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12  SAFE-BABY TRAINING KEEPING YOUR CHILD PHYSICALLY SAFE

The Safe Baby Training Book is one part of the three part series for prospective adoptive parents who are adopting children from Canada, the United States, and Japan. The content within the books walks you through the basics of safe baby handling, and injury prevention; including sling and carrier safety, CPR, and vehicle safety. 

The Safe Baby Training Book is one part of the three part series for prospective adoptive parents who are adopting childre...

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INTRODUCTION

Please report any broken links you find by emailing brokenlink@sunriseadoption.com or by using the text box below:

Welcome to our new child safety course.  The idea of keeping our children safe is inherent in becoming a parent and there are many ways in which we keep our children safe from the time they are born until they are grown.  

With each new stage in their life we face new challenges as parents, to anticipate what is needed to keep them safe.  We do so by learning safe baby handling, feeding, and sleep practices, as well as doing our best to create a safe environment and prevent injury and disease.  In this section you will be introduced to some of the most important areas of safety when bringing an infant or toddler into your home.  Ideas in this field change often as new studies bring new information to light and thus it is important to stay current as a parent.  This is an interactive and module based course, and we have provided many links to resources which you may wish to refer back to as you progress through different stages in your child’s development.  


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IN THIS BOOK YOU WILL LEARN ABOUT: 

SAFE BABY HANDLING

  1. Feeding practices, and how to properly sterilize baby feeding equipment;
  2. How to promote safe sleeping practices, and risks associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS);
  3. The 'Period of Purple Crying Program' that educates parents and caregivers on evidence-based shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma prevention;  
  4. The proper techniques to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, and the Heimlich Maneuver on a baby and a child;
  5. Tips on keeping your child safe in a sling and/or carrier;
  6. Recommendations from BC Children's Hospital on how to prevent flat head.


INJURY PREVENTION

  1. Tips on baby/child proofing your home;
  2. Safety hazards to look for when letting your child play with a toy;
  3. Factors to take into consideration when installing a car seat; 
  4. Tips for keeping yourself and child safe in the sun.

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The Safe Baby Training Book is one part of the three part series for prospective adoptive parents who are adopting childre...

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1. BABY FEEDING PRACTICES 

It is important to begin healthy eating practices with your child at a young age to instill the pattern later on in life. It is recommended that you do not feed your baby solids for the first four months because breast milk and formula provide your them with all the nutrients they need during this time of development, and your baby’s gastrointestinal and feeding reflexes are not developed enough to eat solid foods from a spoon.(1)The feeding guides below provide you with information on the types of food your child should be consuming, how much, and at what age.  


Age

Amount of formula per feeding

Number of feedings per 24 hours

1 month

2 to 4 ounces

6 to 8 times

2 months

5 to 6 ounces

5 to 6 times

3 to 5 months

6 to 7 ounces

5 to 6 times

Guide for formula feeding (0 to 5 months)

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At six months of age, formula or breast milk will still be your child’s main source of nutrition, but you can begin to supplement with solid foods:


Feeding guide for the first year (4 to 8 months)

Item

4 to 6 months

7 months

8 months

Breastfeeding or formula

4 to 6 feedings per day or 28 to 32 ounces per day

3 to 5 feedings per day or 30 to 32 ounces per day

3 to 5 feedings per day or 30 to 32 ounces per day

Dry infant cereal with iron

3 to 5 tbs. single grain iron fortified cereal mixed with formula

3 to 5 tbs. single grain iron fortified cereal mixed with formula

5 to 8 tbs. single grain cereal mixed with formula

Fruits

1 to 2 tbs., plain, strained/1 to 2 times per day

2 to 3 tbs., plain, strained/2 times per day

2 to 3 tbs., strained or soft mashed/2 times per day

Vegetables

1 to 2 tbs., plain, strained/1 to 2 times per day

2 to 3 tbs., plain, strained/2 times per day

2 to 3 tbs., strained, mashed, soft/2 times per day

Meats and protein foods


1 to 2 tbs., strained/2 times per day

1 to 2 tbs., strained/2 times per day

Snacks


Arrowroot cookies, toast, crackers

Arrowroot cookies, toast, crackers, plain yogurt

Development

Make first cereal feedings very soupy and thicken slowly.

Start finger foods and cup.

Formula intake decreases; solid foods in diet increase.

