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Prevent Airway Obstruction

Here is a sad fact. More babies die from things that keep them from breathing than any other kind of home accident. But it doesn't have to be this way. Follow these tips to keep your precious baby safe in the first year of life.


Safe Sleep

Home Safety - Prevent Airway Obstruction
  • Make sure your baby's crib is safe. Go to www.recalls.gov to find out if your crib model was recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Home Safety - Prevent Airway Obstruction
  • For safe sleep, your child's crib should be empty. Take away all soft bedding, pillows, toys and stuffed animals from the crib.
Home Safety - Prevent Airway Obstruction
  • Place infants on their backs in cribs and make sure the sheet and mattress fit tightly to avoid entrapment and suffocation.
Home Safety - Prevent Airway Obstruction
  • Never hang pictures, quilts or decorations containing ribbon or string on or over a crib.
Home Safety - Prevent Airway Obstruction
  • Window blind cords can be dangerous. Move cribs and playpens away from windows. Tie up window cords out of a child's reach. If your blind cords have continuous loops, cut them in two.
Home Safety - Prevent Airway Obstruction
  • Make sure that children under age 6 do not sleep on the top bunk of raised beds.
Home Safety - Prevent Airway Obstruction
  • Use a ruler to make sure that spaces between the guardrail and bed frame are less than 3.5 inches.
  • Measure the spaces between the headboard and the bed frame and the footboard and the bed frame too. Make sure these areas are less than 3.5 inches.

Safe Meal Time

Home Safety - Prevent Airway Obstruction
  • Carefully watch children when they are playing and eating. Do not let children under the age of 6 eat small, round or hard foods, such as hot dogs, grapes or popcorn.
Home Safety - Prevent Airway Obstruction
  • If you do, cut them into very small pieces.

Safe Play Time

Home Safety - Prevent Airway Obstruction
  • Look around your home for anything small enough to fit through a toilet paper tube such as coins, marbles, grapes, etc. These things could cause a young child to choke.
Home Safety - Prevent Airway Obstruction
  • Keep small things like jewelry, buttons and safety pins away from children.
Home Safety - Prevent Airway Obstruction
  • Make sure that rattles, squeeze toys, teething toys and pacifier shields are too large to fit through a toilet paper tube.
Home Safety - Prevent Airway Obstruction
  • Look carefully at toys and pacifiers. Throw them away if you see broken parts that could get lodged in a baby's throat.
  • Take out squeakers from squeeze toys. Babies may pull out squeakers and choke on them.
Home Safety - Prevent Airway Obstruction
  • Read toy labels. If your child is younger than the age on the label, do not allow them to play with that toy.
Home Safety - Prevent Airway Obstruction
  • Keep your baby away from balloons. If the balloon breaks and a child swallows a small piece, it could be very dangerous.
Home Safety - Prevent Airway Obstruction
  • Pull out drawstrings in children's clothes. Make sure your child takes off any necklaces, purses, bicycle helmets and scarves before they play or go to sleep.
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