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Safety and security for your new baby

This brochure explains ways that both you and our staff can keep your baby safe.

Baby identification

  • Your baby will have two identification tags securely but comfortably attached around each ankle. These will be placed on your baby immediately following birth and before any separation of you and your baby occurs (should that be necessary).
  • The information, including the spelling of names and dates, will be checked with you and your partner. 
  • Both of these identification (ID) tags must remain on your baby while in our care and will be checked each shift by the midwife or nurse caring for you. If at any time either of the identification tags falls off, please inform your midwife or nurse immediately. If both ID bands fall off, all babies on the ward will be checked against their mother’s ID band.
  • When transferring between areas or after any period of separation between mother and baby, for any reason, a midwife or nurse will check your baby’s identification with you. This will be documented on your baby’s newborn carepath.
  • Your baby’s identification will be checked against your identification again prior to discharge. Please do not remove any forms of identification until you have left the hospital.

Parent identification

  • You will have one identification armband on your wrist. These must remain in place for the duration of your hospital stay and your midwife/nurse will check these each shift. If the ID bands fall off please notify your midwife/nurse so they can be replaced immediately.
  • Your partner/support person will have one colour-coded ID armband placed on their wrist for the duration of your admission – mother and baby health record numbers (no other identifiers) will be written on this armband. If your partner intends to go to work and there is a specific workplace health and safety issue related to wearing an armband, the band may be replaced each day, as required.

Staff identification

  • All Mater employees wear a photo ID badge, which should be easily visible, with the person’s name and title large enough to be readily identifiable.
  • Be sure the face and picture on the badge is the same person even if the person looks and acts like they work here.
  • Do not allow your baby to be taken from your presence, for any reason, by anyone not wearing valid identification. You, or a designated family member, are always welcome to accompany your baby to other treatment areas within the hospital.

Remember: please alert your midwife or nurse if you are unsure at any time or see anyone or anything suspicious.

Safety

  • When you are in your room, we recommend that you place your baby’s cot on the side of your bed farthest from the door and keep your baby in sight at all times.
  • Do not leave your baby unattended in your room. If you need to leave your room please ask a family member to watch your baby.
  • For your baby’s safety, please do not carry them outside your room – all babies must be transported in their cot, with the cot flat (avoids risk of falls).
  • Your baby should not leave the clinical unit unless treatment or investigations are required in another area of the hospital. Your baby will have a nurse/medical escort if requiring further investigations outside the unit.

Visitors

  • Visitors are welcome during hospital visiting hours – 10 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 8 pm daily.
  • Visitors should only cuddle your baby with your permission and must wash their hands before doing so. For the health and safety of you and your baby, and other mothers and babies, please ask your family and friends not to visit if they have, or recently had contact with, an infectious illness.

Discharge

  • Before going home be very clear about who may be coming to your home to provide follow-up care and know what identification they will use. Do not allow anyone into your home without proper identification even if they say they are from Mater.
  • At your time of discharge, we prefer you to bring a pram or car child restraint (if it is removable) to transport your baby from your room to your car. For safety reasons, baby cots are not be taken from your ward as the wheels do not have brakes and the front entrance pathway is on a slope.
  • Please ensure that you have pre-arranged for someone to be available to pick you up on your anticipated day of discharge. 

Car safety

  • Never leave your baby unattended in a car, under any circumstances.
  • Queensland legislation requires that all children from birth to seven years of age are placed in an approved age-appropriate child restraint that complies with Australian Standards and is installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • For babies less than 6 months, this is a rear facing car seat; this is the safest way for your baby to travel.
    • Do not buy a second-hand car seat as it may have been damaged in an accident.
    • Please ensure that your baby’s restraint has been fitted prior to discharge and that you are familiar with its use. 
  • Installation:
    • Kidsafe provides expert advice and installation for all brands and types of Australian standard child car restraints. They will also check self-installed child restraints and arrange hire of restraints.
    • Kidsafe now provide this service at Mater (South Brisbane), every Thursday and Friday (excluding public holidays) between 9.30 am and 4 pm, in the Hancock Street car park, level 1 (adjacent to the car park customer service centre). Your parking ticket can be validated for free exit on completion of the service.
    • Bookings must be made online for this child car seat and checking installation service (click on the link to make an appointment at the South Brisbane location)

Further information

Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-430036
Last modified 08/3/2018.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 31/1/2018
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