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Feeding guide for the first year (9 to 12 months)

Item

9 months

10 to 12 months

Breastfeeding or formula

3 to 5 feedings per day or 30 to 32 ounces per day

3 to 4 feedings per day or 24 to 30 ounces per day

Dry infant cereal with iron

5 to 8tbs. any variety mixed with formula

5 to 8 tbs. any variety mixed with formula per day

Fruits

2 to 4 tbs., strained or soft mashed/2 times per day

2 to 4 tbs., mashed or strained, cooked/2 times per day

Vegetables

2 to 4 tbs., mashed, soft, bite-sized pieces/2 times per day

2 to 4 tbs., mashed, soft, bite-sized pieces/2 times per day

Meats and protein foods

2 to 3 tbs. of tender, chopped/2 times per day

2 to 3 tbs., finely chopped, table meats, fish without bones, mild cheese/2 times per day

Starches


1/4-1/2 cup mashed potatoes, macaroni, spaghetti, bread/2 times per day

Snacks

Arrowroot cookies, assorted finger foods, cookies, toast, crackers, plain yogurt, cooked green beans

Arrowroot cookies, assorted finger foods, cookies, toast, crackers, plain yogurt, cooked green beans, cottage cheese, ice cream, pudding, dry cereal

Development

Eating more table foods. Make sure diet has good variety.

Baby may change to table food. Baby will feed himself or herself and use a spoon and cup.

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How To Bottle Feed your Baby

Vitamin D Supplements

In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics published the article “Prevention of Rickets and Vitamin D Deficiency in Infants, Children, and Adolescents,” in which they revised their original recommended intake of a minimum of 200 IU/day of vitamin D. The revised guidelines recommend that all infants, children, and adolescents have a minimum daily intake of 400 IU of vitamin D supplementation beginning in the first few days of life to prevent Rickets. Most infant formulas have at least 400IU/L of vitamin D; therefore, if your child is getting more than 1L of 1 quart of formula per day then it is not necessary to supplement with vitamin D. However, as your child is weaned off formula or breast milk, intake of vitamin D fortified milk is encouraged to get the recommended 400IU/day (2)

Bottle-feeding sounds quite simple, but there are a few positions that will make the feeding experience more comfortable for your child. Please watch the following video created by Parents to learn more:

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Sterilization of Baby-Feeding Equipment

Every time you feed your child from a bottle you must make sure that the bottle has been thoroughly cleaned and sterilized to kill any bacteria that could make your child sick. It is recommended that the equipment used for feeding be sterilized until the child is at least four months of age (3).

There are a number of sterilization methods used to clean baby-feeding equipment from using the microwave to putting an electric steam-sterilizer to good use. The following website The Complete Guide to Safely Sterilizing Baby Bottles (7 Methods)” (https://momlovesbest.com/feeding/bottles/sterilize-baby-bottles) will provide you with additional information on why bottle sterilization is important, and the different methods to sterilize equipment. Please refer to the website before moving onto the next topic in this module. 


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2. Safe Baby Handling Techniques

If you haven’t had much experience with newborns, those first few days of picking up, holding, or bathing your baby can be intimidating. You want to make sure that you are handling your baby correctly to make your baby comfortable, but more importantly to avoid injury. To increase the confidence of new parents, and to transfer practical knowledge, Mater Health Services has created an informative video with simple demonstrations on how to safely handle your baby while also fostering baby’s development. 

Please note: At minute 11 in the video, handling for the purposes of breastfeeding is demonstrated. If this section is not relevant to you, please feel free to stop watching the video. Additionally, some of the topics covered in this video will be further expanded in other sections of this module (i.e. tummy time).

If you would like more information on baby handling we encourage you to explore the ‘Raising Children’ website. The website is created in partnership with member organizations of Australia’s leading early childhood agencies, and the Australian Government. It provides parents and caregivers with a variety of resources from the early stages of caring for newborns to the teenage years. The next few pages on this module illustrate two resources from the ‘parenting in pictures’ series on the website. http://raisingchildren.net.au/health_daily_care/newborns_health_daily_care.html

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The Safe Baby Training Book is one part of the three part series for prospective adoptive parents who are adopting childre...

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The Safe Baby Training Book is one part of the three part series for prospective adoptive parents who are adopting childre...
The Safe Baby Training Book is one part of the three part series for prospective adoptive parents who are adopting childre...
SAFE BABY HANDLING

It is important that you, and others who care for your child are informed about safe sleeping practices, and the risks associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  Babies should be put to sleep in a bassinet in your room for the first six months of life. They should be put to sleep on their back in a bassinet with no bedding other than a fitted sheet. They should wear a fitted sleeper or sleep sack. A crib or bassinet that has a firm mattress and is free of pillows, quilts, comforters, stuffed toys, etc. is best for your baby because this reduces the chances of your child burrowing his or her face into these objects.  


