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Baby Safety Tips from Pediatrician Dr. Tanya Altmann

Last week we had a Facebook Chat with pediatrician Dr. Tanya Altmann and the topic was #BabySafety, in honor of all the Child Safety and Passenger Safety weeks that occurred during this month. I thought I would share some of the great Baby Safety tips that Dr. Altmann gave out during that Facebook Chat event, there was some excellent information.

Dr. Tanya:  I am a pediatrician and mom of two boys (7 and 9) with another boy on the way! Starting to think about baby safety again real soon in my house. I’m also a parenting book author and health reporter. I love answering parents questions here in LA and all around the country.

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Guest:  My daughter is almost 2. Is it it best to move her to a toddler bed since she tries climbing out of crib?

Dr. Tanya:  Great question. If she is sleeping fine in her crib and isn’t yet able to get out you can leave her for a little bit. But since she’s trying to escape, you should start thinking about your next safe sleep space.  It can be simply a mattress on the floor in the room. Make sure there isn’t anything that she can get into during the night.  When you transition to the big girl bed, make it special. Read a fun book, get her a new doll or something to sleep with and start a consistent good routine. Most important, praise her in the morning for sleeping all night long in her big girl bed! Yikes on jumping out of the crib. Yes, place a mattress on the floor. You can buy a bed later. Just make sure she can’t get out of her room and wander the house at night.  You may want to use a baby safety gate at the doorway just to keep her safe.

 PAM: What are a few things that expectant parents can do before baby comes to prepare for a safe home and ride home for their newborn?
Dr. Tanya: Before baby comes home, spend some time thinking about safety:
Sleep: Choose a safe sleep space for your newborn to sleep. Should be in his or her own safe sleep space (crib, bassinet) with only a tight fitting sheet. And remember to always place baby to sleep on his back.Car: Make sure you have an infant car seat rear facing in the back seat of your car before you deliver. You will need it to safely transport your new little one home.Home:  At this age babies aren’t yet moving around the house on their own, but make sure that you are able to move around your house safely while carrying baby.
Guest: When should a baby be transitioned to a convertible car seat? I know it’s brand-dependent, but is there a general age range to do so?
Dr. Tanya: More car seat questions I see. It’s best to keep baby rear facing until age 2 or the max height and weight allowed by your car seat. In terms of moving from infant seat to convertible seat, it does depend on your car seat. I find that generally around 9 months depending on how big your baby is. Again, check the height and weight on your infant seat and make sure there is 2 inches between the top of your baby’s head and the top of the seat. Convertible car seat should still be rear facing until at leaf 2 years of age. It’s simply the safest just in case of an accident.
PAM:  Can you describe some of the ways babies/toddlers choke on foods or other objects?
Dr. Tanya: When baby starts crawling there’s an entire new world for them to explore. Get down and crawl around the house with your baby. Look for potential hazards. Make sure your stairs are gated to prevent falls. Check your electrical plugs and make sure they are covered. Look for any small objects such as coins, mediation, buttons, anything that an infant could put in their mouth and potentially choke on or ingest. Adult purses are a hazard as many adults leave them on the ground, not realizing that an exploring infant or toddler may take a peak and help themselves to anything they see.
Choking is a serious hazard.Babies, toddlers and even some preschoolers will put everything and anything in their mouth. Make sure that all medications are up high and out of reach. Remind grandparent too.Keep the poison control number posted on your fridge and in your cell 1-800-222-1222.
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Ok, Alisa is typing here again.  As you can see, these tips are FABULOUS!  I suggest bookmarking this page and keeping it as a reference. And for the rest of Dr. Tanya’s answers in our live chat, pull up that FB chat on our Pregnancy Awareness Month page.
Alisa B. Donner, MSW, LCSW, Co-Founder of Pregnancy Awareness Month, and mom to an amazing wonder.
To follow Dr. Tanya Altman on FB click here. To follow her on Twitter, click here.
And here’s another great blog that we posted earlier this month with contributions from Safe Kids: https://pregnancyawareness.com/2014/09/preventing-injuries-babies-7-ways/
DISCLAIMER:  Remember that the PAM Blog is written by parents, and mom’s.  Sometimes we have licenses and might be considered experts.  But this blog is to inspire the reader to think and consider, and to entertain.  We are NOT TELLING YOU WHAT TO DO.  The opinions expressed by Dr. Tanya Altmann and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Pregnancy Awareness Month (PAM) or any employee thereof. PAM is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by Dr. Tanya Altman.  Consult with your own medical provider regarding your individual health questions or concerns.

#BabySafety, Alisa B. Donner, Ask Dr. Tanya, Child PAssenger Safety Week, child safety, choking safety, Dr. Mommy Calls, Dr. Tanya, Dr. Tanya Altmann, home safety, pediatrician tips, Pregnancy Awareness Month, sleep safety

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