The Safe Baby

A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Home Safety and Healthy Living, Expanded and Revised

$16.95

In stock

The Safe Baby has been the go-to guide for thousands of parents and grandparents. Chock full of essential information from a nationally recognized child safety expert, this comprehensive, readable book tells you how to make your home and environment safe for kids. It was given top awards by National Parenting Publications and Best Product Media Guide. Library Journal said, “Highly recommended.”

This expanded, revised edition includes:

  • Latest up-to-date-information on baby safety
  • How to select safer toys
  • Expanded section on selecting green products
  • Tips on choosing the safest fish to eat
  • How to buy safe baby bottles and baby care supplies
  • Money saving tips

Click here to watch a video of the author providing several safety pointers

 

Praise for The Safe Baby

 

Protecting vulnerable populations is one of our passions at The Healthy House Institute (HHI), and it is gratifying to see Debra Smiley Holtzman ‘s comprehensive and well-written volume, The Safe Baby, addressing that most vulnerable of populations: babies. This guide is a tour de force covering virtually every topic important to ensuring that babies have a safe and healthy environment to live and grow in. Highly recommended.

—Allen Rathey, President of The Healthy House Institute (HHI)

The biggest threat to the health of a child is an unsafe environment. Every parent and grandparent should read this book and follow the advice.

—Michael P. Nussbaum, M.D.,
Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics,
State University of NY

The Safe Baby is extremely authoritative, comprehensive and well organized. This book will be a valuable addition to any parent’s library. As a physician who cares for children who have been the victims of trauma, I want to congratulate you on this very important initiative in helping to reduce infant and childhood injuries.

—Gary Birken, M.D. Pediatric Surgeon,
Surgeon in Chief and Director
of the Pediatric Trauma Center,
Joe Dimaggio Children’s Hospital

To new parents, it sometimes seems as though there are life-threatening safety hazards lurking in every room in the house. Fortunately, there’s no need to panic. In The Safe Baby, Debra Holtzman takes us on room-by-room tour, thoroughly and calmly identifying problem areas and offering specific, easy-to-implement solutions. No home should be without a copy.

—Armin Brott, author of The New Father and
A Dad’s Guide to the Toddler Years

Debra Holtzman’s columns have interested my readership for years, and I am exceptionally happy that she has put this book together. What a wonderful resource for parents, and what interesting reading!

—Phyllis Juried, publisher, Today’s Parent

The only book parents will ever need, The Safe Baby is the most comprehensive book I’ve ever seen on the topic of home safety. I can think of no better gift to the new family than a copy of this book. Even if you have already raised several children, there are topics in this book that will be new to you or pages you turn down because you’ve forgotten to be as safe as you should. It was a good refresher for our family, and we have a five year-old!

—Sheri Wallace,
Associate Publisher, REAL Magazine,
Former Editor-in-Chief, Pregnancy.com

Format

Paperback

Page Count

283 pages

Dimensions

6 x 9 in.

ISBN

978-1-59181-085-8

Leave a Reply

*

NAPPA GOLD 2004 WINNER!

SAFETY EXPERT FOR DISCOVERY HEALTH CHANNEL RELEASES AWARD-WINNING SAFE BABY

The Safe Baby: A Do it Yourself Guide to Home Safety by Debra Smiley Holtzman recently won the 2004 National Parenting Publications’ Gold Award, one of the country’s most authoritative consumer-awards recognizing the best in children’s and parenting resources. The book was chosen out of a field of six hundred entries in six categories.

As the safety expert for The Discovery Health Channel’s program Make Room for Baby, Debra Holtzman’s reputation with parents is unique. Ana Veciana Suarez of the Miami Herald raves, “Debra Smiley Holtzman, mother of two and former lawyer, is the type of woman I would want as a neighbor.” She adds, “I’d want her nearby because when it comes to safety – particularly child safety – Holtzman is THE expert.”

Two of the hottest topics today–safety and do-it-yourself ingenuity–combine in The Safe Baby (Sentient Publications, ISBN: 1-59181-029-9, Softcover, $14.95, 256 pages). From food-borne diseases to traveling safely with children, The Safe Baby covers topics that capture parents’ interest by appealing to their natural instinct to protect their children. The book is endorsed by the National SAFE KIDS campaign.

Debra Smiley Holtzman has a law degree, an M.A. in occupational health and safety, and a B.A. in rhetoric and communication. She is a specialist on the subjects of injury prevention, toxic chemicals, and food-borne diseases. Holtzman has been featured on NBC’s The Today Show, The John Walsh Show, and MSNBC. She was chosen an “Everyday Hero” by Reader’s Digest and was named a “Woman Making a Difference” by Family Circle Magazine. Debra Holtzman is available for interviews. Free review copies and media kits can be provided upon request.

