Keeping our little ones safe while having fun is very important. Certain types of play might be risky for your baby. But don’t worry, here’s how we can play it safe and still have a blast!
Sure, playfully tossing your baby in the air and seeing her giggle with joy is so much fun, but before you do so, make sure you’re being safe. It’s important to keep your little one secure while having fun together!
What play activities can be unsafe for babies?
Certain types of play activities can be risky, especially for those under 2 years old. It’s important to be gentle and careful while playing with infants and young toddlers to avoid accidents and falls. Remember: Safety first!
Toddlers, especially newborn babies, have big heads in proportion to their bodies. Their neck muscles are weak, and their brains are still growing. Babies are born with soft and malleable skulls, which helps them pass through the birth canal easily.
Because of this, infants and toddlers can get hurt easily from falls or play too rough, even in fun games where their heads shake a lot. So, it’s crucial to be gentle and NEVER EVER shake your baby vigorously!
Abusive Head Trauma(AHT):
Any type of shaking a baby or child can cause serious injury. It’s known as Abusive Head Trauma (AHT), which includes Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS). This usually happens when a parent or caregiver shakes a baby out of anger or frustration.
Violent shaking in children of any age can cause severe brain damage or death. Infants and young toddlers are especially at risk. As a new mom you might feel overwhelmed at times, being a new parent is not an easy task. However, you must never express your frustration upon your baby. Here are few tips on “What to do if you’re frustated with taking care of your baby”.
The fun things we do in play, like bouncing a baby on our knee or tossing them in the air and catching them don’t fall under the definition of Shaken Baby Syndrome, but they can still be risky! Remember, it’s all about playing gently.
It is very important for new parents to understand the importance of newborn baby care. To learn more about baby care “A Beginner’s Guide for New Parents“.
Tips to play with babies while keeping them safe:
Not sure how to play safely with your baby? Here’s an exciting checklist of tips to help you out:
- Absolutely never shake a baby or child!
- Be sure not to play in a way that makes a young baby’s unsupported head or neck move too much.
- Flipping and tossing games pose a risk for falls, which are particularly dangerous for children under 2. Also, these play activities can make their heads move too much and cause discomfort or injury. So, it’s best to avoid these games. Always make sure to support your baby’s head and neck when playing with them.
- If you go jogging, push your baby in strollers or in prams. Do not run with your baby in a baby carrier.
- Don’t pull, jerk, or lift your baby by the arms, or even swing them by the arms, to avoid potential partial dislocation at the elbow, also called “nursemaid’s elbow.”
- Make sure to create a safe and childproofed environment for them to freely explore and play in. Childproofing is not as difficult as most parents think. For starters, you can begin by installing safety gates, safety rolls for sharp edges, and safety locks to babyproof your home. To learn more about childproofing your home, click here.
- It’s best to have your playtime on the floor. Avoid playing on high surfaces such as couches or beds to prevent falls. Using dedicated baby play mats, playpens or play yards will not only improve your baby’s playing experience, it will also help you ensure your baby’s safety.
- If you plan on playing on the bed with your infant, it is better to use safety bed rails to help you prevent accidental falls.
- Gentle bouncing can be fun for older babies and toddlers, as long as it doesn’t frighten them, put them in danger, or make them feel uneasy.
As parents, we might get over-excited while playing with our kids. But, it is our first and foremost duty to ensure the safety of our little ones. We need to play gently with them and also ensure that our friends, family, or other caretakers for the baby handle our babies gently. So, always remember “Safety first”.
Here are some more tips on “How To Safely Play With Your Baby (Age by Age)”
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