Common Concerns During Infancy: Safety

Promoting Infant Safety

Safety is one of the most crucial things a parent or nurse should consider when caring for infants. The leading cause of infant death is accident. Most accidents in infancy occur because of the parent’s carelessness.  Nurses should provide parents teachings on the ways on becoming sensitive to their infant’s developmental progress and anticipatory guidance for a child’s safety. The following measures are important to promote safety to children infants.

  • Aspiration Prevention

Infants place anything they touch to their mouth. This is the main reason why aspiration is the most common infant cause of infant accidents. Aside from that parents usually prop bottles when feeding preventing the infant to push the bottle away if the milk flows rapidly into the mouth thus causing the infant to aspirate. The following ways should be instructed to parents to prevent aspiration:

  1. Educate parents not to prop bottles when feeding the infant with a formula.
  2. Instruct parents to offer large toys only. Caution them to be certain that all small objects are put away from the infant’s reach.
  3. Check rattles and toys to ensure that they have no small parts that could snap or fall out.
  4. Infant clothing should contain no small decorative buttons.
  5. Solid foods should be introduced in small pieces not large chunks.
  6. Popcorns and peanuts should not be offered to children below 5 years old because of the danger of aspiration.
  • Fall Prevention
  1. Direct and constant supervision of infants.
  2. Crib side rails should be raised and secured.
  3. Educate the parents that two months is the maximum time where infants can safely sleep in a bassinet.
  4. Cribs should have high side rails to prevent infants from falling.
  • Car Safety
  1. Infants up to 20 lb should be placed in rear-facing seats in the back seat because an inflating front-seat airbag could suffocate an infant.
  2. Do not leave an infant unattended in a parked car.
  3. Do not be distracted by an infant while driving.
  • Bathing and Swimming Safety
  1. Constant and direct supervision of infants while bathing or swimming or in bathtubs. Infants should NEVER be left unattended near water even buckets of cleaning water.
  • Poisoning precautions
  1. Place medications in containers with safety caps and should be placed on areas where infants can’t reach.
  2. Medication should never be presented as candy.
  3. Medications should never be taken in front of an infant and should be put away immediately after use in a locked cabinet or overhead shelves.
  4. Paints should be thoroughly assessed for lead content. All paints used should be free from lead.
  5. Medications should never be left in pockets or handbags.
  6. Plants should be hanged or placed in high surfaces.
  • Burn Prevention
  1. Formula and food warmth should be tested before feeding.
  2. Avoid smoking or drinking hot liquids when holding an infant.
  3. Do not leave infants unattended.
  4. Cover electrical outlets with safety plugs. Electric wires and cords should be kept out of reach.

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Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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