Safety Tips for Changing Tables, High Chairs, Playpens, Strollers, and Swings

Changing Time

Injury Prevention Changing Tables cartoonEach year, thousands of children receive serious injuries to the head and internal organs from falling off changing tables. Remember that some babies can roll over when they are only a few weeks old. To protect your baby from serious injury, never use a changing table, sofa or bed unless the following precautions are taken.

  • Keep one hand on the baby at all times.
  • Never leave a child alone on a changing table, sofa or bed.
  • A safe alternative to a changing table, sofa or bed is to change the baby on a changing pad or receiving blanket on a clean and comfortable floor.
  • Baby powders, oils and lotions can cause illness if swallowed. Do not store these items on a changing table or within a child’s reach.
  • Do not shake baby powder near a child’s face since it’s harmful for a baby to breathe in the fine particles of powder. It’s best to shake powder into your hand and then rub it onto your baby.

High Chairs, Playpens, Strollers & Swings

High chairs, playpens, strollers and baby swings are never a substitute for an adult’s close supervision. Use the guidelines below for safe use.

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for assembly, use and maintenance.
  • Always secure a baby in a high chair, stroller or baby swing with the safety strap.
  • Don’t substitute a playpen for a crib. A crib’s built-in safety features help protect a baby from injury while sleeping.


Medical experts do not recommend the use of walkers. Injuries as serious as skull fractures, concussions and broken limbs can occur if the walker tips over or if the baby falls down a staircase. However, if you do use a walker, please be sure to use the following guidelines.

  • Close and lock doors to stairways and block staircases with gates. Explain to older children that leaving doors open is not safe when a baby is in a walker.
  • Use walkers only on smooth surfaces. Edges of carpets, throw rugs and raised thresholds can cause a walker to tip over.
  • Never leave a child alone in a walker.
  • In a walker, a baby may be able to reach more items in the room and may move around faster. Constant supervision is essential.