Choking and suffocation can be fatal in both adults and children. Every time your kids eat or put something in their mouths, the potential is there. Unsafe sleep environments also present suffocation and choking hazards.
Follow these safety tips to prevent them.
Newborn and Baby Positional Sleeping Tips
Newborns and babies should also be put to sleep facing up to prevent suffocation. In some cases, babies have medical conditions where they may need to be placed to sleep on their stomach. Consult your pediatrician on the best choice for your child.
Babies often fall asleep in their car seats, strollers, swings, or other places. Move them to a firm sleeping area that meets safety standards as soon as possible. Do not ever put them to sleep on a bed, chair, couch, waterbed, cushion, or fur rug.
Lastly, newborns and babies should always sleep by themselves. This decreases the risk of SIDS, strangulation, and suffocation.
Specialty Sleep Products
For children under one year of age, all bumpers pads, pillows, extra blankets, stuffed animals and ‘extra-stuff’ should be removed from the crib. Even specialty products that claim to reduce sleeping hazards may do the opposite.
Wedges, positioners, specialty mattresses, and sleep surfaces have not been proven to reduce SIDS – even when they claim to. In fact, in some instances, these same products have caused suffocation in infants. One sleep-aid that has been proven to reduce SIDS is the use of pacifiers. Offer these to your children at naptime and bedtime.
Eating and Choking Hazards
Always be present while your children are eating. Food is a necessary part of their well-being but can also be deadly to them if they choke on what they are eating. It is also recommended that you take CPR training courses if you have children in the home and ensure that your chosen childcare provider is certified.
Small toys and other objects also present choking hazards. You should never leave small items laying around. If you have older children in the home, be sure their toys are kept put away and out of reach of smaller children. Children – regardless of age should only be allowed to play with age-appropriate toys that meet current safety hazards.