Personal security for your baby
Protecting your new baby while you are in hospital is a responsibility you share with hospital staff.
There are also some simple tips you can follow to protect your baby when you return home.
In the hospital
The following guidelines will help provide a safer health care experience for you and your baby:
- After confirming your name and patient number against your identification band, your baby will be given a matching band before leaving the birth room. This will later be replaced by 2 identification bands featuring your baby’s name and patient ID number. The details on these bands will be checked against your original identification band before they are put on your baby.
- All hospital workers have identification badges and many will have colour photographs. Take notice of what the badge looks like in your hospital. If there is a photo, check that the person’s face and the picture on the badge are the same, even if the person looks and acts like they work there. If you are not sure who someone is or what their role is, just ask.
- Do not give your baby to anyone who does not have the proper staff identification. You or another family member are always welcome to accompany your baby to treatment areas in the hospital.
- Unless your baby is receiving medical treatment in another part of the hospital, he or she should remain on the ward until you are discharged home.
- If you leave your room or ward you will need to consider who will look after your baby, for example a family member or close friend. Tell a midwife on your ward the name of the person looking after your baby.
- Do not give your personal details or those of your baby, including your ward location, to strangers or people you’ve just met.
- For identification purposes, your baby’s weight, length, head circumference and any distinguishing features will be documented in the Neonatal Health Record.
- Start your own family photo album as soon as possible so you have photos of your baby.
- Before you leave hospital, be clear about who might be coming to your home to give follow-up care. Know what identification they will use.
Tell hospital staff immediately if you see anyone or anything that concerns you.
- To reduce unwanted attention to you and your baby, consider safety risks when publicising your baby’s arrival. Safety experts recommend you do not:
- include your address or contact details in a birth announcement in the newspaper
- put signs in the yard or tie balloons to the letterbox.
- Do not allow anyone into your home who says they are from the hospital without proper identification.
- It is not wise to allow anyone into your home that you do not know well, especially if you only met them briefly since you became pregnant or gave birth to your baby.
- Educate your family and any babysitters about security.
- Do not give out personal information about your family over the telephone to any strangers.
- Do not leave your baby at home alone.
Women and Newborn Health Service
This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.