The Safe Baby: A Do-It-Yourself Guide for Home Safety

by Debra Smiley Holtzman ISBN: 1-59181-029-9
Softcover: $14.95 256 Pages
November 2004
Sentient Publications Distributed by National Book Network

Every parent wants their child to be safe. The Safe Baby: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Home Safety and Healthy Living is an expanded and revised edition of Debra Smiley Holtzman’s previous volumes on doing what one can to baby proofing one’s home. The home is a dangerous place, and it’s impossible to assure complete safety, but there are many things a parent can do to lower the chances of an accident. With plenty of tips on advice on a more safe environment for one’s child, The Safe Baby is a fine volume for parents to have on hand, and an excellent baby shower gift.

Herself the mother of two children, child safety expert Debra Smiley Holtzman brings a particular expertise to the pages of The Safe Baby. Readers will learn all of the child-proofing essentials for making the nursery safe, to protecting the baby in the kitchen, the bathroom, and everywhere else in the house. Parents are shown how to choose and use appropriate nursery equipment; prevent falls; avoid poison injuries; deal with environmental hazards; keep backyards safe; which pets are suitable for children; choosing a babysitter or day care center; and travelling safely with children. A candid, practical, thoroughly “reader friendly” instructional manual, this do-it-yourself advisory will have still another additional benefit—peace of mind for stressed out parents!

Midwest Book Review

A couple of weeks ago, Debra Smiley Holtzman contacted Blogging Baby asking us to take a look at her book, The Safe Baby: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Home Safety. It turns out that Holtzman is a nationally recognized health expert who has appeared on several well-known television shows — The Today Show and The John Walsh Show, to name a couple. And if her media appearances don’t impress you, perhaps her educational background will: she has a law degree, an M.A. in occupational health and safety, and a B.A. in rhetoric and communications. For all these reasons, I eagerly anticipated reading her book, hoping to learn a lot about home safety, particularly in light of my active toddler.

I wasn’t disappointed. The Safe Baby is a comprehensive guide to ensuring that your home is as safe as possible for your new baby and/or young child. In addition to giving the advice that you probably already knew (check the bathwater carefully to avoid scalding your child; cover your electrical outlets to protect prying, inquisitive fingers), it’s also chock-full of safety tips you probably didn’t know (Did you know you shouldn’t give your baby home-prepared collard greens? Or that it might be prudent to investigate your tap water to ensure that it doesn’t have things like arsenic, radon, lead and the ominous-sounding THMs?) And in case you’re wondering that the content of this book is all doom and gloom without providing solutions for mitigating risks, never fear: the book also gives lots of practical advice on how to recitfy potentially dangerous situations — either by doing it yourself, or recommending a professional do the job.

The Safe Baby also contained information I didn’t expect: advice on how to acclimate your pets to your new baby (or vice-versa), and tips on finding a good babysitter and daycare are also provided. There is also a summary at the end of each chapter with all salient points condensed in bullet form — and the book even concludes with a room-by-room checklist, lists of safety products, and a resource guide with contacts for more safety information.

I wish our family had this book when we were preparing for the social worker home visit that all prospective adoptive parents undergo prior to having children placed with them; however, if I had one criticism, it is the author’s inadvertent presupposition that all families are created the old-fashioned biological way. In the section dealing with allergies, for instance, Holtzman says, “If you or your spouse has a family history of allergies — to animals, dust, pollen or foods — your child may be at an increased risk for developing allergies.” That’s all well and good for many families, but what about those of us who may not have that information for one or both of our children’s birthparents? (And, tangentially-speaking, isn’t “spouse” a bit presumptive?) It would have been good to see a couple of sentences on how to deal with the issue when all or part of your child’s medical history might be an unknown variable. Similarly, while the section on travel had tips like opting to fly nonstop and how to choose a child safety seat for the airline, no effort was made on issues of international travel: immunizations or potential regional diseases to watch out for, for example, or complications resulting from changes in diet. After all, not only are more and more families traveling internationally, many are also bringing home new family members from foreign countries, and may find themselves dealing with some of these issues once their new sons and daughters arrive home in their adoptive land. Perhaps these subjects will be dealt with in future editions.