As an alternative to a blanket, dress him/her in a one-piece sleeper, or onesie with a sleep sack. A good rule of thumb for warmth is what you are comfortable with plus one layer.  Keep the room temperature comfortable. An over-heated baby has a higher risk of SIDS. You know your baby is warm enough when your baby’s head is warm. If the back of your baby’s neck is sweaty take off a layer (4,5). During the first 24 to 48 hours it is recommended that your baby wear a hat, as they are unable to regulate their temperature. 



3. SLEEPING 

“Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is defined as the sudden death of an infant less than one year of age, which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including a review of the clinical history, an examination of the death scene, and a complete autopsy.  Current medical and scientific evidence explains SIDS as a multifactorial disorder arising from a combination of genetic, metabolic, and environmental factors” (6)  Most cases occur in the post-neonatal period (28-365 days after birth), and the risk is reduced after 6 months.  Babies who are born premature, or have a low birth weight have a higher risk of SIDS(7).


Rest assured that the rate of SIDS has declined in the past two decade, and various epidemiological studies have uncovered modifiable risk factors parents and caregivers can participate in to reduce the incidence. Between 1999 and 2004, Canada observed a 50% decrease in the rate of SIDS. This may be attributed to parents changing their behaviours and also putting their babies to sleep on their back (8). 

CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT A SLEEP SACK LOOKS LIKE

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SAFE BABY HANDLING

BED SHARING 

Please take a few minutes to watch the following video created by the Public Health Agency of Canada on preventative actions to decrease the risk of SIDS.

You may be curious about some of the information presented in the video; for example why do we place babies on the backs to sleep? One of the theories as to why it is safer for a baby to sleep on its back is that an infant who sleeps on their stomach inhales less oxygen or gets rid of less carbon dioxide, because they are ‘re-breathing’ the air from the small pockets of bedding that are pulled up around their nose (9) 

Co-sleeping is a controversial subject.  We are not including a lengthy discussion of it since we do not recommend it.  We are including the following statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics because many parents are tempted to do it.  

"Infants should sleep in the same bedroom as their parents – but on a separate surface, such as a crib or bassinet, and never on a couch, armchair or soft surface -- to decrease the risks of sleep-related deaths."(10)

The bottom line is that the baby should not be  “co-sleeping” whether it is in a unit attached to the bed or on the bed itself.

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SAFE BABY HANDLING

4. THE PERIOD OF PURPLE CRYING 

The ‘Period of Purple Crying’ refers to a developmental stage when a baby is difficult to soothe for no apparent reason. This can be an extremely difficult time for parents, as the baby may persist crying for hours, sleep is disrupted, and exhaustion and mental fatigue can set in for parents. In extreme cases the risk is that parents loose control and shake their baby as a result of frustration. 


In order to prevent getting to the point of complete exhaustion and inability to cope, be sure to take steps such as: take a nap while your baby is sleeping, spell each other off, go for walks, and have family members take a turn holding and walking the baby, visit with friends, get help around the house if you can  so that you do not feel overwhelmed. Seek support if you sense you can not do it any longer. It is safer to place the baby in his/her crib and walk away to take a break, than to reach a point of frustration due to complete exhaustion. 


To get a better understanding of the this stage in a baby’s development please watch the video where Dr. Ronald Barr explains “What is the Period of Purple Crying?”

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SAFE BABY HANDLING

When your baby begins the 'Period of Purple Crying,' and you are wondering about different soothing techniques, we recommend you take a look at the "Common Sense and Well Tried Soothing Methods" on the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome webpage. The webpage provide recommendations such as carrying your baby in a carrier, taking your baby for a car ride, vacuuming around the house; and also provides an explanation as to why these methods may be effective in calming your little one. White noise is calming because it reminds baby of being in utero, where it is full of loud whooshing sounds. You can purchase white noise apps on your phone. For more soothing tips we recommend reading the book "The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer" by Harvey Karp, M.D. 

