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Baby safety

Babies rely on their parents and carers to keep them safe from all sorts of dangers, from falls to eating things they shouldn't eat.

Once they become toddlers, the quest for some independence means there are more risks to watch out for.

Here are some tips on helping to keep a baby safe:

In the car

  • The law says children travelling in cars must be in the correct child restraint until they are 135cm tall or aged over 12, whichever they reach first.
  • Only European-approved baby seats, child car seats or booster cushions can be used in the UK.
  • Carefully read safety seat instructions to ensure that the seat has been properly installed.
  • NEVER carry your infant in your lap while you travel in a car.
  • Children's car seats are designed for different weights: Group 0 and Group 0+ - are rear-facing baby seats suitable for babies up to 13 kg. Group I are forward or rear-facing baby seats for children between 9 and 18 kg. Group II are forward-facing child car seats (booster seats) for children from 15 to 25kg. Group III are booster cushions for children above 22kg.
  • Some baby and child seats can be adapted as a child grows. Fitting should follow the manufacturers' instructions using seat belts or ISOFix fittings.
  • Rear-facing baby seats can be used in the front of cars if any airbags are turned off, but this is not recommended if the back seat is free.

 

Preventing falls

  • If you use a baby carrier always place it on the floor, never on a counter or table top.
  • Never leave your baby alone on a bed, sofa, changing table or child seat from which he or she can fall or roll off.

Smoking and fire safety

  • Do not smoke and do not allow smoking around your baby.
  • Install a working smoke alarm on every level of your home. Change the batteries of your smoke detectors every year.
  • You may want to buy a fire extinguisher to keep in the hall. If you’re not sure which extinguisher to get, contact your local Fire and Rescue Service for advice.

Preventing burns

  • Do not handle hot liquids while holding your baby.
  • To prevent burns, do not microwave your baby’s bottle. Many microwaves heat unevenly, creating “hot spots” in your baby’s formula that can burn your baby’s mouth. Instead, warm the formula by running warm tap water over the bottle or submerging the bottle in a bowl of warm water. Make sure you test the temperature on your hand or wrist before feeding it to your baby.

 

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