safe motherhood

How your baby develops

Safety issues

As you baby starts to explore, everything seems to go into their mouth! Watch out for small things that could choke and items painted in toxic substances.

Take care when choosing household objects for play and check that they can't cause any harm.

Crawling and walking babies can stick small fingers in electric sockets and electric fires. Use fireguards, guards for hot radiators and covers on empty electrical sockets. Fit catches on doors to prevent them slamming on fingers - on the hinge side as well as the handle side.

Carpets should be hoovered regularly.

Ensure there are no trailing leads, for example, on a kettle, and be very careful with hot drinks; they can easily be tipped up and scald a baby. Don't leave the ironing board and iron out. Stairgates at the top and bottom of stairs are essential because although babies will stop when they reach the stair tops, or slopes, they haven't yet learnt exactly where these are.

Make sure older children don't leave safety gates open.

Many parents use a stairgate in the kitchen doorway too, or sit the baby in a highchair with safety straps.

Remove tablecloths, unstable furniture and glass-topped tables until your baby is older.

Dress babies suitably for crawling so they don't get tangled up in any trailing ribbons.

Never leave your child unattended even when you go to the loo. Take them with you or put him or her in a playpen.

Put the following on a high shelf:

• Medicines;
• Alcohol;
• Cleaning materials;
• Beauty products;
• Cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays;
• Matches;
• Anything hot;
• Sharp implements (cutlery, tools, sewing equipment, razors);
• Anything small enough to swallow;
• Any breakables and heavy ornaments;
• Jewellery;
• Plastic bags and clingfilm;
• Disposable nappies - if your baby chews them they could choke on the wadding;
• Heavy books - your baby could pull them off the shelf on top of themselves;
• Older children's toys;
• Plants - they could be poisonous;
• Keep rubbish bins and pet food bowls out of reach.

Topics In This Article: