Use this checklist to help ensure that your home is safer for your child. A "full-house survey" is recommended at least every 6 months. Every home is different, and no checklist is complete and appropriate for every child and every household:
Is there a safety belt on the changing table to prevent falls?
Is the baby powder out of baby's reach during diaper changing?
Inhaled powder can injure a baby's lungs. Use cornstarch rather than talcum powder.
Are changing supplies within your reach when baby is being changed?
Never leave a child unattended on a changing table, even for a moment.
Is there a carpet or a nonskid rug beneath the crib and changing table?
Are drapery and blind cords out of the baby's reach from the crib and
changing table? They can strangle children if they are left loose.
Have bumper pads, toys, pillows, and stuffed animals been removed from
the crib by the time the baby can pull up to stand? If large enough, these
items can be used as a step for climbing out.
Have all crib gyms, hanging toys, and decorations been removed from the
crib by the time your baby can get up on his hands and knees? Children
can get tangled in them and become strangled.
Make sure the crib has no elevated corner posts or decorative cutouts in
the end panels. Loose clothing can become snagged on these and strangle
Does the mattress in the crib fit snugly, without any gaps, 'so your child can not slip in between the crack and the crib side?
The slots on the crib should be no more than 2% inches apart. Widely
spaced slots can trap an infant's head.
Are all screws, bolts, and hardware, including mattress supports, in place
to prevent the crib from collapsing?
Make sure there are no plastic bags or other plastic material in or around
the crib that might cause suffocation.
Check the crib for small parts and pieces that your child could choke on.
Make sure the nightlight is not near or touching drapes or a bedspread
where it could start a fire. Buy only "cool" nightlights that do not get hot.
Is there a smoke detector in or near your child's bedroom?
Make sure that window guards are securely in place to prevent a child from falling out the window. Never place a crib, playpen, or other children's furniture near a window.
Are there plug protectors in the unused electrical outlets? These keep
children from sticking their fingers or other objects into the holes.
Make sure a toy box does not have a heavy, hinged lid that can trap your
child. (It is safer with no lid at all.)
To keep the air moist, use a cool mist humidifier (not a vaporizer) to avoid
burns. Clean it frequently and empty it when not in use to avoid bacteria
and mold from growing in the still water.
To reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), put your baby to sleep on his/her back in a crib with a firm, flat mattress and no soft bedding underneath her.