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Everyone—patients, their families and friends, healthcare providers, and healthcare leaders— has an important part in making healthcare safe. Be aware, be informed, and be involved. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions or want to know more about what you read in this handout.
Tell your nurse, doctor, or midwife right away if you have:
Clean hands are the best way to stop spreading germs and to keep your family healthy. Make sure everyone who holds your baby washes their hands first.
Other times to wash your hands are:
There are many things you can do to keep your baby safe. If you have concerns about your baby such as choking, your baby’s breathing, colour, or feeding, speak with your nurse, doctor, or midwife.
The safest place for your baby to sleep is in the cot or crib. Always put your baby to sleep on their back. Don’t put anything in the cot or crib, including loose blankets and toys.
Never shake your baby for any reason. Babies have weak neck muscles and heavy heads. Even a few shakes can cause serious damage or death.
Always use a car safety seat, starting with your baby’s first ride home from the hospital. Car seats should be the right size for your baby and have a Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS) sticker.
Keep people who feel sick away (e.g., a runny nose, cough, fever, or upset stomach) from your baby. They shouldn’t be near your baby until they’re well.
If your baby has yellow skin, tell your nurse, doctor, or midwife. Jaundice can sometimes make your baby very sick.
New mothers sometimes feel dizzy or faint—use your call bell to call for help. Have someone help you the first time you get out of bed after the birth—don’t get up alone.
In hospital, don’t carry baby in your arms if you leave your room—put baby in the cot.
Newborn babies kick and wiggle, and can fall. It can happen very fast, even if you think your baby is too young to move much. Always stay with your baby when they’re on a high place like a change table or bed. Keep one hand on your baby the whole time.
To see this information online and learn more, visit MyHealth.Alberta.ca/Alberta/Pages/safety-guide-newborns.aspx.
For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information call Health Link at 811.
Current as of: September 4, 2019
Author: Maternal, Newborn, Child and Youth Strategic Clinical Network, Alberta Health Services
Care instructions may be adapted by your healthcare provider. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, talk with your doctor or appropriate healthcare provider.