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE 'SOOTHING' PAGE

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SAFE BABY HANDLING

5. CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION, SUFFOCATION & CHOKING: CPR & HEIMLICH MANEURVER 

 



Small Objects
Cords
Suffocation Hazards
Entrapment Hazards

Round, smooth objects under 4 cm (1.5 inch) in diameter are particularly hazardous, as well as conformable items such as balloons

Pull-cords longer than 20 cm (8 inch), or any dangling or loose cords that is attached to a fixed object
Household items that might cover the nose and mouth and obstruct breathing

Places with a poor air supply, a heavy lid or a self-latching door, or spaces measuring between 9-22.9 cm (3.3-9 inch) rungs or rails


Buttons, bottle caps, plastic soda bottle tops, plastic screw-top caps, coins, disc, batteries,latex balloons, lego, other small toys, marbles, small rubber balls, Foods (i.e. candies, sunflower seeds, whole grapes)Plastic corners snipped from milk bags or freezies
Suspended toys or mobiles in the crib or playpen. Drawstrings on clothing, blind and drapery. Cords, ropes, belts, leashes (eg, especially if attached to a bed, deck, railing or play structure)

In the crib: soft toys, bedding, bumper and pads. 
Pets
Packaging: plastic bags, plastic film, dry cleaning bags,latex balloons


Toy boxes or chests, old refrigerators, freezers, ice boxes, washers/dryers with latch-type closures,improperly spaced rungs, rails, or spaces on play equipment

Even thinking about your baby choking is a frightening thought that might send a shiver down your spine. You may be surprised to know that choking, suffocation and strangulation are the leading causes of unintentional death in Canada. These causes are responsible for nearly 40% of injuries in infants under the age of one, and for every choking related death there is an estimated 110 children who are treated in emergency rooms across Canada.  The incidence of foreign body ingestion/aspiration peaks at nine to eleven months of age, and declines thereafter. 



In 95% of cases, deaths from choking occur in the home environment. Coins are the leading non-food product implicated in nonfatal foreign body ingestion, but they usually do not cause true choking in children; rather the coin will become lodged in the esophagus and will need to be removed by a specialist (11). 


The Canadian Pediatric Society has developed the following table on the choking and suffocation hazards that can be found in the home:

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12  SAFE-BABY TRAINING KEEPING YOUR CHILD PHYSICALLY SAFE

Additionally, the Society has also put together age specific preventive strategies to avoid choking and suffocation:

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IN THIS BOOK YOU WILL LEARN ABOUT

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SAFE BABY HANDLING

Hopefully none of you are ever in a situation where your baby starts choking on a piece of food, a toy, or slips in the tub resulting in water entering the lungs; but given that the incidence of choking, and suffocation are high in Canada, before moving onto the next section please watch the videos below on how to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) on babies and children, and what to do when your baby is choking.

What To Do When Your Baby is Choking

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation for Babies

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SAFE BABY HANDLING

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation for Children 1-8 Years of Age

We recommend taking an in-person course through St. John's Ambulance. 


CLICK HERE FOR THE ST. JOHN AMBULANCE WEBSITE

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6. SLING AND CARRIER SAFETY 

There are various baby-wearing products on the market including bag style slings, elastic wraps, ring slings, framed child carriers, and ergonomic baby carriers. Although carriers can be convenient as they free up your arms, distribute weight and allow you to multitask while keeping your little one close, there are some carriers that are poorly designed and can be a hazard to your child.  If the carrier or sling is worn out and looks like it is on its last leg, the baby could fall out if it rips. If the baby is not the right weight and height for the carrier they could fall over the side or out through the leg openings. Incorrect positioning can cause suffocation against the product's fabric, the wearer's body, or their own chest.

  • The Government of Canada has the following tips to keep in mind when carrying your baby in slings and carrier (12)
  1. Never leave a baby unattended in a carrier or sling.
  2. Check your sling or carrier for wear and tear before every use. Look for ripped seams, torn straps, and damaged hardware. If your sling has knots, check that they are tied tightly. 
  3. If your sling has rings, make sure the fabric can't slip through them.
  4. Be very careful putting a baby into--or pulling them out of--a carrier or sling. Ask for help if you need it.
  5. When wearing a carrier or sling, do not zip up your coat around the baby because it increases the risk of overheating and suffocation.
  6. Be particularly careful when using a sling or carrier with babies under four months because their airways are still developing.
  7. Do not use a carrier or sling during activities that could lead to injury such as cooking, running, cycling, or drinking hot beverages.


