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Infant Safety

Car seat safety

  • Place the baby in a federally approved car safety seat at all times when riding in the car. This is a New Jersey State law.
  • Carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the car seat and securing the infant.
  • Secure the car seat in the center of the rear seat which is the safest place; rear-facing infants should never ride in front of a passenger-side airbag.
  • Always secure an infant’s car seat in the back seat, in the rear-facing position, until they are at least 20 pounds and age 1.
  • Remember to set a good example and keep yourself safe by wearing your seat belt whenever you are in the car.
  • Never leave your child alone in the car.

Check out of the hospital between 10 am and noon and get your car seat checked before you leave.

Sleep safety

  • Place your baby on his or her back to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that this is the safest sleeping position for babies.
  • Make sure that your crib meets federal regulations for slat spacing. Slats should be no further apart than 2 and 3/8 inches.
  • Use a hard mattress.
  • Never place your infant to sleep on pillows, sofa cushions, adult beds, water beds, beanbags or any other surface not specifically designed for infant sleep.
  • Never leave the baby alone on a bed or changing table; even a small infant can unexpectedly roll over.
  • To avoid strangulation, place baby’s crib away from drapery, mini-blinds, electrical and telephone cords.

Other safety tips

  • Never shake your baby. Shaking can cause damage to the baby’s brain and result in brain injury or even death.
  • Never hang a pacifier on a cord around your baby’s neck.
  • Never leave the baby unattended with pets.
  • Keep plastic bags and wraps away from your baby’s reach.
  • Don’t carry the baby in one hand and hot liquids or sharp objects in the other.
  • Learn infant CPR.
  • Make sure your house has working smoke detectors.

VirtuaBaby content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you’ve read on VirtuaBaby. If you think you are experiencing a medical emergency, call your  doctor or 911 immediately.

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