Many of Go Au Pair’s Host Families begin using an Au Pair when they welcome a newborn into the family. We feel there are at least six absolute basic safety reminders that you and your family need to review at least weekly when your baby first comes home.Over the next several blogs, I will share them with your, starting with number one below. Please enjoy your family and take care!
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Once that cute bundle of fragility is placed in your arms, you may wonder how you’ll ever keep him out of harm’s way. The good news is that you don’t have to go it alone; there’s a wealth of expert information available. Getting up to speed on the basics will get you and your family feeling secure mentally and physically.
Basic rule number one: Use the car seat correctly
The modern infant car seat is a wonderful invention – just ask your parents, who probably wrestled with some unwieldy contraption (if they had anything). Today’s portable, snap-in versions are lighter and easier to handle, and most important, better at protecting your little one. However, according to Kate Carr, president of Safe Kids Worldwide, many parents hamper the car seat’s effectiveness by using it incorrectly.
“Often, parents set the chest clip too low or too high,” she says. “They also tend to keep the harness straps too loose.” Make sure you avoid these mistakes, as well as other common errors, by carefully reviewing your car seat manufacturer’s instructions. You can also check out our infant car seat guide and many police and fire stations have experts who will check and correct your seat’s installation.
Given the ease with which many babies sleep in their seats, some parents may be tempted to let their little ones snooze in them at night. That’s a dangerous practice. “When a baby is in the car seat for long periods of time, her head can drop forward and obstruct her airway,” says Mike Goodstein, pediatrician for the American Association of Pediatrics. Experts even recommend the baby be taken out of the seat once an hour, even when driving, to reduce this risk.
Finally, never set your baby in a car seat on a piece of furniture; she could rock herself off the table. (This goes for bouncy seats as well.)