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SAFE BABY HANDLING

The Baby Carrier Industry Alliance and the Government of Canada also recommend keeping your baby safe in a sling or carrier by wearing them in a position that is ‘visible and kissable.’ (13):

  1. Babies should be facing their parent, in an upright position. It should feel like you are mimicking carrying them in your arms. 
  2. Make sure the baby's face is not pressed into the fabric of the carrier or sling, your body, or clothing.
  3. Make sure the baby's chin is not pressed into their chest.
  4. Make sure the baby's legs are not bunched up against their stomach, as this can also restrict breathing.Wear the baby snug enough to support their back and hold onto the baby when bending over so they don't fall out of the carrier or sling.


With the ‘bag style’ sling, a parent wears their baby horizontal, and he/she is curled-up against the parent’s body. These slings have been known to cause suffocation, as the fabric blocks the baby’s nose and/or mouth, or the baby rotates their head causing his/her face to be pressed against the parent’s body; therefore these slings are not recommended.

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SAFE BABY HANDLING


7. FLAT HEAD (PLAGIOCEPHALY) (14)


Although it is important to position your baby on their back when taking naps or at bedtime, babies should not be on their backs all the time. A baby’s head is flexible during their first year; therefore, too much time on their back or leaning their head to one side can result in flat head or Plagiocephaly. Some babies are at greater risk for flat head than others and may be born with a flat area from their positioning in the womb. There are many ways to prevent flat head.  One of the important ways is creating safe "tummy time" while baby is awake and supervised. BC Children’s Hospital has developed a guide that recommends the following tips: 

 

  1. Switch the end you put your baby down in the crib each night, 
  2. Sleep your baby on his or her back, but make sure your baby’s head is in a different position each time he or she sleeps, such as the right side, straight forward, left side. Tip: you can turn a young baby’s head once they are sound asleep. 
  3. Play with your baby on his or her tummy and sides 3 to 5 times a day. 
  4. Change toy and mobile positions every few days so that your baby does not always look in the same direction. 
  5. Keep the infant’s car seat in the car. Move your baby out of the car seat when not in the car. Avoid using a car seat as a stroller. Instead lay your young baby down flat in a stroller. TIP: babies can sit up in a stroller between 5 to 6 months of age. 
  6. Limit time spent on swings, recliners or bouncy seats. Avoid letting your baby nap in these. 
  7. See your doctor if you notice that your baby always turns or tilts his or her head to one side. Your baby may need stretch exercises. 

 


 
 




 

The guide also provides valuable information on ‘What if your baby already has a flat spot?’ and ‘Tummy Time Tips.’ 

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The Safe Baby Training Book is one part of the three part series for prospective adoptive parents who are adopting childre...

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INJURY PREVENTION

1. BABY PROOFING YOUR HOME 


Although there is some overlap between the advice provided in the Parenting Magazine article, and the article from Baby Centre Canada, Baby Centre Canada is far more exhaustive and offers a checklist, so please also read this article to learn more.



Some of you will adopt children who are already at the crawling and walking stages; and if you are adopting a newborn, time will fly, and your little one will get to this developmental stage much more quickly than you think.  Children are curious, so you will be surprised what they can get into - I know of a toddler who got into a closed can on paint! So if your child is running, walking, opening cupboards and/or loves rummaging through items, it is important to be aware of some of the home-proofing techniques to keep your child safe.  



In regards to baby/child proofing your home, there are many practical tips available on the Internet.  Parenting Magazine breaks down child proofing in the bathroom, nursery, kitchen, and living room. They even thought of keeping indoor plants out of toddlers’ reach, as they are tempted to play in the dirt.

PLEASE READ THE PARENTING MAGAZINE ARTICLE "20+ TIPS FOR BABY PROOFING YOUR HOME"

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ "THE CHILD PROOFING CHECKLIST - BEFORE YOUR BABY CRAWLS"

