C. BABY SAFETY

Making your baby's world as safe as possible is part of being a parent.

Watch your baby so that he or she does not get hurt. Never leave an infant alone - not even for one second - except in a safe crib.

All the items your baby uses must be safe and well made. These items are: strollers, high chairs, clothing, toys and pacifiers.


 

Consult the Ottawa Public Health Information Line (OPHIL) at 613-580-6744, Health Canada, Transport Canada, Canadian Pediatric Society, or Safe Kids Canada for more information about child safety.

Is Your Child Safe?- Play Time

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pubs/cons/child-enfant/play-jeu-eng.php

Canadian Red Cross Water Safety program

http://www.redcross.ca/what-we-do/swimming-and-water-safety

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a. Childproofing

A way to keep your baby safe is to childproof your home. Newborns are not going to be crawling around the floor putting things in their mouth for a while, but it is wise to prepare for when this happens.

Check the floors, shelves, and cupboards. Remove anything small enough to be swallowed or poked into ears or nose. Put away anything that has edges sharp or rough enough to cut or scrape your baby.

The following exercise will help you childproof your home.

b. Car Seats

Although you can purchase hundreds of items for your baby, it is important to know that only a few are mandatory. The car seat is one of these items.

The law requires that babies always ride in a car seat even on the first trip home from the hospital. As your child grows, he or she will need a new seat, followed by a booster seat. Booster seats are required by law, for children under the age of eight, weighing between 18 kg and 36 kg and are less than 145 cm tall. Once a child exceeds any one of the above criteria they may be ready to use a seat belt alone. Check to make sure that when your child is sitting in the seat that the shoulder strap sits across the chest and shoulder bone and the lap belt sits across the hip bones and not across the stomach.

Even if you don't own a car, you will need a car seat for your baby when you take a taxi or travel with a friend. A car seat can also be used as a seat in the home.

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1. A Safe Car Seat

Babies must travel in a baby car seat until they weigh 9 or 10 kg (20 to 22 lbs) - that is approximately around one year of age. The baby's car seat must face backwards and be anchored with the seat belt or the universal anchorage system (UAS). The safest place for the baby's seat is in the centre of the back seat. If there is an armrest in the middle of the back seat, place the car seat to the left or to the right of the armrest.

See the video explaining how to install a REAR-facing seat for INFANTS.

Reference: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/carseat/choose.shtml

All car seats sold in Canada must comply with the Transport Canada norms. Do not buy a car seat without an instruction booklet, or without a national brand symbol certifying that the seat meets the standards.

Here is the national safety brand symbol.

2. Securing a Car Seat

To be safe, car seats must be installed and used in accordance with the manufacturer. Read the instructions carefully before using the car seat.

Before buying a new or used car seat, try it in your car. Be sure that you can install the car seat safely and that you can adjust the seat belt. Check to see if it is easy to use. Read the instructions and practice using the car seat.

Never use a car seat that is past the expiry date because materials deteriorate with time. Never buy or use a car seat that was involved in a collision.

Using a rear-facing car seat (for infants under 10 kg or 22 lbs)

  • Always follow the car seat manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Rear facing car seats should face the back of the vehicle and rest on a 45-degree angle and move no more than 2.5 cm (1 in.) from side to side.
  • The shoulder harness straps must be threaded through the seat back at or slightly below the child’s shoulders.
  • You should not be able to fit more than one finger underneath the harness straps at the child’s collarbone.
  • The chest clip should be flat against the chest at armpit level.
  • Keep your child in a rear facing car seat until he/she outgrows the maximum height or weight of his/her infant seat and then use an infant/child seat rear facing until he/she is at least 10 kg (22 lbs) and is able to walk.

For more information about car seats visit:

Never install a baby car seat equipped with an air bag.

 

c. Furniture

In the beginning, you will need a little furniture. Your baby will need an approved cradle, crib or bassinette to sleep in. You will need an area for the baby's clothes such as a bureau or even a box. Rocking chairs are not necessary, but many parents and babies enjoy them.

Each piece of furniture you purchase for your baby must be clean, safe, and well made. Old furniture is not always safe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1. Cribs

Cribs manufactured before September 1986 do not meet today's safety standards. It is illegal to sell cribs manufactured before September 1986. These cribs are not safe for the baby and could result in serious injuries and even death.

If you buy a new crib, you can be sure it conforms to the rules. The manufactured date should be visible on the crib.

If you buy a used crib, check it carefully. Used items do not always meet the Canadian Standardization Association (CSA) Standards.

This exercise will help you check if the crib is safe.

 

Because of the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), soft mattresses, pillows, comforters, stuffed toys, blankets and bumpter pads should not be used in cribs.

 

2. Playpens

All playpens, new or old, must meet certain norms.

Here is a list of these norms.