Before you go to the hospital, you need to have a safe place set up for your baby to sleep, whether it is a crib or a portable crib. You and your loved ones don’t want to be setting up a crib right when you get back from the hospital.
Experts say there is no reason you should sleep with your newborn. An infant is 40 times more likely to die in an adult bed than a crib. When buying and putting together a crib:
Check that the crib is undamaged
Do not use cribs more than 10 years old or that have been modified. Follow the instructions provided with the crib. The crib should meet the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA).
If the crib was used previously
If the crib was used by an older sibling or relative make sure to check and see if it has been recalled at www.recalls.gov.
Make sure there are no gaps
The mattress should fit snugly in the crib and you should not be able to put more than two fingers between the mattress and crib.
Put nothing in the crib
The only thing in or on the mattress should be a sheet that fits tightly. Stuffed animals may look cute, but they could be a hazard.
Make sure it is a safe crib
If the sides of the crib can go up and down, DO NOT USE IT. Also check that the corners posts of the crib to not stick up more than 1/16 of an inch from top of side rails.
Remember the ABCs of sleep
ALONE- Your baby should always sleep alone.
BACK- Your baby is on their back, face up to sleep.
CRIB- Your baby is in a crib with a firm mattress and tight-fitting sheet. There should be nothing else in the crib. No toys. No blankets. No bumper pads. Nothing but your baby.
These sleeping tips courtesy of The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, Safe Kids Worldwide and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Did you know that three out of four car seats are either not used or not properly installed? Or that injuries on the road are the leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children in the United States. It’s so important to have a good car seat installed correctly when you are ready to take your baby home from the hospital. Here are some tips courtesy of Safe Kids Worldwide.
Check the label on your car seat to ensure it's appropriate for your child's age, weight and height. Like milk, your car seat has an expiration date, so be sure to check that too.
Kids are VIPs. (Just ask them.) VIPs ride in the backseat, so keep children in the backseat until they are big enough to ride without a booster seat.
Keep your children in rear-facing car seats for as long as possible, usually until around age 2. When they outgrow their seats, move them to forward-facing car seats. Attach the top tether after you tighten and lock the seat belt or lower anchors.
After installation, shake the car seat at the base where the seat belt fits. Can you move it more than an inch side-to-side or front-to-back? It should not move more than an inch.
Ensure the harness is tightly buckled and coming from the correct slots (check car seat manual). Pinch the strap at your child's shoulder with the chest clip at armpit level. If you can’t pinch any excess webbing, you're ready to roll.
If you want a trained child safety expert to check on the car seat, you can find a car seat check near you by calling Safe Kids Palm Beach County at 561-727-1048 or downloading the Children’s Services Council SafeMap App, available for free at the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.