Accidents involving children unfortunately happen all the time. They are, in fact, an immediate public health threat, one that results in the death of some 2,000 children every day worldwide. The thing is, a lot of these potentially fatal injuries are preventable.
So with that in mind, here are some safety tips to help you the next time you take your grandkids out for a breath of fresh air.
Dress them up so they’re warm
We all want our grandkids to look their best, and sometimes we do this by wrapping a scarf or necktie around their necks. Sure, it might look good on them, but you should try to avoid it as a scarf or necktie can very easily strangle them. A better alternative would be to dress your grandkids in layers, so they can both look good and feel warm. The wide selection of toddler clothes by clothing brand Gap skew on the trendy side, but are nonetheless comfy and certainly safe to wear. Plus, your grandkids are guaranteed to like them, with their unique prints and patterns!
Also, don’t forget that babies should always be dressed warmly no matter the occasion — after all, you don’t want them catching a cold. It’s easier to remove clothes when it gets warmer than it is to find alternatives if you don’t come prepared. So, keep this in mind at all times.
Let them sleep flat on their backs
If you are taking your grandkids out on a walk in a pram or pushchair, make sure they are lying on their back, rather than sleeping on their side. If you don’t follow this advice, it could increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which accounts for nearly a third of all Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID) in the U.S. In all, SUIDs kill around 3,500 babies in the U.S. yearly. And two of the common causes of SIDS happen to be overheating while sleeping and obstruction of the baby’s airways.
However, if your grandkid is laid flat on their back, it allows them to breathe easily and get all the oxygen they need. There are a number of pushchair designs on iCandy that show how modern models allow users to switch between a seated or flat arrangement depending on the age of the child. These models are also designed for a variety of terrains, including busy streets, pavements, and grass. This way, you can give your grandkid the warmth and flat surface they need to sleep comfortably while on the walk.
Watch them while they eat
Food and small objects are some of the most common things for babies to choke on. If your grandkid is old enough to be consuming solid food, encourage them to sit up and stay still while eating.
Eating while moving around can increase the risk of choking. If you see them coughing loudly and continuously, something could be lodged in your grandkid’s throat. In this case, encourage them to cough out what they are choking on. If that doesn’t work, Healthline recommends a couple of tips to dislodge the obstruction. One is to place your grandkid facedown on your forearm, using your thigh as a support, and then tapping them just between their shoulder blades using the heel of your free hand. Another is to rest your grandkid on your thighs, with their head lower than their chest. Then, with your index and middle fingers, press down a few times on their breastbone, found slightly below their nipples. Make sure you call 911 too.
Finally, always bear in mind our previous blog post ‘6 Easy Tips to Raising Your Infant Grandchildren’. Specifically, make sure that you follow the safety parameters set by your grandkid’s parents, and that you read up on baby care basics. When you do that, you and your grandkids are guaranteed to have a good time wherever you go — all while staying safe!