through them.”

Buckle up for safety

Infants should ride in rear-facing car seats as long as possible, until they are 2 years old and weigh at least 20 pounds, up to 30-35 pounds if your car seat allows it. Toddlers need to stay in a forward facing car seat until the weight and height limitations listed by the manufacturer. In addition, always check the harness for proper fit.

Belt positioning booster seats are needed once your child grows out of the car seat but doesn’t quite fit the regular seat belt yet. A seatbelt normally won’t fit children properly until they reach 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years of age.

If you ever have concerns, Dayton Children's offers a number of car seat checks throughout the year — just log on to to find one near you.

Water worries

Just because summer is over, doesn’t mean water is no longer a worry. More kids drown in bathtubs than in any other product in the home. “Even an inch of water can be deadly so never leave your infant alone in the bathtub, even to answer the phone or grab a towel,” says Saunders.

Home pools are also a danger, so be sure to always have a watcher when kids are in the pool. Spas and hot tubs may be irresistible for little splashers, so keep them securely covered. Buckets left outside can fill with rain water and become a drowning hazard. Keep the lid on the toilet shut and latched with a baby proofing clip.

Be sure to make sure all chemicals and dangerous items are placed out of babies reach, as well. Check all the places baby stays for these hazards — the baby sitter’s, grandma’s house or daycare. That way baby will be safe wherever he or she goes.

About the Author