Infant Safety in the Hospital

Infant Safety in the Hospital

Many injuries to newborns in the hospital are caused by falls. This usually happens when the newborn slips out of a parent’s arms after the parent falls asleep. Although it is rare, newborns can suffer serious head injuries if they are dropped.

What new parents can do to prevent falls

  • Do not go to sleep while holding your baby. If you are feeling tired:
    • Ask a family member or nurse to hold the baby. Do not hesitate to ask for help.
    • Place your baby in a crib or bassinet.
  • If you feel sleepy while breastfeeding, breastfeed in a bed instead of a chair. Remove any extra pillows and blankets from the bed. If you fall asleep, move the baby to his or her crib or bassinet as soon as you wake up.
  • Do not hold your baby while you are getting out of bed. Instead, place your baby in a bassinet while you are getting up, and then pick your baby up.
  • Do not hold your baby if you are taking pain medicine and feeling tired.

What family members can do to prevent falls

  • Do not give the baby to someone who is tired. Family members should be fully awake and alert before holding the baby.
  • Make sure anyone holding the baby is strong enough to do so. The person should also be able to fully support the baby’s head.
  • New mothers should be allowed to sleep when possible. Family members can offer to watch or hold the baby while the mother naps.

General safety tips

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water before touching your baby. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • When your baby is sleeping, place him or her in a crib or bassinet in the same room as you.
  • Make sure your baby’s crib does not have any blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals in it.
  • Always put your baby on his or her back to sleep.
  • Keep your baby’s head uncovered and try to avoid letting your baby get too hot while he or she sleeps.

Summary

  • Many injuries to newborns in the hospital are caused by falls. This usually happens when the newborn slips out of a parent’s arms after the parent falls asleep.
  • Do not go to sleep while holding your baby.
  • If you are feeling sleepy while breastfeeding, breastfeed in bed instead of a chair. Remove any extra pillows and blankets from the bed.
  • If you are feeling tired, ask a family member or nurse to hold the baby. Do not hesitate to ask for help.
  • Family members should be fully awake and alert before holding the baby.
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