Newborn Babies

1. Keep the crib clear! Because of suffocation risk, the only things that belong in a newborn’s crib are a firm fitted mattress and a fitted sheet. (No toys, blankets, pillows or puffy bumpers until your child can roll over without help.)

2. Stay with your baby when he’s on the changing table. If left alone for even seconds, he can wriggle off and fall, even if you use the safety straps.

3. Install the car seat right—seven in 10 parents get this wrong. Go to for a certified child-passenger safety technician near you and get a free inspection.

4. Snip loops on window blind and shade cords, a strangling hazard. Or install cordless window coverings.

Babies Age 6+ months

5. Keep hazards like electrical cords, sharp objects, medicines and chemicals where a crawler can’t reach.

6. Use finger-pinch guards on doors and gates (those you screw into the wall are the most secure) on open doorways and stairways.

7. To keep baths safe, adjust your water heater so it’s never hotter than 120 degrees F. Never leave a baby alone in a tub, even if you think he’s safe because he’s in a bath seat or ring.

8. Put child-safety locks on outlets, the fridge, stove, dishwasher, toilets, drawers and cabinets.

Babies Age 9+ Months

9. Hazards abound in the kitchen: Remove or cover stove dials; turn pot handles toward the back of the stove; keep step stools away from counters and stove. When you can, keep baby in a high chair or playpen.

10. To keep tykes from tipping furniture, make sure it's bolted to a wall or floor and keep heavy objects off tables and shelves.

11. Unplug electric devices when they’re unused, especially in the bathroom. Have an electrician install ground-fault circuit interrupters, which may prevent electrocution if an electrical device falls into a sink or tub.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 01 Sep 2010

Last Modified: 22 Jan 2015