Chapter 15

Health & Safety

Health Protection

  • Health protection for the baby begins at birth.
  • Parents should find a pediatrician who they feel comfortable with.
  • Parents should find out how their doctors feel about pacifiers, some doctors have different opinions on them, but it is the parents decision to decide if they want their children to use them.
  • Parents should have a reliable source of medical care for the baby.

Regular Checkups

  • Most pediatricians want to see the baby immediately after birth.
  • Then again in 3 weeks.
  • Examinations every 1-2 months.
  • Checkups continue until baby is 1 year old.
  • A good pediatrician tries to develop a relationship with the infant.
  • One parent should always be there during the checkups.


  • During the checkup they examine the baby's body systems and records the findings.
  • The general appearance & alertness are also observed.
  • The doctor often asks questions regarding the baby's eating, sleeping, & elimination
  • Parents should tell doctor if they notice signs of impaired vision or hearing.
  • Baby's weight & height are recorded.
  • Height & weight are compared to other kids the same age.
  • Temperature is taken.
  • Ears, eyes & throat are examined with a special flashlight.
  • Doctor presses on the stomach glands, groin areas/genitals.
  • When the baby's older vision & hearing tests will be given
  • Doctors office keeps detailed records of every visit.


The concept of health is called wellness. It involves 4 main aspects of health; physical, mental, social, & emotional. They're all interrelated.

Practicing good health habits lessens peoples chance of illness. Today doctors don't only see kids when they're sick. They want to have regular checkups with them to make sure everything is okay. They look for physical, mental, social & emotional problems to make sure the baby is overall alright.


Children need to be protected against a number of childhood diseases through immunizations. These are vaccines that are given in shots or taken by mouth to protect kids from disease. If baby's don't receive immunization they are vulnerable to getting diseases like polio, diphtheria & whooping cough.

Following immunizations are recommended for children:

  • Hep B: given three times
  • DTP: diphtheria, tetanus, & whooping cough (pertussis); five times
  • OPV; oral polio vaccine; four times
  • Hib; hemophilus influenza type b; four times
  • MMR; measles mumps, & rubella; two times
  • Var; variella zoster (chicken pox); one time
Some babies can have reactions to immunizations, they might be cranky or have a slight fever. Call a doctor if this happens.

Calling the Doctor

Parents can call the doctor anytime, if they have questions over the baby's health or behavior.

  • High fever- infection somewhere in body
  • Screaming & pulling at ear- ear infection
  • diarrhea- give the baby liquids- could be dehydrated
  • unusual skin rash, loss of appetite, vomiting.

Common Illnesses

  • Colds & Coughs
  • Croup
  • Ear Infections
  • Sore Throats
  • Allergies
Baby is going to need extra attention when sick. May be less active and want to play quiet games & be comforted.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

A healthy baby suddenly found dead. This is called sudden death infant death syndrome or crib death.

  • happen every 7000 babies
  • do not place babies on sides or stomachs to sleep
  • the less blankets is better
  • no pillows

Safety Precautions

  • Use plastic mesh gates to make sure children don't get into places they aren't supposed to.
  • Cover electric outlets with special caps.
  • Never leave a baby alone on a changing table or bed to prevent falling.
  • Babies are easily scalded when water is hot so always test the water.
  • Have a firm mattress but no pillow.
  • High chairs should have safety straps.
  • Keep babies away from space heaters.
  • Make sure children are strapped into car seats.

First Aid

  • Keep calm and act quickly & quietly.
  • Check for breathing.
  • Check the pulse.
  • Check for bleeding.
  • Do not move a injured person.
  • Get medical help.

Handling Specific Emergencys

  • Choking
  • Convulsions
  • Fractures
  • Cuts and Punctures
  • Bruises
  • Nosebleeds
  • Splinters
  • Animal Bites
  • Insect Bites
  • Burns
  • Electric Shock
  • Poisoning
  • Drowning
  • Personal Safety