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cartoon-style graphic of a baby holding a compact disc like it was a toy


for Infants and Toddlers



Crib cartoon-style graphic of baby in a crib
Bars should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart
Railing should be at least 26 inches higher than the lowest level of the mattress support
Mattress should fit snugly into crib
All surfaces should be smooth
A bumper guard should not be installed as this may contribute to a danger of suffocation.1
Do not place the crib near a hot radiator or cold draft
No pillow should be used in the crib


Change Table cartoon-style graphic of mother changing baby on diaper-change table
The table should be sturdy
It should have a strap to secure infant
Never turn your back on the baby while changing a diaper, even if using the strap


Car Safety cartoon-style graphic of baby in a car seat
Children under forty pounds should be placed in a car seat
Infants ride facing the rear of the vehicle
Everyone over forty pounds should wear a seat belt with shoulder harness or use a booster sear with a seat belt


Toys cartoon-style graphic of infant with toys
Toys should always be appropriate for age
Avoid toys that have buttons or small objects that can easily be pulled off and swallowed
Don't give any child a toy with a sharp edge
Avoid toys that are breakable


Bathing cartoon-style graphic of infant getting bathed by dad
Water should be tepid. Check temperature carefully using your elbow or a bath thermometer
Never leave an infant or toddler alone in a tub.
Keep room draft-freer


Feeding cartoon graphic of mother bottle-feeding infant
Keep infant in upright position to prevent choking
Check temperature of formula or baby food carefullybefore feeding. 
Never prop an infant's bottle


Don't expose child to cleaning chemicals. This can contribute to serious neurological problems. Choose toxic-free cleaners instead, such as white vinegar in water to clean mirrors and floors; baking soda to clean sink and tub.
Don't expose child to second-hand smoke. This can contribute to serious respiratory problems.
Remove poisonous houseplants (e.g. philodendron, poinsettia leaves, caladium, narcissus, daffodils).
Electrical outlets should be in good repair.
Install protective electric outlet covers to guard child if he/she is drawn to poking items into outlets.
Instruct child never to play with matches. Keep matches and cigarette lighters well out of reach.
Toddlers should be instructed about an emergency fire escape plan. Plan two escape routes.
Every home should have smoke alarms.
Every home should have a fire extinguisher.
Never leave a baby unattended on a bed or sofa, even if the baby is strapped into a carrier.
Never leave a child alone near a pool, pond or water source of any kind.
Pets should be supervised closely around children.
Handles on pots should be turned to the back of the stove to prevent a child from pulling on it.
All low cupboards should be emptied of any solvents or detergents that are harmful if swallowed. Use lock-latches, if necessary
Keep vertical blind cords out of reach of children.
Keep all cords, ropes and scarves away from children. Don't allow child to tie a cape of other costume garment around neck.
Know the Heimlich maneuver.
Keep all medicines out of reach of children.
Use safety gates to protect child from stairs.
Use a playpen or crib to protect the baby or toddler if distracted with a phone call or some other distraction.


Take special precautions when selecting a babysitter. Is the sitter qualified? Does the sitter have experience? References?
Have the sitter visit beforehand to spend some time with you to become familiar with baby's routine.
Prominently post the phone number of the place. where you will be
Keep emergency numbers for fire, police, poison control center and doctor posted next to the phone.
Always have a telephone that is in good working order.
Check if the sitter knows the Heimlich maneuver for choking emergencies. Review this with sitter, if necessary.

1The bumper reduces the flow of fresh air around baby during sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that some infants, when they are overheated or lack sufficient oxygen during sleep, are unable to arouse themselves enough to prevent hypoxia and death. The AAP states that re-breathing of air may in fact be a contributing factor to Sudden Infant Death or "SIDS".

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1999-2000; updates: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 Women's Heart Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited. The information contained in this Women's Heart Foundation (WHF) Web site is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, and WHF recommends consultation with your doctor or health care professional.