All infants should sleep on their back, not their stomach or side. Crib mattresses should fit snugly in the crib frame and should be covered only with a thin, tight-fitting sheet. Do not use bumpers or place additional blankets, pillows or stuffed animals in the crib as these items can potentially cause suffocation. It is not safe to have your infant sleep in a bed with you. Learn more about sleep safety.
Drop-side cribs are no longer recommended. To make sure that your crib meets current safety standards, please learn more here.
Missouri state law says that all children under age eight, under 57 inches in height or under 80 pounds need to be in a vehicle safety seat. Is your child in the right car seat? Learn more from HealthyChildren.org, or from SeatCheck.org.
All poisonous materials, medications and cleaning products should be well out of reach and locked away, if possible. Check all areas of the house for potential poison hazards, including medicine cabinets, the basement and the garage. Learn more.
If you think your child has ingested a poisonous substance, call poison control (1-800-222-1222) or 911 immediately.
General Home Safety
Once your child starts to roll over and crawl, they will begin to explore their environment. This is a healthy part of development and should be encouraged, but you need to ensure his or her safety.
All staircases should be blocked at the top and the bottom with a closed door or gate. Remind older siblings to keep the doors and gates closed.
We strongly discourage the use of an infant walker. Many children who use walkers have accidents requiring medical attention, including skull fractures, concussions, dental injuries, and lacerations. Some deaths have been reported. Walkers are very dangerous, even if you have no stairs in your house. An alternative is a stationary play/sitting device which does not move across the floor.
If you place your infant in a “sitting device” such as a bouncy seat or Bumbo chair, position the seat only on the floor, NEVER on a tabletop or counter, as falls are quite likely.
Cabinets are a natural target for your baby’s curiosity. If you choose, you can empty in-reach cabinets and fill them with safe objects (plastic bowls, pots, pans) and make the cabinet available to your child. All other cabinet doors should be locked with childproof locks, available at most hardware and toy stores. Secure tall furniture like bookshelves securely to the wall, and do not place heavy objects on top of dressers to avoid injuries from climbing.
Riding a bike can be a fun and healthy way for children to be active and independent. It is important, though, to practice bike safety. Learn how to keep your child safe.
Fever is the body’s normal, regulated response to an infection. It is an elevation of normal body temperature. Learn fever facts and what to do if your child develops a fever.
A concussion is any injury to the brain that disrupts normal brain function on a temporary or permanent basis. Concussions are typically caused by a blow or jolt to the head. The American Academy of Pediatrics has helpful information about concussions, including guidance on treatment and prevention.