Here are some tips from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Sleeping: Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep, even for naps. This is the safest sleep position for a healthy baby to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Babies placed on their stomachs to sleep are much more likely to die of SIDS than babies placed on their backs to sleep.
- Install and maintain smoke alarms: Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home, including the basement. Be sure to place smoke alarms near rooms where people sleep. Test all of your smoke alarms every month to ensure that they work properly.
- Plan ahead for emergencies: Post the Poison Control number, (800) 222-1222, on or near every home telephone. Keep poisons and other hazardous substances away from children and pets.
- Take a break: Take a break from a situation if you feel yourself losing control. Ask a friend or relative to watch your children for a little while. Offer to help other parents so they can take a break.
- Talk: Chat with your kids about being healthy and staying safe. This includes discussions on tobacco, drugs, alcohol, sexual abuse and other subjects. Today's young people are bombarded with persuasive messages about tobacco and alcohol — messages that make smoking look normal and drinking look cool. Learning to understand and analyze these messages from every kind of media outlet is more important than ever.
- Use antibiotics wisely: Use antibiotics only when your health-care provider has determined they are likely to be effective. Children are of particular concern because they have the highest rate of antibiotic use. They also have the highest rate of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens.
Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of antibiotics. These resistant bacteria survive and multiply, causing more harm, such as a longer illness, more doctor visits and a need for more expensive antibiotics. Resistant bacteria may even cause death.