Creating a Safe and Healthy Home Environment for Your Baby
Babies rely on adults to protect them. Creating a safe and healthy home environment is one of the best ways to ensure your baby’s well-being and health.
Start With the Basics
A few simple steps can help keep your baby safe and developing normally:
- Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. First and foremost, make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Test them regularly and replace the batteries according to manufacturer instructions. It’s also a good idea to have a fire escape plan and to practice it.
- Choose a safe sleeping environment. Babies should sleep on their backs, in their own cribs, without any soft objects or loose bedding. Make sure that your baby’s sleep area is free of suffocation hazards; this includes bumpers, pillows, and stuffed animals.
- Store medications, household cleaners, and other hazardous materials securely. Store all medications and cleaners in a locked cabinet or drawer out of reach from children.
- Make sure toys are age-appropriate. Kids who are younger than three can have trouble distinguishing between toys and non-toys. Make sure all toys are age-appropriate, have no sharp edges, and are free from choking hazards.
In addition to the basics, there are a few more considerations when creating a safe home environment for your baby:
- Limit screen-time. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids under 18 months limit screen time to videos you and they watch together. For children two years and older, limit screen time to one hour per day.
- Eliminate toxins. Chemicals such as flame retardants, plastics, and synthetic fibers can emit toxins that can affect babies. Seek out products (paints, furniture, fabrics, etc.) that are labeled “no-VOCs” or “certified organic”.
- Monitor air quality. Good air circulation can reduce the risk of asthma, allergies, and other health problems. Be sure to open windows regularly and use an air purifier to remove pollutants such as mold, dust, and pollen.
By taking the necessary steps to make sure your home is safe, you can provide your baby with a healthy and happy environment to grow and thrive.