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INJURY PREVENTION

2. TOY SAFETY


  1. When buying toys, look for sturdy and well-made ones that include the manufacturer's contact information.
  2. Read and follow all age labels and safety messages. Toys for older children may have small parts or other hazards that make them unsafe for younger children.
  3. Keep small toys and any loose parts/accessories out of the reach of children under three years of age, as these are choking hazards for children who still put non-food items into their mouths.
  4. Repair or throw away broken toys. Check often for loose parts, broken pieces or sharp edges that could harm children.
  5. Keep all toys - especially plush and soft toys - away from heat sources like stoves, fireplaces and heaters.
  6. Use a toy box without a lid. Heavier lids (often found on older wooden toy boxes and chests) can fall on a child's head or neck, causing injury or even death. If you use a toy box that has a lid, make sure the lid is light and the box has holes to allow air inside.
  7. Make sure any riding toys you buy are right for your child's age, size and abilities.
  8. Check that the ride-on toy will not tip when your child is using it. The toy should be stable when weight is placed on any riding point.
  9. Serious injuries and deaths can occur when children use ride-on toys in dangerous areas. Make sure children don't use ride-on toys near stairs, swimming pools or other dangerous areas-including hazards like lamps, cords, decorations or appliances that could be knocked or pulled down.
  10. Balloons should be used for decoration only - not for play.
  11. Trampolines are not toys - they can seriously injure children, even when an adult supervises them. Children under the age of six should never go on a trampoline. Children over six using a trampoline should be supervised at all times.



Toys are very important to your child’s development. Also, if your child is a fan of playing on their own, toys can give you a little bit of a break. The 'Canada Consumer Product Safety Act' includes a ‘Toy Regulation’ section that addresses a wide range of hazards that are associated with toy safety; including mechanical, flammability, and thermal. This legislation also prohibits certain products from being manufactured, imported, advertised and sold; these include but are not limited to certain teethers for babies, and certain kite strings and kites (15).  Even with these regulations in place, unsafe toys can still make it into your home, and into the hands of your child, so the Government of Canada has come up with a list of tips related to child toy safety (16). 

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INJURY PREVENTION

3. VEHICLE SAFETY

With so many car seats on the market, picking one that keeps your child safe can be overwhelming; not to mention the confusion that can follow with installing the car seat. The type of car seat you choose depends on a variety of factors, including your child’s age, height and weight, and also the type of vehicle you drive. It is important to note that a car sear is no longer valid if it has been in any type of accident; thus it is important to purchase a new one. If you are given a second hand car seat, make sure that it is from a trusted source and that it has not been in any accidents. Below is a table that is available on the Healthy Children’s website describing general guidelines for car seats:

As car seat safety also changes with the age, weight and height of your child. To make it simple, Parents Magazine has developed a guide for parents to install and reinstall car seats for babies, toddlers, and older kids with confidence. 

Now, onto car seat installation! According to the Mayo Clinic there are 10 common mistakes that parents make when using a car seat, such as purchasing a car seat without knowing its history, placing it in the wrong spot in the vehicle, and using a seat belt strap too soon. The Mayo Clinic does an excellent job explaining the common mistakes. 

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE GUIDE " THE CONFUSED PARENT'S GUIDE TO CAR SEATS"

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE "CAR SEAT SAFETY- AVOID 10 COMMON MISTAKES"

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INJURY PREVENTION

If after you finish reading the guide, you find that car seat installation is still somewhat overwhelming, see if there is a clinic in your community that can assist you with installing the seat or offers a course(s) you can take. Some fire departments and baby stores will also install car seats. 

BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation:

Victoria: Campus Auto Group:

Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada (CPSAC):

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The Safe Baby Training Book is one part of the three part series for prospective adoptive parents who are adopting childre...

4. SUN SAFETY

Research has demonstrated that contact with nature has positive impacts on children’s social, psychological, academic and physical health. Playing and spending time outside supports creativity, problem solving and cooperation, improves academic performance, reduces stress - and the list goes on.(17)   Although we encourage you and your child to explore nature, and spend time outside please remember to be sun safe by take precautions to protect yourself and your child from ultraviolet (UV) exposure. 


A child’s skin is extremely sensitive; therefore damage from UV radiation can occur on even a cloudy day. Exposure can occur from UV rays that reflect off water, snow and concrete. Just a few serious sunburns as a child could increase the risk of skin cancer as an adult.(18)   Other side effects of UV exposure include heat stroke/heat exhaustion, cataracts, and other eye diseases. 


Sunscreen is not recommended for infants under six months of age, thus it is best to keep them out of the sun. If they will be exposed use your best judgement. There are also many sun safe clothing (UPF +50) options available for kids and babies. As well as wide-brimmed hates offer good coverage. Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) has great options. 


Before moving onto the sun safety tips, please take a moment to complete the quiz developed by the American Cancer Society “What’s Your Sun Safety IQ?”

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE "WHAT'S YOUR SUN SAFETY IQ?"

