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Preparing Your Home

Attending childbirth preparation classes, knitting baby blankets and choosing the perfect name are loving ways to prepare for a new baby. But loving parents-to-be should also be safety conscious. Even if this isn't your first baby, parepare as if it were. If you bought baby supplies years ago for your first child, it might be time to double-check the "hand-me-downs" to make sure they're still safe. Below is a checklist to help ensure a safe start for your newest family member.


  • Post the phone number of The Nebraska Regional Poison Center, 1-800-222-1222, near every phone.
  • Post the number of your child's physician near every phone.
  • Learn CPR. Children's Hospital & Medical Center offers a Family & Friends CPR class designed for those caring for infants and children.
  • Make sure your home is equipped with carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
  • Turn your water heater temperature to 120 F or less.


  • The crib railings should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart to keep your baby from becoming trapped between them.
  • Crib sheets should fit snugly underneath the mattress so your baby cannot pull them loose during the night.
  • We recommend that there are no bumper pads, quilts, pillows or toys in the crib.
  • Sleep sacks are considered the safest way for baby to sleep and also have been shown to prevent SIDS.

Household Poisons

  • Don't wait to poison proof your home. Do it now! Store all chemicals up and away in properly sealed and labeled containers. Commonly missed substances that could be toxic to a baby include dishwashing liquid, vanilla extract, medications, alcohol, cleaning products, aftershave, gardening supplies, houseplants, glues, bleach and oven and drain cleaners.
  • Lead poisoning is a dangerous condition caused by children eating chipped and peeled old paint. Although it has been years since lead has commonly been used in paint (the lead law went into effect in 1978), it's a good idea to completely strip paint off all old furniture and toys and repaint with lead-free paint.

Electrical Outlets

  • Many stores carry inexpensive, yet effective, plastic plugs that you can buy and plug in to all your household outlets not in use. This prevents baby from sticking a tongue or finder into the outlet and suffering a shock or burn.
  • Disconnect hair dryers and all appliances when not in use.