Saturday, August 8, 2009

Preventing Airway Obstruction

The following essay and checklist is provided by the Home Safety Council on how to prevent airway obstruction which is located at the following website:

We need to do all we can to protect our infants and to prevent airway obstruction which is the leading cause of death than any other kind of home accident. The Home Safety Council provides the following safety tips and guidelines:

Here is a sad fact. More babies die from things that keep them from breathing than any other kind of home accident. But it doesn't have to be this way. Follow these tips to keep your precious baby safe in the first year of life.

Safe Sleep

Make sure your baby's crib is safe. Go to to find out if your crib model was recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
For safe sleep, your child's crib should be empty. Take away all soft bedding, pillows, toys and stuffed animals from the crib.
Place infants on their backs in cribs and make sure the sheet and mattress fit tightly to avoid entrapment and suffocation.
Never hang pictures, quilts or decorations containing ribbon or string on or over a crib.
Window blind cords can be dangerous. Move cribs and playpens away from windows. Tie up window cords out of a child's reach. If your blind cords have continuous loops, cut them in two.
Make sure that children under age 6 do not sleep on the top bunk of raised beds.
Use a ruler to make sure that spaces between the guardrail and bed frame are less than 3.5 inches.
Measure the spaces between the headboard and the bed frame and the footboard and the bed frame too. Make sure these areas are less than 3.5 inches.

Safe Meal Time

Carefully watch children when they are playing and eating. Do not let children under the age of 6 eat small, round or hard foods, such as hot dogs, grapes or popcorn.
If you do, cut them into very small pieces.

Safe Play Time

Look around your home for anything small enough to fit through a toilet paper tube such as coins, marbles, grapes, etc. These things could cause a young child to choke.
Keep small things like jewelry, buttons and safety pins away from children.
Make sure that rattles, squeeze toys, teething toys and pacifier shields are too large to fit through a toilet paper tube.
Look carefully at toys and pacifiers. Throw them away if you see broken parts that could get lodged in a baby's throat.
Take out squeakers from squeeze toys. Babies may pull out squeakers and choke on them.
Read toy labels. If your child is younger than the age on the label, do not allow them to play with that toy.
Keep your baby away from balloons. If the balloon breaks and a child swallows a small piece, it could be very dangerous.
Pull out drawstrings in children's clothes. Make sure your child takes off any necklaces, purses, bicycle helmets and scarves before they play or go to sleep.


For additional information contact:

Alan L. Morton
1005 North Eighth Street
Post Office Box 420
Boise, ID 83701-0420
Telephone: 208.344.5555
Toll Free: 866.946.1669 (866.WIN.1.NOW)
Facsimile: 208.342.2509

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