Infant and child safety
Safety for infants and newborns
As a parent or caregiver, it is very important to be aware of the safety considerations for a newborn baby. Identifying the hazards when purchasing new products, putting a baby to sleep or during play time will help to keep your baby safe.
Sleep is a major topic of conversation among parents.
You may have overheard conversations, and are wondering where an infant should be placed to sleep safely and what products to use in your baby’s room.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has clear recommendations when it comes creating the safest sleep environment for your infant. Creating a safe sleep environment will help to reduce the chance of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
The Public Health Agency of Canada has also created a three minute safe sleep for your baby video. The video outlines steps that a parent can take to help create a safe sleep environment.
When new babies cry
Crying is a normal, everyday event in the lives of most babies. Since they can’t talk right away, crying is the only way babies have to communicate that they need something.
Dealing with a crying infant is most upsetting when you can’t understand what your baby needs or can’t make the crying stop. However, with patience and the experience of trying different things, you can learn a lot about what your baby is saying with his cries.
Responding quickly to your baby’s cries is not going to create a spoiled child. In fact, it will actually help your baby develop in important ways.
It will also help your baby feel his world is safe and secure.
*If you feel frustrated by a baby crying, Never shake a baby.
Some infants cry very little, while others cry a great deal.
- Some are easy to calm, while others can be harder to soothe.
- Some babies cry very strongly, while others whimper.
- Babies may differ in how they cry, but why they cry is almost always for the same general reason: they need something.
Here is what your baby might be telling you:
“I’m hungry” – signs of hunger include mouthing, sucking, smacking lips and searching with an open mouth. Pay close attention to your baby’s feeding cues and feed her before she starts crying.
“I’m lonely” – gently cuddle your baby while you sing, coo or talk to him. He needs to feel your touch and hear your voice to feel secure and loved. Also, try using rhythmic motion (like gentle rocking or walking) to soothe your baby.
“I’m gassy” – gas can make your baby uncomfortable.
Try these tips:
- burp your baby often
- hold your baby
- gently rock or walk with your baby
- lay your baby on her back and move her legs in a gentle bicycling motion.
*Herbal medicines should not be given to babies who are gassy and crying. They might be harmful.
“I’m wet or dirty” – check your baby’s diaper, and if needed, change it.
“I’m too hot or too cold” – your baby may be wearing too many layers of clothing or not enough. Dress your baby like you are dressed, and then add one extra layer, such as a sweater or a blanket.
“I’m bored” – you can make your baby’s world more interesting by giving her different things to listen to and look at. Try using bright colours, pictures, mirrors, a toy, music, rattles, faces and voices.
“I’m overstimulated” – some babies can easily become “overloaded” with lots of activity. Learn to know when your baby is overstimulated and how to calm him.
If you think your baby is unwell or is in pain, seek advice from your health care provider.
Car crashes are a leading cause of childhood injury. When a car seat is used correctly, children are well protected and less likely to be severely injured. It is important to choose the right car seat for each child.
Safety for young children
There are a number of hazards to consider for a toddler and/or preschool age child.
Learn about recommendations on:
For more information:
This item was last modified on November 29, 2022