My daughter is now crawling and climbing at every opportunity. This is such a happy and exciting stage of her development, but one that also requires some extra safety considerations.
Car Safety. I am sure that all of you remember purchasing and carefully installing your baby’s first carseat in anticipation of his or her arrival. Take the time periodically to check that your carseat is still tightly secured and that the straps and buckles are all in the proper position. If you are not certain that the seat is properly installed, find a local resource for help (many fire stations and children’s hospitals will check the installation for you). Research the current advice on rear-facing versus forward-facing positions so that you can make an informed decision on that topic. And, of course, practice safe driving… the best way to avoid injury is to avoid car accidents in the first place.
House Safety. The subject of babyproofing your home is a lengthy one. This is just a reminder to actually take the time to do it. Do your research and find out what steps you need to take in order to make your home safe for your baby. Babyproofing services are widely available if you have a larger budget and wish to hire someone else to do the work.
Emergency Preparedness. Do you know where the closest children’s hospital is and how to get there? Is your pediatrician’s phone number programmed into your phone? Do you know infant CPR? Is your medicine cabinet stocked with basic first aid items and common medications for childhood illnesses (it is much easier to buy liquid Tylenol while grocery shopping than in the middle of the night when your baby wakes up with a high fever… I have learned that one the hard way)? Do you have a reliable book written by a pediatrician that addresses childhood illnesses and the appropriate treatments? I don’t want to scare anyone, but these questions are worth considering. Be smart and be prepared. Illnesses and injuries are never expected events, so take the time now to gather information. You can also teach intermediate and advanced signers a few basic signs around safety, such as hurt. So that if a situation does arise, baby can tell you she is hurt and where.
Keep your precious babies safe! No need to be neurotic about the whole thing (bruises and viruses are a fact of life), but please do be smart.