Nonetheless, potential readers shouldn’t be put off by these negatives — the truth is, I’m thrilled to now own a copy of this book, and plan to use it over and over again as a handy reference — both in making sure our current home is up to scratch, and ensuring that I’m aware of any issues for any future homes (or the homes of family members we may visit). I unreservedly recommend this book to any new parent, and this is probably my new gift to any prospective adoptive parents in preparation for that nerve-wracking home visit. So if you’re a new parent (or grandparent, or close family member or friend of a new parent) run out and grab a copy soon. You’ll be glad you did.

—Karen Walrond
Blogging Baby

New moms and dads can finally fight cabin fever by bringing baby outside to frolic in warmer weather.

Or can they?

Probably best to first spend a little quality time out there in a lounge chair reading Debra Smiley Holtzman’s latest eye-opening book—The Safe Baby: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Home Safety.

Herself a mother, former lawyer, and safety expert featured on Discovery Health Channel’s Make Room for Baby program, Holtzman offers parents a practical and comprehensive collection of tips, insights and warnings.

The Safe Baby is helpful reading in any season—and in any area of the home. Holtzman’s room-to-room and inside-to-outside safety review takes parents on a baby’s-eye tour of their own home. It’s time well spent.

It’s best to spend a little quality time reading Debra Smiley Holtzman’s latest eye-opening book—The Safe Baby. Holtzman offers parents a practical and comprehensive collection of tips, insights and warnings. The Safe Baby is helpful reading if you want to baby proof any area of the home. Holtzman’s room-to-room and inside-to-outside safety review takes parents on a baby’s-eye tour of their own home. It’s time well spent.

—Safe Homes Magazine

It’s been more than 20 years since I’ve had a toddler underfoot. I don’t recognize today’s breast pumps. I confuse Graco with Tyco with GEICO (the first makes ultra-sophisticated baby transport; the second, toys; and I insure my car through the third). Ages ago I gave away the toys. My guru – Dr. Spock – is probably out of print.

So why am I reading child safety primers? Because two-and-a-half-year-old Isabel, and her ll-month-old cousin Luke, visit, not often enough. Royal courtiers don’t prepare for visits from their sovereigns as zealously as I prepare for these grandchildren. Suddenly I’m scouring through “baby advice” books.

In The Safe Baby: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Home Safety (Sentient Publications, Boulder, Colorado, 2005), Debra Smiley Holtzman speaks to grandparents everywhere, reminding us what we knew when our children, the parents of these miraculous new beings, were small- and telling us new information.

Thanks to Debra Holtzman’s guide, I am taking some safety steps – not just for Isabel and Luke – but for my husband and me. I’m cleaning the dryer’s vent. I’m checking the automatic garage door. Underwriters’ Laboratories suggests that people check their door by putting a two-by-four in its path each month. I’m doing it for the first time in 15 years. I’m gathering all poisonous products, storing them out of reach.

Every grandparent knows the basics of grandparenting: cookies, milk, hugs and stories. But home safety should be another grandparent basic.

—Joan Retsinas, Prime Time Magazine

“Holtzman, a nationally recognized child-safety and health expert featured on the Discovery Health Channel’s Make Room for Baby, offers parents of young children a well-written guide on home safety. The author takes a tour of the house and the backyard, covering safety measures that apply to each room. Besides the expected areas like the nursery, the bathroom, and the kitchen, Holtzman also covers the backyard, the home office, and the basement. Chapters on fire safety, common poisonous plants, and environmental hazards are also addressed. The “Room-by-Room Checklist” and the list of resources in the appendix are handy and extensive. Because this book is similar in content and scope to the author’s previous book The Panic-Proof Parent: Creating a Safe Lifestyle for Your Family, it is an optional purchase for libraries that own the older book. Otherwise, highly recommended for public libraries.”

—Maryse Breton, Library Journal
Ann Arbor, MI

All parents know that (1) children’s talent for making mischief is enormous; and (2) the potential for physical hazards caused by such mischief is terrifying. What they may not know are some simple (and not-so-simple) ways to make the home safer. Debra Holtzman, a Discovery Health Channel safety expert, has compiled a guide to what parents’ can do to better protect their little ones. The author divides her book into logical sections, starting with baby-proofing the “hot spots” (nursery, kitchen, bathroom, etc.). Then on to more specific issues: pets, gun safety, fire safety, environmental hazards, and common poisons. In home offices, especially: Filing cabinets can tip over and staples or thumb tacks could (brace yourself) look tasty to curious toddlers. Holidays and other special occasions pose their own problems: fireworks, Christmas trees, candles, Halloween costumes, dangerous holiday treats and gifts, and on and on: frightening and endless potential for danger, but essential information for physical-harm prevention. Travel, too, poses safety hurdles—including traveling in shopping carts.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of information here, but the author’s overall approach is positive and the precautions she suggest are straightforward. With a room-by-room checklist, a list of common poisonous plants, and a rundown of other safety resources, parents will wonder how they could have done without The Safe Baby. Holtzman is a Discovery Health Channel safety expert; she appears regularly on The John Walsh Show and MSNBC; and she’s quoted often in major national newspapers and magazines. She’s one for the Rolodex, and her book should be featured in any parenting coverage you’re planning.

