Health and Safety, Birth to 2 Years
Many parents wonder whether they are equipped to handle the responsibility of keeping their child safe. You will likely feel more confident if you are alert, take all the precautions you can, and know how to respond to emergencies.
- Learn first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (Reference CPR). Classes usually are offered through your local hospital or fire department.
- Read and learn about child growth and development. Knowing what to expect can help ease the fear of the unknown.
- Join a Reference support group. Parenting groups can help you learn new skills as well as help ease emotional issues of having a new child. Groups differ in their focus. Some target specific concerns, such as breast-feeding, while others offer parents a chance to get together with their children for playtime and visiting. Contact a local hospital or religious group, or ask your doctor for resources in your area.
Connection between parent well-being and child safety
Taking care of yourself is a vital part of keeping your child safe. Although accidents can occur at any time, most happen during times of excess Reference stress Opens New Window, such as when:Reference 1
- Parents and children are hungry and tired, especially right after work and before dinner.
- Another baby is expected.
- There is an illness or death in the family.
- Relationship problems develop.
- Major changes in your routine or environment occur. This can happen when your child's caregiver changes, when you move to a new house, or even before you go on a vacation.
Recognize the Reference signs of stress and what situations cause it. Be extra careful during these times, and ask for help when you need it. Also, work on Reference taking care of your personal relationships.
For more information, see the topic Reference Stress Management.
All parents have times when they feel exhausted, frustrated, angry, sad, or overwhelmed. Recognize that this is a normal part of being human and being a parent. But if these feelings become too much for you to handle alone, keep your child safe by Reference getting help.
For example, when your emotions are too much for you to handle alone, you may not have the energy or desire to watch your child as closely as you should. Some parents injure their children when their emotions cause them to shake, hit, or push a child. This can result in injury to the child such as Reference shaken baby syndrome Opens New Window, which can cause lasting brain damage or even death.
Call 911 immediately if you feel you are about to injure yourself or your child.
Places to go for help include:
- A Reference family medicine physician Opens New Window.
- A Reference pediatrician Opens New Window.
- A Reference physician assistant Opens New Window or Reference nurse practitioner Opens New Window.
- A Reference licensed mental health counselor Opens New Window.
- Your local hospital.
- Parenting groups (see the Other Places to Get Help section of this topic).
For more information on physical harm to children, see the topic:
For more information on handling difficult emotions, see the topic:
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference July 25, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Reference Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics