WAUSAU – September is baby safety month and Safe Kids Wausau Area wants to remind all parents and caregivers to take this time to create safe environments for their new babies.

Babies younger than 1 year of age have a higher rate of unintentional injury-related deaths than older children. In 2010, the death rate for infants from unintentional injury was 28 per 100,000—almost 8 times that of 7 year olds.  Suffocation, motor vehicle occupant injury, drowning, residential fire or burn injury, falls and poisoning are leading causes of unintentional injury death for infants.

“It’s scary to think that babies younger than 1 have such a high rate of unintentional injury-related death that it puts them in the league with teen drivers,” said Emily Loertscher, Safe Kids Wausau Area coordinator. “We don’t want any parent to have to endure the loss of a child. Learning about a few safety tips at each stage of your baby’s development, such as creating safe sleep environments or actively supervising your baby around water is a great way to ensure that your baby will grow up curious, active and safe.”

Safe Kids Wausau Area recommends the following five tips for new parents:.

  1. Create a safe sleep environment. Because most infant suffocation occurs in the sleeping environment, babies should always sleep in a safe crib, bassinet or pack-n-play. Lay your baby on his or her back for every sleep. A firm mattress covered with a tight-fitting crib sheet is all you need to make your baby sleep like a baby.
  2. Don’t carry or hold a child while cooking on the stove. Instead, move a high chair in the kitchen within reach or sight before you start. And if you’re using a microwave, remember that sometimes they can heat food unevenly and create hot spots, so avoid using them to heat baby formula or milk.
  3. Never leave your child unattended around water. We know it sounds strict, but there is no room for compromise on this one. Babies can drown in as little as 1 inch of water. Empty all tubs, buckets, containers and wading pools immediately after use. Store them upside down and out of reach.
  4. Keep your baby in a rear-facing child safety seat. For the best possible protection, keep your infant in a rear-facing child safety seat in a back seat for as long as possible — up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat. For more details, see our car seat tips.
  5. Put medicines up and away and out of sight. Make sure that all medicines, including vitamins, are stored out of reach and out of sight of children. Program the toll-free number for the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) in your home and cell phones. Don’t forget to post it near your phone or on your refrigerator for the babysitter.

To learn more safety tips, visit the baby safety section on the Safe Kids website.

If you would like more information about baby safety topics, call 715-847-2864 or visit www.safekids.org.

Published with permission from Aspirus.