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The BC Cancer Agency, and Health Link BC provide a number of practical sun safety tips that you should incorporate into your life:(19, 20)

  1. It is recommended that adults limit the time they spend in direct sun between the hours of 11 and 3. For toddlers and children the peek hours are 10 to 4. 
  2. If you are playing outside try to seek out shady areas, and use a sun umbrella if you cannot find a shady spot. Wearing sun smart clothing. You and your child should be wearing wide brimmed hats and long sleeve t-shirts and pants. You may also want to consider purchasing sun protective swimsuits. 
  3. Apply and reapply sunscreen. Dermatologists recommend using a minimum Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30, and it should be labeled “broad-spectrum.” Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against UVA and UVB rays. Also look for sunscreens that are recommended by the Canadian Dermatology Association.
  4. Some children may develop an allergic reaction to sunscreen, so make sure to patch test the product on your child’s skin, and also use mineral based sunscreens that contains zinc or titanium to reduce the chances of a rash developing. 
  5. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure so the skin absorbs it. Make sure to re-apply every couple of hours, and after swimming or partaking in sweaty physical activity. Apply waterproof sunscreen if your child will be spending time in the water, or sweating heavily. 
  6. Pay particular attention to the ears, back of the neck, tops of feet and the back of the knees. Be careful when applying sunscreen near the eyes. It can be irritating, so avoid the upper and lower eyelids.
  7. Check the expiry date of old sunscreen containers and replace them if they are out of date.
  8. Buy your child some cool shades with 99 to 100 per cent UVA and UVB protection. Make sure they cover the eyes- large lenses, glasses that fit well, and a wrap-around design all help protect against damaging UV rays.

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How to promote safe sleeping and risks, associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome  SIDS  The  Period of Purple Crying P...

It is likely that you will have friends, family and caregivers take care of your child from time to time. It is important to communicate your expectations regarding sun safety to them. Make it easy by preparing all the materials that they will need to keep your child sun safe. 

If you choose to send your child to preschool or daycare, inquire if the program has “Be Sun Safe” certification. The certificate is issued by the BC Cancer Agency to facilities that meet sun safety requirements. If the facility does not hold a certificate, ask them about their sun prevention practices.(21)


Skin cancer is one of the most preventative cancers, yet the rates among British Columbians are rising.  By showing your kids(s) that you are serious about sun safety, they will mirror your behaviours. So the most important thing that you can do is lead by example – slather on the sunscreen, wear a hat and shades, and find a shady spot on the beach!

Babies less than a year old are particularly sensitive to the sun and heat, so when venturing outside with your baby try to stay in the shade, and use a stroller with a sunshade. As already mentioned, it is not recommended to use sunscreen on a baby that is less than six months of age. For those older than six months, use sunscreen that is approved by the Canadian Dermatology Association. It is also suggested that you monitor your child’s hydration by offering them something to drink every hour. 

OPTIONAL:The BC Cancer Agency offers an array of information about the effects of UV exposure, if you would like to learn more please click here.


***

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INJURY PREVENTION

5. IN-PERSON COURSES/SERVICES OFFERED THROUGH THE HEALTH AUTHORITIES  

For those of you who are more inclined to learn about baby safety with an educator and among other parents and children, you should contact your local Public Health Unit and find out the different types of programs that are offered in your community and through your health authority. This is also an opportune time to meet and connect with other parents, and for your child to spend sometime with youngsters their age.

The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority has a list of Parent-Infant Drop-In Programs listed by community/neighbourhood.

For the Vancouver Island Health Authority please take a look at "Success By 6 Victoria"

The Interior Health Authority has the "Baby Talk Program"- a series of free, drop-in, parenting classes for those with infants 0 to 12 months.

For the Fraser Health Authority, please take a look at that 'Public Health Unit" page.

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Describe three actions that you have already taken to prepare your home for the arrival of your child? 


Based on the information presented in this booklet, are there any safety tips you were unaware of that you will now apply ensure your child’s safety (please list two to three)? 

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The Safe Baby Training Book is one part of the three part series for prospective adoptive parents who are adopting childre...

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How to promote safe sleeping and risks associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome  SIDS  The  Period of Purple Crying Pr...
  • VIDEOS

Websites

Articles 

Water Safety for Young Children by the Canadian Paediatrics Society 

Living and Learning Together: A Guide to Caring for your Newborn by Intermountain Health Care

Child Proofing your Home for Poisoning by the Baby Centre

Child Passenger Safety by the American Academy of Paediatrics 

The following websites do not focus exclusively on baby and child safety, rather they provide parents with an array of information on newborn and child care from daily care routines, feeding, to leaving a baby unattended.

