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Barwon Health / Maternity Services

(03) 4215 2060

Child safety

There are things you can do to improve your home’s safety before you take your baby home so that you can keep you and your baby safe by:

  • Having all your gas appliances /heating checked.
  • De-cluttering – you can easily trip over while pregnant or while carrying your baby
  • Having a first-aid kit in the house
  • Keeping a list of useful telephone numbers (doctor, hospital, work) by the phone, or somewhere else easy to find in an emergency
  • Fitting fireguards on any fires in the house
  • Having a plan for how you and your family can leave the house safely and quickly if there was a fire in your home
  • Placing non-slip matting under any rugs

Your Maternal Child Health nurse will also advise you on home safety.

Car Safety

When travelling with your baby, they must travel in a correctly-sized child restraint, even for a short distance or in a taxi. Some taxi companies will provide car seats on request but you will need to check when booking the taxi.

At Barwon Health you will be asked if you have a rearward facing child restraint and if it been correctly fitted to your car so it’s important to arrange this before you have your baby. Never carry your baby on your knee unrestrained.

General advice

  • Hot drinks are the cause of most scalding injuries with babies therefore it is wise not to have a hot drink while holding your baby.
  • For minimum protection, install a smoke alarm outside each bedroom or sleeping area in your home. If you live in a house with more than one level, install a smoke alarm on each level.
  • It is illegal not to have a properly fitted car seat in a car you own, or in someone else’s when travelling in a car with your baby.
  • Be gentle with your baby and never shake a baby. This could cause brain damage and potentially be fatal.

Preparing for Baby’s Sleep Safety

The safest place for your baby to sleep in the first six to twelve months is in their own safe sleeping place (cot or bassinette) in the same room as an adult care-giver. 

Only well-maintained cots built to strict safety standards are good enough for your baby. Safe cot meets Australian standard AS/NZS 2172:2003. A safe mattress is firm, flat, the right size for your safe cot, and meets voluntary Australian standard (AS/NZS 8811.1:2013).

Click here to read the Red Nose Safe Sleep guide. 



Last Modified: Tuesday, 21 February 2023