For many moms-to-be, decorating the nursery and buying all of the adorable clothes is an exciting time, and we all know that a lot of work goes into preparing for a new baby, from stocking up on diapers and formula to reading up on what to expect in that first year.
Yet just as important, but rarely considered, is planning for your unborn child’s safety — and that doesn’t just mean baby-proofing your kitchen cabinets.
While many things are out of our control as parents, there are precautionary measures we can take to potentially save our baby’s life from accidents and illness.
Banking cord blood
Kids are energetic and adventurous by nature, but it may come as a surprise to many moms that brain injury is the most frequent cause of disability and death among children in the United States, as more than 1 million children sustain brain injuries every year. Research is showing, though, that stem cells from a baby’s cord blood may play an important role in promoting the healing of nerve and brain cells as well as in treating other diseases.That’s why banking baby's cord blood is the first step parents can take in safeguarding their child's well-being, which is something to think about before ever even leaving the hospital. You can learn more at www.cordblood.com.
Safeguarding against SIDS
When it comes to infants,Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death, and this is true for babies from 1 month to 1 year of age. It’s important to keep in mind when you’re designing your nursery that comforters, blankets and even bumper guards can be dangerous. And remember, babies should only be placed on their backs for sleeping. For more tips on SIDS risk reduction, visit www.firstcandle.org. It’s also worth investing in the newest necessity for every crib — an infant movement monitor. This device, the Baby Sense V Infant Movement Monitor, sounds an alarm if the baby stops moving completely for more than 20 seconds, and knowing you have this nearby might help you to rest a little easier while your baby is asleep (no simple feat, as any new mom knows). For more details visit www.babysafeus.com.
As our babies get older, milestones such as crawling bring with them both new joys and new challenges. As precious as this time is, it’s important to remember that falls are another leading cause of accidents in the home for babies. But an ounce of prevention goes a long way to keeping your baby safe. Gates that are properly secured into the walls should be installed at the top of every staircase even before your baby comes home from the hospital. You should also install window guards on any window above the first floor that is unusually low to the floor and be sure to position the crib and any other furniture away from the window. You can check out www.safebeginnings.com to find a wide array of baby safety products.
As we get into the warmer months, drowning becomes a major concern for parents. With good reason: Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children 1 to 14. If you have a pool or spa — or any body of water — it’s crucial to also have a pool fence with a self-closing, self-locking gate completely surrounding it. You can learn more about these fences at www.babyguardfence.com. Alarms should be installed on all doors and windows leading out to the pool and make sure that parents-to-be and all caregivers become certified in CPR and first aid before the baby is born.
With so much on our minds when we’re expecting a new baby, it can be hard to think of everything. But it’s essential not to overlook these simple preventive measures. Making these changes can mean the difference between life and death, and when it comes to our children, all parents agree that nothing is more important than keeping them safe.
Alison Rhodes is the founder of TheSafetyMom.com. Her company was born out of tragedy after the death of her first son to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Since then she has become an advocate for children’s health and safety. Rhodes is a national speaker on a variety of child safety topics, including environmental toxins, drowning prevention and online predators.