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The Safety Mistakes Even Good Moms Make

Off-Balance

"On my first outing with my four-month-old, I went shopping for clothes at a local store. I placed her in her carrier on top of the bench in the dressing room so I could try on some outfits. As soon as I turned my head, she toppled over onto the floor and the carrier fell on top of her. I was horrified and probably screamed louder than she did. Luckily, she was okay. Now, no matter where we are, I always put the carrier on the floor!"
 --Gina, Goodyear, AZ

How to stay safe:

Always put your baby's carrier down on the lowest surface you can find that's within arm's reach. That doesn't include car hoods! Watch out for couches too, since soft, plush surfaces can be unstable. Unless it's on the ground, the carrier isn't really stable. "An active baby, even at four months, can move or tip it by squirming around in the seat or pushing off on nearby objects with her feet," says Angela Mickalide, Ph.D., program director for the National Safe Kids Campaign. Most of the time, toppling over is harmless, but in some cases, a fall from as low as two feet can cause brain damage. When you're shopping for a carrier, look for one with a wide, sturdy base and a safety belt.

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