Kirkus Reports

I wish our family had this book when we were preparing for the social worker home visit that all prospective adoptive parents undergo prior to having children placed with them. I’m thrilled to now own a copy of this book, and plan to use it over and over again as a handy reference—both in making sure our current home is up to scratch, and ensuring that I’m aware of any issues for any future homes (or the homes of family members we may visit). I unreservedly recommend this book to any new parent, and this is probably my new gift to any prospective adoptive parents in preparation for that nerve-wracking home visit. So if you’re a new parent (or grandparent, or close family member or friend of a new parent) run out and grab a copy soon. You’ll be glad you did.

—Parenting Dish

Child-proofing your home is a difficult task. Some parents may not even know where to begin. Get going with The Safe Baby. The book is endorsed by many top safety and health professionals and recently won the 2004 National Parenting Publications’ Gold Award. Author Debra Smiley Holtzman—of the Discovery Health Channel’s Make Room for Baby—didn’t miss a beat. She covers just about every possible issue dealing with child safety. This “how to” guide provides new parents with an in-depth explanation on protecting children from dangers. Some of the numerous topics included are preparing for emergencies, food safety, environmental hazards and choosing a daycare facility. Holtzman’s thoroughness is continued in the appendices, which list pages of helpful resources.

E – The Environmental Magazine

In The Safe Baby, Debra Smiley Holtzman speaks to grandparents everywhere, reminding us what we knew when our children, the parents of these miraculous new beings, were small—and telling us new information. Thanks to Debra Holtzman’s guide, I am taking some safety steps—not just for my grandchildren—but for my husband and me. I’m cleaning the dryer’s vent. I’m checking the automatic garage door. Underwriters’ Laboratories suggests that people check their door by putting a two-by-four in its path each month. I’m doing it for the first time in 15 years. I’m gathering all poisonous products, storing them out of reach. Every grandparent knows the basics of grandparenting: cookies, milk, hugs and stories. But home safety should be another grandparent basic.

—Prime Time Magazine

Holtzman offers parents of young children a well-written guide on home safety. The author takes a tour of the house and the backyard, covering safety measures that apply to each room. Besides the expected areas like the nursery, the bathroom, and the kitchen, Holtzman also covers the backyard, the home office, and the basement. Chapters on fire safety, common poisonous plants, and environmental hazards are also addressed. The “Room-by-Room Checklist” and the list of resources in the appendix are handy and extensive. Highly recommended.

—Library Journal

Keeping your tot safe is undoubtedly your No. 1 concern. This practical guide is a fresh and empowering approach to the age-old topic, covering safety in every room of the house and beyond.

—National Parenting Publications Awards, on awarding the Gold Award (their highest commendation) to The Safe Baby

Debra Smiley Holtzman, mother of two and former lawyer, is the type of woman I would want as a neighbor. I’d want her nearby because when it comes to safety—particularly child safetyHoltzman is THE expert.

—Ana Veciana Suarez, Miami Herald

An informative and accurate guide to keeping kids safe. A copy of this excellent, easy-to-read resource should be part of every parent’s library.

—National SAFE KIDS Campaign

Babyproofing

A bundle of joy is on the way in this adult-friendly home? Here’s what you need to know to make sure the place is safe.

Granite crowds the kitchen, couples could swim laps in the bathtub, and cherrywood finally sheaths that dream library.

But here comes Junior.

A few decades ago, childproofing the house meant little more than “keep the martinis away from tyro’s reach.” Now, it means a blizzard of products, a cacophony of advice and even professional childproofing services.

The cabinets? They need doodads to keep baby out. That lovely cherry wood coffee table? Time to wrap its edges with foamy “bumpers.” Steps demand gates, the decorative outlets need stolid covers, and don’t even think about leaving those antique glass doorknobs alone. Cover them.