The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome is committed to prevent shaken baby syndrome and promote the well-being of infants generally through the development and implementation of programs, policy and research; and to support and educate families, caregivers and professionals.

First 6-8 Weeks at Home with Baby by Healthy Families BC

Baby Handling by Mater Health Services: A video that provides parents with practical knowledge and demonstration of safe baby handling techniques 

What to Expect - Baby Care 101 for First Time Parents 

Parents - Newborn Care

Caring for Kids - The Canadian Paediatrics Society: Keeping Kids Safe 

Baby Center Canada - Newborn Care

Healthy Children. Org - The American Academy of Paediatrics 

Kids Health - Nemours 

National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome

Page 39

ENDNOTES
  1. Johns Hopkins. (2017). “Feeding Guide for the First Year.” Retrieved from http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/pediatrics/feeding_guide_for_the_first_year_90,P02209
  2. American Academic of Paediatrics. (2018). Prevention of Rickets and Vitamin D Deficiency in Infants, Children, and Adolescents. Retrieved from  http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/122/5/1142.full.pdf 
  3. Health Link BC. (2015). "Feeding Your Baby Formula: Safely Making and Storing Formula." Retrieved from https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/making-storing-formula
  4. HealthLinkBC. (2016). “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.” Retrieved from https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/sudden-infant-death-syndrome
  5. American Academic of Pediatrics. (2017.). "How to Keep your sleeping baby safe:AAP policy expanded. Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/A-Parents-Guide-to-Safe-Sleep.aspx
  6. Public Health Agency of Canada. (2012). “Preventing Sudden Infant Deaths in Canada. Retrieved from http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/dca-dea/stages-etapes/childhood-enfance_0-2/sids/jsss-ecss-eng.php
  7. HealthLinkBC. (2016). “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.” Retrieved from https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/sudden-infant-death-syndrome
  8. American Society of Pediatrics. ( 2015) “ Sleeping Positions: Why Back is Best .” Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/Sleep-Position-Why-Back-is-Best.aspx
  9. HealthLinkBC. (2016). “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.” Retrieved from https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/sudden-infant-death-syndrome
  10. American Academy of Pediatrics. (2016). "American Academy of Pediatrics Announces New Safe Sleep Recommendations to Protect Against SIDS, Sleep-Related Infant Deaths." Retrieved from https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/american-academy-of-pediatrics-announces-new-safe-sleep-recommendations-to-protect-against-sids.aspx
  11. Canadian Pediatric Society. (2012). “Preventing choking and suffocation in children” Retrieved from http://www.cps.ca/en/documents/position/preventing-choking-suffocation-children.  
  12. Government of Canada. (2013). “ Health Canada Advises on Safe Use of Baby Slings and Carriers.” Retrieved from http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2013/29301a-eng.php
  13. Baby Carrier Industry Alliance. (2017). “ Consumer Safety.” Retrieved from   https://babycarrierindustryalliance.org/babywearing-safety/consumers/
  14. BC Children’s Hospital. (2010) “ Preventing and treating your baby’s flat head: A family guide to Plagiocephaly.” Retrieved from http://www.cw.bc.ca/library/pdf/pamphlets/bcch1630_preventingflatheadparentsguide_2012.pdf
  15. Health Canada. (2014). ‘Industry Guide to Health Canada’s Safety Requirements for Children’s Toys and Related Products.’ Retrieved from http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pubs/indust/toys-jouets/index-eng.php#a3
  16. Government of Canada. (2014). ‘ Toy Safety Tips.’ Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/toy-safety/toy-safety-tips.html
  17. NC State University. “Benefits of Connecting Children with Nature.” Retrieved from  (https://naturalearning.org/sites/default/files/Benefits%20of%20Connecting%20Children%20with%20Nature_InfoSheet.pdf
  18. BC Cancer Agency. “ Preschool Sun Safety Certification.” Retrieved from  http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/prevention-and-screening-site/Documents/Prevention/BCCApreschoolsuncert2011.pdf
  19. Health Link BC. (2017). Sun Safety for Children” Retrieved from https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/sun-safety-children
  20. BC Cancer Agency. (2017). “ Sun Safety.” Retrieved from http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/health-info/prevention-screening/prevention/sun-safety
  21. BC Cancer Agency. (N/A). “ Preschool Sun Safety Certification.” Retrieved from http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/prevention-and-screening site/Documents/Prevention/BCCApreschoolsuncert2011.pdf 
   Sunrise Family Services Society 2015