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Home : Specialty Care : Birthing Center : At Home Child Safety

At Home Child Safety

The Birthing Center

Location: 4, 5 & 6 North
202 S. Park Street
Madison, WI 53715
Birthing Center Triage Line: (608) 417-6228
Breastfeeding Helpline: (608) 417-6547, 1-800-261-4449
Patient Room Information: (608) 417-6000
Perinatal Clinic: (608) 417-6667
Newborn Intensive Care Unit: (608) 417-6215

Are You Going to Give Birth at Meriter? Save yourself time by clicking here to pre-register online.

Miscellaneous Safety Checklist for Your Home

  • Change him/her on a safe area where s/he cannot roll off.
  • NEVER let cords from window blinds dangle; they can accidentally strangle him/her.
  • Put gates at the top and bottom of stairs and install window guards.
  • Shut and lock or latch doors to the bathroom, garage, basement and outside.
  • Cover sharp edges and corners of furniture and cabinets that s/he could run into.
  • Don't let him/her stand up in a high chair.
  • Be aware of possible childhood lead exposure; lead screening is recommended at 12 months.

Emergency Information

  • Keep a list of emergency numbers by the phone.
  • Learn CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver so you are prepared in case of an emergency.

Electrical Safety

  • Place safety plugs in electrical sockets.
  • Use cord holders to take up slack in loose cords.

Kitchen Safety

  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove
  • Install childproof safety latches on drawers and cabinets.

Sleeping Safely

  • Infants should be placed only in the supine position (on his/her back).
  • Preterm infants should be placed supine as soon as possible. After infants are old enough to roll from the supine position in their sleep, repositioning is not necessary.
  • Infants should sleep on a firm, safety-approved surface.
  • Infants can share a room with, but should not co-sleep with, adults or other children.
  • Bed-sharing is particularly hazardous with adults who smoke or have consumed alcohol.
  • Soft bedding, pillows, bumper pads, and wedge positioning devices should not be used.
  • Breast-feeding is encouraged.
  • Consider offering a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
  • Infants should sleep in well-ventilated rooms to avoid overheating. Fans can be beneficial in lowering SIDS risk.
  • Infants should not be exposed to tobacco smoke.

Click here for more information about Safe Sleep for your infant.

Car Seat/Motor Vehicle Safety

  • Wisconsin law states that babies under one year MUST ride rear-facing until they are at least 20 pounds AND one year old. However, it is recommended that you use a car seat that will allow your baby to face the rear through age 2 or to the upper weight and height limits of the rear facing seat.
  • The back seat is the safest.  Use the middle position if you can install the car seat securely in this position.
  • For a free car seat inspection, call (608) 890-8999.

Fire Safety

  • Keep cigarette smoke and butts away from your child and out of his/her reach.
  • Keep matches and disposable lighters away from him/her.
  • Install and maintain smoke detectors in your home.
  • NEVER leave him/her unsupervised near a fireplace or heater.

Water Safety

  • Set hot water heater no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent hot water burns.
  • Bath water should not be hotter than 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • NEVER leave him/her alone in the bath.
  • S/he can drown in less than 2 inches of water - keep toilet lid closed and avoid leaving buckets of water unattended while cleaning or washing the car.
  • Never leave him/her unsupervised while in or near water (swimming pool, pond, lake, creek, etc.).

Eating Safety

  • Avoid heating his/her formula bottle in the microwave; it can get scalding hot in center but feel cold on the outside.
  • Never prop the bottle, s/he could choke.
  • Don't let him/her lie on his/her back with food in the mouth.
  • Never allow eating while actively playing; choking on foods is a real danger.

Sun Safety

  • Until six months of age you should keep your baby out of direct sunlight; move to the shade or under a tree, umbrella or stroller canopy.
  • Dress him/her in comfortable lightweight clothing that covers the body and a hat with a brim that shades the face and ears.
  • Child-sized sunglasses with UV protection are a good idea for protecting the eyes.
  • After 6 months of age chose a sunscreen made for children; test a small area on his/her skin for a reaction before applying all over.
  • The sun's rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and can come through the clouds even on cloudy days; try to keep your child out of the sun during these hours.

Toy Safety

  • Keep toys with small parts or sharp edges out of reach.
  • Don't give him/her plastic bags, balloons or small objects to play with; s/he could choke or suffocate.
  • Avoid using baby walkers; they can be dangerous and won't help your child learn to walk.

Gun Safety

  • Store and lock guns, unloaded and uncocked in a securely locked container.
  • Store ammunition in a locked place, separate from the gun.

Poison Prevention

  • Keep the poison control number by the phone.
  • Keep all medicines, tobacco and household products away from children.
  • Know the plants in and around your house; many kinds of yard and house plants are poisonous if eaten.