“When we first got into it, it seemed so overwhelming and scary,” says Roxborough mom and blogger Karen Mohler, 44, the mother of a 4-year-old girl. If she didn’t buy the right stuff, she feared her “baby would die a horrible, flaming death right away.”

The family babyproofed the house; Junior survived.

People in the know about childproofing say the market now is flooded with new products, many of them worthwhile. But the first thing any parent should do, experts say, is get down on hands and knees and scoot through the house.

“Crawl around each room,” says Debra Holtzman, a child-safety expert in Florida and author of The Safe Baby: A Do It Yourself Guide to Home Safety. “You’ll be surprised at what you see.”

You might find nails sticking from the underside of tables, or televisions that could tumble with a yank, scatterings of things under couches that kids could choke on and a sharp knife too close to the edge of a counter.

Only after the crawling should a homeowner begin babyproofing.

Most injuries revolve around these themes: falls, water, fire, poison, suffocation and collisions.

Each threat invites solutions.

Where childproofing used to hinge on the kind of hardware you screwed into place, now it increasingly relies on things you turn on, says Stephanie Brown, the parenting, baby and toddler guide at About.com.

Parents, she says, “are starting to rely on a lot of electronic safety devices. Remote fever monitors that you can hook up to your child. It used to be baby monitors – now people have them with cameras.”

One popular device, she says, involves putting a bracelet on the child that is connected, electronically, to a base station.

“If they get a certain distance from the base station, the alarm goes off,” she says. “There are pool alarms, a floaty turtle that goes in the pool, and if it detects a splash or water movement, the alarm goes off.”

Magnet locks for cabinets now are the big thing, says Meghan Rabbitt, an editor at Parenting magazine.

“Everyone is doing their kitchens, making them look so nice, and it’s a shame having your babyproofing ruining your cabinets,” she says. The magnet locks, she said, don’t mess as much with the decor.

Louie Delaware, the owner of Colorado Childproofers in Louisville, champions the magnet locks as well as relatively new plastic devices that thwart little fingers from slipping between doorframes and the hinge-side of doors. Many fingers, he says, have been smashed while pinned in those spaces.

Most of his jobs, he said, end up running between $900 and $1200, and that could include cabinet locks, window guards, gates and outlet covers.

One thing he’s seeing more of, he says, is interest in anchoring furniture that could tip onto children.

“The furniture they make today is not solid wood, for the most part,” he says. “It’s lighter. Kids will try to climb the dresser to get their toy on top, and the furniture falls over.”

Cordless window coverings are a must, Holtzman says, because kids every year strangle on dangling cords. But you don’t have to by new coverings to solve the problem. Through the Window Covering Safety Council, windowcoverings.org, homeowners can get free kits to make their old window coverings cordless.

Windows in general should be examined carefully by parents of young children. Kids fall through screens and fall to their deaths every year. If kids are in the house, no window should open more than 4 inches, says Leslie Feuerborn, Safe Kids Denver Metro Coalition Coordinator. The marketplace offers a variety of products to keep windows beneath that threshhold.

Babyproofing doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Instead of buying bumpers for the kitchen table, just move the furniture. Bathrooms are full of hazards, but you don’t have to babyproof everything inside: just put covers on the handles, so kids can’t open the doors.

“It’s all getting bumped up a notch, and certainly I think with that comes more safety for kids,” says Rabbitt. But “nothing helps more than keeping your baby in sight.”

Douglas Brown from Denver Post

about the author

Debra Smiley Holtzman

Debra Smiley Holtzman is a nationally recognized child safety and health expert and a specialist on the subjects of injury prevention, toxic chemicals, food-borne diseases, and more. She has a law degree and an M.A. in occupational health and safety, and is the mother of two children.

Holtzman was chosen an “Everyday Hero” by Reader’s Digest and was named a “Woman Making a Difference” by Family Circle Magazine. She has been the Honorary Co-Chair of the Florida SAFE KIDS Coalition and was the child safety consultant for the nationally distributed video program Safety Starts at Home: The Essential Childproofing Guide, winner of the National Parenting Publications’ Gold Award.

She is a favorite on regional and national television as well as on radio shows across the nation and has been featured on NBC’s The Today Show, The John Walsh Show, and MSNBC. She was the safety expert on Discovery Health Channel’s popular weekly TV series Make Room for Baby. She has also been quoted in top print media, including USA Weekend Magazine, The Washington Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Woman’s World, and Parenting Magazine. She is a contributing writer for Today’s Parent, epregnancy.com, and Ediets.com.

Holtzman teaches infant and toddler safety classes at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida.

Debra's website is www.thesafetyexpert.com.