5. Safety First

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There are things around the house that can hurt a child. For example, baby’s crib and playpen are not always safe. These things can sometimes be an area of great danger to an infant. You should take care when you buy such items. When choosing a crib or a playpen, be sure that the slats are spaced no more than two-and-one-half inches apart. With slats like this, the baby cannot catch his head between them. Be careful, too, of loose slats that could come out. A missing slat leaves a gap. The infant’s head could easily get caught.

Even thin plastic, the kind you get from the cleaners, can be a very dangerous thing in a baby’s world. It should never be used to cover a crib mattress. It should not be left where a baby could grab it and pull it over his face. A baby has no defense against this kind of thin, sticky plastic. The plastic can cling to his mouth and nose, cutting off his air supply.

We know that every home contains a great number of things that are tempting to a baby. These objects can do a lot of harm when baby is in the hand-to-mouth stage. Before putting a child down on the floor to play, check the floor carefully.

Keep things like buttons, beads, pins, screws, or anything small out of baby’s reach. Look out for anything small enough to fit in the infant’s mouth. Small objects can get lodged in the throat and cut off the child’s air supply.

Toys are not always safe either. The most dangerous toys for a child under three are those small enough to swallow. Do not let a young child play with marbles or small plastic toys. A void toys which come apart easily. Do not buy stuffed animals or dolls with tiny button eyes or ornaments that can be easily pulled off. Never let a child chew on balloons. He might bite off a piece and choke.

Do not feed a young child popcorn, nuts, or small, hard candies. Doctors find that young children do not know how to eat things like these. These foods can easily get sucked into the windpipe instead of going to the stomach. The same is true of pills. Use liquid medicine. If pills must be used, they should be crushed.

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