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Keeping Your Baby Safe
Here’s a list of what to do to keep your baby safe.
1. Keep your baby clean and tidy, always.
2. Trim his nails regularly, properly and carefully.
3. Remove wet diapers immediately.
4. The hygiene and cleanliness of the genitals must be observed. Always keep the genitals dry. These body parts are prone to infections, especially when wet.
5. Clean the scalp regularly and properly to prevent dermatitis and fungal infections.
6. The baby’s clothes should be loose enough not to restrict body movements, facilitate ventilation and prevent skin irritation.
7. Keep your baby’s room properly ventilated and lit. Free it from insects and dust.
8. Your baby’s bed should be separate but close to the mothers. A waterproof bed is preferred.
9. Musical toys are good for your baby. Turn them on and let him hear it.
10. Support your baby’s head when carrying him. His neck muscles are not yet strong enough to support sudden and abrupt head movements.
11. For your baby’s nutritional needs, pay attention to breast milk. Breast milk is the best. No known substitute can match its nutritional properties. When breastfeeding, make yourself and your baby comfortable. Also make sure your nipples are always clean. Take care of your health and nutrition from the moment you breastfeed.
12. In case of difficulties with breastfeeding, feed your baby with cow’s milk. Sterilize the bottles with boiling water and keep them dry until the next use.
13. When you breastfeed your baby with cow’s milk, you will need to further pasteurize it or boil and cool it. There are viruses such as brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis that are easily transmitted through raw milk.
14. There are babies who are allergic to certain substances or materials such as milk, food, dress and cosmetics. Do not use any of these on your child when you are sure they are causing an allergy.
15. Use mosquito nets regularly. Mosquito bites cause the spread of deadly viral diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, yellow fever and filariasis. They also cause skin rashes when triggered by allergic reactions. Mosquitoes are also a nuisance, their buzzing and biting prevent people from sleeping soundly.
16. The environment should be kept calm when your baby is sleeping. Babies need more sleep than adults. Growth hormones work more during sleep.
17. Monitor your child’s overall physical, motor, language, emotional, social and personal development. Note the normal developmental milestones at any given age. Measure weight and height regularly.
18. Bowel movement is common in infants. Potty train your baby as early as 10 months.
19. Clean toilet seats using antiseptic liquid before and after use. Do not let other children share their potty.
20. Seek the help of the doctor whenever your baby shows symptoms of illness. Signs include convulsions, excessive crying, fever, frequent vomiting, neck stiffness, bluish discoloration of the body, diarrhea, difficulty breathing with grunting, etc.
21. Keep a separate first aid kit and medicine kit for your child. Make sure first aid kits always contain dressing materials, sterile cotton, antiseptic ointment and lotion, and forceps. Keep a separate notebook containing contact details for doctors, police, ambulance services and the like. Information about dosage and application procedures should be written on paper and posted near the medicine box.
22. When riding with your baby on the boat, fasten it with a separate seat belt.
23. When the baby goes out with you, put his ID and your contact information in his little pocket.
24. When your baby starts to walk, keep your close distance from him and prevent possible injuries from accidental falls or slips.
25. Apply first aid in emergency situations. Don’t waste time getting your baby to the hospital. Here are emergency situations and the steps you can take:
a) Your baby can choke when he swallows solid objects that block his airways. Have your baby lie on his stomach with his head down. Press the back against his chest. You can also stroke his upper back. When all else fails, call someone who knows, has training or experience and ask them to help you remove the object using tweezers.
b) In case of accidental poisoning, try to induce vomiting in the baby. This is aimed at removing the poisonous substance from the body. But you may not if the cause of the poisoning is either kerosene or acid. Wash the baby’s body with water to prevent further infection through the skin. Check to make sure what caused the poisoning and take your baby to the hospital.
c) In case of burns, quickly remove the baby from the heat source. Wet it with cold and clean water. Do not remove burnt clothing from the body immediately. Cover the wounds with disinfected cotton and take the baby to the hospital.
d) In case of wounds, use clean water to disinfect the wound. Compress the wound and raise it above the level of the baby’s heart to control bleeding. Use a tourniquet when present and when bleeding continues. Dress the wound with sterile cotton or a bandage. Then seek the help of a doctor.
e) In case of drowning in the bathtub, get your baby out quickly and keep his head down. Gently compress the chest or give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until the baby’s windpipe is clear and the baby can breathe freely. Take him to a nearby hospital immediately.
f) In case of electric shock, cut off the power source. Apply mouth-to-mouth breathing and heart massage if the baby cannot breathe on its own. Take him to the hospital.
26. Finally, keeping babies safe requires absolute care, love and support. It’s the way to keep them happy and healthy.
On the other hand, here is a list of what not to do to keep your baby safe.
1. Don’t rock your baby. Rough movement can damage his brain.
2. Keep small objects away from your baby.
3. Never give sharp and pointed objects such as pencil or pen to children.
4. Be careful not to get water in your baby’s ear when you bathe him.
5. Do not force your baby to take food when he is coughing or crying constantly.
6. Don’t overfeed your baby.
7. Keep items or substances such as mosquito repellents, ink, chewing gum, mothballs, medicine and the like away from your baby.
8. Do not use tight clothing for your baby.
9. Don’t leave your baby perched on the edge of a bed.
10. Don’t give your baby to strangers. Avoid having him in close contact with other people.
11. Keep all electrical tools or appliances away from your baby. Secure his bed away from electrical cords or outlets.
12. Don’t leave your baby alone in your kitchen. This place is dangerous for children.
13. Keep the water level in your bathtub to a minimum and do not engage in other things like answering a phone call when your baby is bathing in your tub.
14. Do not allow smoking or smokers in and on the premises of the house.
15. Do not let pets come into close contact with your baby. Make sure pets are injected with anti-rabies compounds and their nails are trimmed properly.
16. When your baby starts to walk, don’t let him climb the stairs or leave him unattended upstairs.
17. Avoid very strong lighting inside your home.
18. When you and your baby are traveling, do not give your baby any food given by fellow passengers.
19. Don’t let your baby crawl on the ground or dirt.
20. Avoid being close to your baby when you are sick. Keep your baby away from anyone who is sick.
21. Avoid taking your baby to crowded hospital wards, markets and dusty or polluted places.
22. Keep your baby away from table lamps. Lighting attracts insects and can cause problems.
23. Medicine should not be given to children when in doubt. Expired medicines should be discarded and never used.
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