Keeping Baby Safe

Home safety tips

  • Consider the risk you may be taking when permitting your infant's birth announcement or picture to be published in the newspaper. Birth announcements should never include your home address.
  • Take at least one color photograph of your infant (full, front-face view) and compile a complete written description of your infant, including hair and eye color and specific physical features. Update these photos and descriptions periodically and keep them in a safe place.
  • Using outdoor decorations such as balloons, large floral wreaths, wooden storks and other lawn ornaments makes strangers aware of a new baby in the home. Their use is discouraged.
  • Do not allow anyone into your home who says they are affiliated with the hospital without properly verified photo identification, and prior knowledge to expect them.
  • Only allow persons in your home who are well known by someone in your household. Don’t allow anyone in your home who is just a mere acquaintance, especially if you met briefly since you became pregnant or gave birth.

Car seat safety tips

  • Infant car seats should be rear-facing at a 45-degree angle, and if possible, installed in the back seat. Never place the car seat in the front seat with a passenger front air bag.
  • The car seat, either with or without a base, should not move more than 1 inch in any direction at the seatbelt path.
  • Avoid using head support pads or neck supports that are not a part of the car seat.
  • Used car seats should not be used if they are more than 6 years old, are missing parts or the instruction book, or were involved in a crash.
  • If you need help installing a car seat, our trained car seat technicians can help.

Shaken baby syndrome

Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) is a form of abusive head trauma. It is a preventable and severe form of physical child abuse.

SBS results from violently shaking an infant by the shoulders, arms or legs. The whiplash effect can cause bleeding within the brain or the eyes. Research shows that shaking most often results from crying or other factors that trigger the person caring for the baby to become frustrated or angry.

If you feel as if you might lose control when caring for your baby:

  • Take a deep breath and count to 10.
  • Put your baby in his crib or another safe place, leave the room and let him cry alone.
  • Call a friend or relative for emotional support.
  • Give your pediatrician a call. Perhaps there is a medical reason why your baby is crying.

Remind anyone caring for your baby that if the baby gets fussy and they are frustrated, to call you right away. It's okay for them to put the baby in a safe place until someone can come.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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