Keeping Your Baby Safe (PDF Version)

Your new baby doesn’t really move too much in the beginning, but that changes quickly, and it is important to know your baby’s stage of development to help keep them safe. During their first 12 months, most babies will learn to wriggle and roll over, kick and push, put things in their mouths, pull themselves up and crawl and walk. Take a tour through the Online Safety Demonstration House on the Kidsafe WA website to look at how you can be aware of potential hazards at home and stay ahead of the game!

Preventing falls

As babies learns to move really quickly it’s not long before they can roll off beds and changing tables, so don’t leave them unattended, even for a second. If you need to step away from them, take them with you.

Don’t put your baby in a bouncing cradle or car seat on a table or kitchen worktop, as their wriggling could tip it over the edge.

Preventing burns and scalds

Test the water temperature with your wrist and elbow before placing your baby in the bath. It should be comfortably warm but not hot (the maximum recommended is 38°c). The best way to prevent scalds in the bathroom is to reduce the temperature of the hot water system to 50°c and never fill a bath with hot water first.

After warming a bottle of milk, shake the bottle well and test the temperature of the milk by placing a few drops on the inside of your wrist. It should feel lukewarm, not hot.

Babies will reach for brightly coloured objects, such as mugs, so put your baby down before consuming hot drinks or food.

First Aid for burns and scalds:

– Remove any nappies or wet clothes.

– Immediately apply cool running water for 20 minutes.

– Keep the child warm to prevent them from going into shock.

– See a doctor if the burn is on the hands, feet, genitals or buttocks, it’s larger than a 20 cent coin or is blistered.

– Call 000 in an emergency.

Preventing choking and suffocation

Babies can choke very easily, even on their milk. If you give your baby a bottle, always hold the bottle and your baby while they are feeding.

Don’t use pillows or duvets with babies under the age of one, as they can suffocate if their face gets covered.

Choose a firm mattress to prevent accidental suffocation or SIDS.

Putting a baby to sleep on its back is most important

Don’t attach a dummy to your baby’s clothes as the tie or ribbon could strangle them.

Always remove bibs, headbands and jewelry, such as amber beads before putting your baby down to sleep.

Safe Sleeping

Safe Cot – (should meet current Australian Standard AS2172)

Safe Mattress – firm, clean, flat, right size for cot.

Safe bedding – soft surfaces and bulky bedding increase the risk of sudden infant death.

Unsafe settings for baby’s sleep time include:

Leaving baby unattended on a couch or adult bed.

With a sleeping adult or child on a couch, sofa or chair.

Keep your baby safe in the car

Buckle up every child on every trip in a suitable child car restraint. Never hold your baby on your lap while travelling in the car.

Never leave your child unattended in a vehicle.

Children under 6 months must use an approved rearward facing child car restraint with a built in 5 point harness. They must stay in the rearward facing position until at least 6 months of age and have outgrown the height marker on the restraint.

Use the Kidsafe brochure to ensure you have the correct child car restraint and it is installed correctly.

Sun Safety

If your child is less than 6 months of age, it’s best not to use sunscreen too regularly. Instead use shade, clothing and hats for protection and sunscreen on exposed skin if needed.

If you are covering a pram for shade, ensure it lets air through, so your baby has good ventilation.

Read through the article in the link below for information regarding sun protection and UV levels.

Pets and Babies

Never leave the cot or bassinet uncovered where a cat or other pet can find its way to a sleeping baby.

Never leave your child unattended with a pet as animals are sensitive to changes in the family and might be a danger to your baby.

General Safety and great places to look for further information

Install smoke alarms, test them regularly and change the batteries each year on the 1st April.

Use baby equipment that meets Australian Standards. Check that second hand products are in good condition and suitable for use.

Keep medicines, cleaning products and other poisons locked up high and away.

Never leave your baby unattended around water.

Links to resources:


Baby Safety

Red Nose

Everything you need to know for safer sleep to reduce the risk of sudden infant death

Car Safety Brochure

Sun Safety

Pets in the Home

For parenting support and information contact [email protected] or Ngala Parenting Line

Send this to a friend