Head Injury, Age 3 and Younger - Prevention
Each new learning stage for your baby
requires increased attention on your part to prevent an injury. It may surprise
you how fast your baby can move from one stage to the next. Being aware of your
baby's abilities and what skills he or she is likely to develop next will help
you prevent injuries. To help you keep track of important safety features, use the nursery equipment safety checklist.
Always be gentle with your baby. Be sure to protect your baby from a brain injury.
Shaking or slapping a baby in anger can cause an
injury to the brain. If a baby has been shaken or slapped, it is your
responsibility to notify your doctor.
Be aware of your baby's risk
of falling. Watch your baby carefully.
- Never leave your baby alone in high places, such
as on a tabletop, in a crib with the sides down, or even on a bed or
- Do not leave your baby alone in any infant seat or "sitting"
toy, such as a swing or jumper. Use all the safety straps provided.
Take steps to prevent falls:
stair gates to block stairways. Use gates at the top
and bottom of the stairs, and use the gates properly.
- Do not use
baby walkers. Walkers have caused many injuries and are not safe even if the
baby is watched closely.
- Keep your baby away from elevated porches,
decks, and landings.
- Watch your toddler when he or she is outside.
Uneven grass, sloping lawns, and hills may increase your toddler's risk of
- Make your home safe from falls by removing hazards
that might cause a fall.
Practice good safety habits early so your child will continue
them when he or she is older:
- Place children in an approved
child car seat when traveling in a motor vehicle.
Follow the manufacturer's directions for installing and securing the
- Have your children wear helmets whenever necessary, such as
when they are passengers on a bike or riding a tricycle on their
- Set a good example by always using your seat belt when
traveling in a motor vehicle. Wear a helmet and other protective clothing
whenever you are biking, skateboarding, skiing, motorcycling, skating,
kayaking, horseback riding, or rock climbing.
- Do not keep guns in
your home. If you must keep guns, lock them up and store them unloaded and
uncocked. Lock bullets in a separate area.
For more information on health and safety for children, see the topics Health and Safety, Age Birth to 2 Years or Health and Safety, Ages 2 to 5 Years.