August 20, 2020 / Drowning Prevention

3 ways to keep babies safe and healthy

Parents are flooded with advice from the moment they tell friends and family they are expecting a baby. There are opinions and tips on diapers and doulas, nursing and nannies, bedtimes and baby food.

Something parents don’t often hear from others: Accidental drowning, unsafe infant sleep and abusive head trauma are the top causes of preventable child deaths for babies and young children in the Tampa Bay area. These deaths are 100% preventable.

Three tips that can save a child’s life:

1) Close supervision is the best protection from accidental drowning. Most children who drown in a nearby pond or pool were last seen inside the house, and parents thought the children were napping or playing inside. Install door alarms that alert you when your child goes outside your home, and designate a “water watcher” who pays close attention while children are near water.

2) The safest way for babies to sleep is Alone, on their Backs in a Crib. Infants are 40 times more likely to die in an adult bed than in a crib. Place your baby’s crib or a bassinet in your room while they are an infant. It offers the same benefits of bonding without the risks.

3) Shaking a baby – even once – can be fatal. Surprisingly, parents are most often responsible for abusive head trauma. They don’t mean to hurt the child, but they don’t know how to cope with a stressful situation. It’s okay to step away when overwhelmed or frustrated by a crying baby. Place the infant safely on their back in the crib and step out of the room to regroup.

Even one preventable child death is too many. Parents, grandparents, caregivers, family and friends can prevent an accidental death.

This post about preventable child deaths first appeared in N-Touch News‘ August 2020 issue.