Strangulation Leading Cause of Death for Infants

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What baby-proofing steps are parents most likely to miss? Responsible baby-proofing begins well before infants start to crawl — and ideally before taking newborns home. Waiting until babies are somewhat mobile can be a critical, often devastating, mistake. In fact, Parents magazine reports that the leading cause of death for infants under 12 months is strangulation — an event that is most likely to take place in babies’ cribs. Keep young ones safe before and after they start crawling. Don’t forget these important baby-proofing tips:

Eliminate Crib Strangulation Hazards

Blankets, quilts, comforters, pillows, stuffed animals, and plush toys all pose serious dangers to infants. Babies may accidentally bury faces into these items, accidentally blocking their small airways. Sixty percent of all infant strangulation, in fact, occurs in unsafe cribs and bedtime environments, Parents adds. Mother of two Monica Montalti tells Parents: “Have your child sleep in the barest environment possible. Use just one light blanket over him, and tuck the bottom of it under the end of the mattress to create a pocket. The blanket should only reach to the middle of his chest. This way it can’t be pulled over his head. On chilly nights, dress baby in a warmer sleeper rather than piling on more bedding.”

Covered the Outlets? You’re Not Done Yet

Most caregivers adequately protect and cover electrical outlets. Some parents, however, mistakenly stop there. Parent should not stop at covering up outlets. Carefully containing electrical cords and keeping them well out of babies’ reach is important, too.

Fit furniture, including desks and tables, with convenient desk grommets. Desk grommets route wiring way from furniture and door edges that might otherwise bend, break, or fray electrical cords. The hard plastic or rubber grommets also confine wiring to the inside of desks, away from babies’ and toddlers’ mouths and fingers. Use plastic cable glands to safely connect cables to electronics, and keep the ends of cables non-conductive (should they end up in infants’ mouths).

Don’t put the latest addition to your family in jeopardy by giving up on baby-proofing too soon. Make sure to keep cribs and sleeping environments relatively bare, and use important electrical products — such as grommets and cable glands — to keep cords protected and out of reach. Research more here.

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