Boot Camp for New Dads (http://www.bcnd.org), a non-profit orientation program for fathers-to-be, operating in more than 260 hospitals, clinics, schools, fire stations and churches around North America and internationally, has worked with hundreds of thousands of dads over the past 19 years. One of the most important concepts they teach new dads is how to provide a safe environment and keep the baby safe. The holidays are busy and it’s more challenging than ever to keep the baby away from choking hazards and other dangers.
Greg Bishop, founder of Boot Camp for New Dads and author of two fatherhood books, shares tips from his second book, Crash Course for New Dads – Tools, Checklists and Cheat-Sheets for keeping your baby safe around the holidays:
Toxins. Sprucing up the house before the holidays? Giving yourself a manicure before heading out to that holiday party? Paints and lacquers, even nail polish and remover should not be used in the vicinity of your baby. A newborn’s immune system is not fully developed, and these substances can be harmful even in small doses.
Smoking. Though you and your spouse may not smoke, visiting relatives may not have a problem with lighting up around your baby. Unlike you, your baby can’t move out of harm’s way. Ask visiting smokers to take it outside or to the garage, far away from your baby’s lungs.
Pockets. It’s always merry with a houseful of family and friends at the holidays. But, with so many people moving around; sitting down and standing up – be aware that things can fall out of your guests’ pockets without anyone noticing. You’re may grab hold of a small item and have it in her mouth before you know it. Even swallowing a single penny might require your baby to go through surgery. Stay aware and don’t be afraid to ask your guests to empty their pockets before holding your baby.
Salt and Honey. Though you know the rules about not feeding salt and honey to your baby; family and friends may not. Although you can’t keep sodium out of your baby’s food, excess salt is detrimental to his kidneys and blood pressure. And, up until your baby turns one year old, babies should NEVER be fed honey. Honey can cause infant botulism, which could lead to death. Be sure that well-meaning relatives who may not be aware of the rules don’t allow your baby to sample even a bite of holiday cuisine without checking with you first.
Decorations. Holiday decorations are a feast for the eyes. Unfortunately, they are also a choking hazard to babies and toddlers who may find small pieces and put them in their mouths. When decorating your home, use the “slide-and-hide” technique. Take a toilet-paper tube and use it as a measuring device. If an object can slide down the tube, it can also slide down your baby’s breathing passage. Put those decorations that don’t pass this test away until your baby is much older. And, of course keep a watchful eye on your baby when visiting relatives or friends with older children who may have decorations and small toys around their home.
About the Boot Camp for New Dads Program
Boot Camp for New Dads has worked with more than 200,000 new dads at their workshops held over the past 19 years. After attending a Boot Camp for New Dads “hands on” educational workshop, dads-to-be are better equipped to face the challenges and opportunities of fatherhood. Men attend the class when they are expecting their first baby, and are joined in the workshop by “veterans” who had previously attended and have returned with their two to four-month-old baby in tow. They are able to give the dads-to-be a realistic idea of what to do and what to expect when their first baby comes. For many men attending, it’s their first time holding a baby.
Boot Camp for New Dads
Now celebrating their 19th year, Boot Camp for New Dads is nationally acclaimed as the “Best Practice” for preparing men to be fathers and has been named a U.S. Navy Model Program. Boot Camp for New Dads has prepared more than 200,000 men for fatherhood over the years.
With more than 4.1 million births (National Center for Health Statistics), and approximately 1.5 million men becoming new dads every year, it’s more important than ever for fathers to realize that being a “good provider” is only part of the very central role they have in their children’s lives.
National and International Locations
Boot Camp For New Dads locations include ALASKA (Anchorage); ARIZONA (Chandler, Flagstaff, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sun City); ARKANSAS (Jonesboro, Paragould, Springdale); CALIFORNIA (Apple Valley, Bakersfield, , Fresno, Garden Grove, Irvine, Laguna Hills, Madera, Merced, Mission Hills, , Oakland, Orange, Pomona, Port Hueneme, San Diego, Santa Ana, Santa Barbara, , S. Lake Tahoe, Travis, Valley Springs); COLORADO (Aurora, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver, Durango, Fort Collins, Fort Carson, Greeley, Longmont, Thornton, Wheat Ridge); CONNECTICUT (Bristol, Danbury, New London); FLORIDA (Brandon, Clearwater, Hollywood, Jacksonville, North Palm Beach, Orlando, St. Petersburg, West Palm Beach, Sarasota, Tampa); GEORGIA (Atlanta, Elberton, Gainesville, Marietta, Savannah); HAWAII (Pearl Harbor, Schofield); ILLINOIS (Aurora, Carbondale, Champaign, Chicago, East St. Louis, Evanston, Freeport, Geneva, Great Lakes, Highland Park, Libertyville, Moline, Oak Park, Rockford, Springfield, Urbana, Winfield); INDIANA (Anderson, Bluffton, Hammond, Indianapolis, Jeffersonville, Kokomo); IOWA (Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Jefferson, Sioux City); KANSAS (Junction City, Topeka); KENTUCKY (Paducah); LOUISIANA (Covington); MAINE (Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Brunswick, Ellsworth, Waterville); MARYLAND (Annapolis) MASSACHUSETTS (Beverly, Ipswich, Lowell, Nantucket, Plymouth, Weymouth, Springfield); MICHIGAN (, Ann Arbor, Bay City, Centreville, Iron Mountain, Ithaca, Kalamazoo, Niles, St Joseph, Ypsilanti); MINNESOTA (Brainerd, Duluth, Robbinsdale); MISSISSIPPI (Tupelo); MISSOURI (Jefferson City) MONTANA (Billings, Helena, Miles City); NEBRASKA (Kearney, Lincoln, Omaha); NEVADA (Las Vegas) NEW HAMPSHIRE (Manchester, Portsmouth); NEW JERSEY (Princeton) NEW YORK (Glens Falls, Little Falls, Mineola, Rome, Utica); NORTH CAROLINA (Burlington, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Concord, Ft. Bragg, Greensboro, Monroe, Raleigh, Shelby); NORTH DAKOTA (Grand Forks); OHIO (Akron, Cleveland, Columbus, East Cleveland, East Liverpool, Garfield Heights, Lima, Lorain, Mayfield Heights, Middleburg Heights, Orange Village, Portsmouth, Toledo, Warren, Westlake, Youngstown); OKLAHOMA (Claremore, Oklahoma City, Tulsa); OREGON (Corvalis, McMinnville, Salem, Silverton); SOUTH CAROLINA (Columbia, Pickens, Walhalla); TENNESSEE (Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis); TEXAS (Amarillo, Dallas, Fort Hood, Longview, Lubbock, Plano, San Antonio, Texarkana, Waco, Webster); VERMONT (Barre, Brattleboro, Middlebury); VIRGINIA (Charlottesville, Chesapeake, Hampton, Richmond) WASHINGTON (Everett, Fairchild AFB, Longview, Olympia, Puyallup, Yakima); WEST VIRGINIA (Wheeling); WISCONSIN (Florence, Green Bay, Madison, Oshkosh, Watertown, Wausau); JAPAN (Atsugi, Yokosuka), ITALY (Sicily); UNITED KINGDOM [a.k.a. Hit the Ground Crawling] (Birmingham, Liverpool)